Week 16 & 17 – Marathon training – 2nd & 9th May


Week 16

On Bank holiday Monday,  we ran to Sapperton and back via the canal towpath, a total of 17 miles. We started off together but after 3 miles we decided to part to allow Graeme the chance to see how he felt running at a faster pace. We ran as far as far as possible until we reached the tunnel. The tunnel was opened on 20 April 1789 after five years of construction. It has no towpath; boats were propelled through the tunnel by legging. Sapperton Tunnel is not currently navigable as the roof has collapsed over several hundred yards, mainly in sections where the ground is fuller’s earth, but restoration is proposed by the Cotswold Canals Trust as part of their project to re-open the canal route from Thames to Severn. The trust operates tourist boat trips into the tunnel in winter months.

Today’s run was just one of those days when I felt tired from the start and seemed to lack energy.  Even a caffeine boost didn’t seem to help much. The canal path as you reach the tunnel has a camber which played havoc with my foot. I ran until it felt so tight on the ball that I did not want to run much further.  After 14 miles It felt so uncomfortable I resorted to running and walking back home.

Week 17

It is with a mixed emotion of relief and excitement that we both enter into the final phase of what has been an exciting and challenging journey to get to the start line of the Edinburgh Marathon.

Still feeling tired after Monday’s run on Wednesday I decided to head out for a steady 4/5 miler on the canal path towards Ebley. However, after just 2 miles, my foot and heel just did not feel right.  I pushed on to 3 miles and then the pain became really very uncomfortable with no strength in my foot to propel me forwards and up even the slightest incline.  So reluctantly, with my head bowed I walked and hobbled the last few miles home with a tear in my eye, limping and in pain.  It is so frustrating after months of training to get so close to race day and then suffer a set back like this.  My experienced running friends consoled me and reassured me that I had done the long training miles and rest was the only option to progress now and help cure the injury.

It definitely felt like Plantar Fasciitis which I have had before after a 26 mile walk last year and it is a real nuisance because from experience, the only way to get rid of it is to rest it. Unfortunately with the May 29th race day looming time was not on my side. So frantically, I booked myself in to see my good old Physio friend Jason Ford at the Stroud Sports Injury Clinic.  After a thorough examination he came to the conclusion that it definitely was Plantar Fasciitis and after some ultrasound it did feel much better until I tried to run on it again and back to square one.

I continued to keep my fitness levels up by cycling as much as I could but even the thought of standing up on the pedals was giving me unbearable pain. In desperate need of a solution, I shared my problems with all of my running friends on Facebook & Twitter.  There was one thing playing on my mind, what if I had a stress fracture?  I decided to visit another good Physio friend, Geoff Twinning at Five Valleys Physio.  Geoff is a Triathlete so I knew he would understand the urgency of getting a treatment programme underway to get to the start and most importantly he has a scanning machine.  Geoff opened his doors early for me on Monday morning and I kept everything crossed that I had not broken my foot as I went.

In my opinion getting a good diagnosis and scan when you are struck with an injury like this is so important. Stress fractures, having had one before, are a real nuisance and despite endless Physio there is nothing you can do but rest if you have one the race is over.  So you can imagine my relief when he confirmed that I did not have one.

So after a thorough examination and lovely foot massage I left with an extensive run every day and strength building programme to help get me back on course. Sessions of shortwave therapy were also added to also help.

Initially the first few runs were very uncomfortable and heal raises very difficult but I battled on and with 10 days to go I was back to running for 30 minutes, My heal was still sore and tight and the pain seemed to be moving around but at least I was not hobbling and unable to run. My confidence was starting to build again – HORRAH I think I can make it to the start!

With the recent premature birth of my Nephew Charlie weighing just over 2lbs in weight at 27 weeks, at the last minute I have decided to run my race for the fantastic Gloucestershire Royal Neonatal Unit Charity, SCOOBY DOO. They do such a wonderful job caring for all the little babies.

P1100804 (Medium)



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