As I limped through the rest of January my mind was set that the only way I would contemplate Manchester Marathon on 6th April would be a "normal" February. But what is normal? Normality for me in terms of running would be a 50 mile week or getting through an interval session or two without any niggles. The unpredictable nature of sciatica (affectionately known as the dark passenger!) meant that you literally need to take each day as it comes.
So on the 31st January a pain free "double day" was completed with a decent 5km on the treadmill at lunchtime was followed by a steady four miles on the evening. Maybe February would be "normal" and I could put the terrible start to the year behind me. Imagine my frustration when on the 1st February I struggled to manage little more than a four mile jog limited by the sciatic nerve making every step a struggle!
A 40 mile week followed by a 66 mile week that included some quality in the form of an interval based session and a couple of decent tempo efforts on the treadmill surely meant that I was back to normal, managing decent runs with only slight episodes of sciatica in between runs. A 50 mile week followed which included a snowy 5 mile tempo at marathon pace and a more than decent track session should (under normal circumstances) be considered as being back in business.
But the marathon relies on consistent long runs and so far in 2014 my longest run was 16 miles almost six weeks ago. So not back in business at all really!
Its amazing the difference one good run can make. An 18 mile run to start this week has provided the boost I needed. I'm now officially "Back in the Game!" At this moment in time I am six and a half weeks away from the start line in Manchester. Its the Snake Lane 10 on Sunday so an opportunity to combine a decent 10 mile effort with a long cool down. It will be the first race of 2014 and will be followed by the new Locke Park 20 and possibly Thirsk 10 in March.
How many pairs of running shoes do you have that are currently active?
Runners World in December released an article that showed there was a 39% less risk of injury in runners who use multiple shoes. In work today a colleague asked me how many pairs of running shoes I own.
The answer to that is probably far too many as I'm not keen on throwing away good shoes that have limited "running life" but still look ok.
So active shoes......
2 x general training shoes - Mizuno + Adidas
Race Shoe - Brooks Racer ST 5
Old Race shoe used on treadmills - Brooks
Quicker shoe for intervals - Adidas Adizero
Trail Shoe - Brooks
Spikes - Two pairs one for Cross Country (not used this winter!) and one for Track
Total - 8 ! Yes I'm a multiple shoe wearer and Yes I probably am addicted to running shoe shopping!