10 miles ? Eeek!

Last weekend, I managed 10.88km (about 6.2 miles) with lots of walking (and a bit of getting lost). I felt worn out afterwards !

On Tuesday at running club, we did some hill sessions - they were very tough so I'm sure they were good for me - someone told me it would take a few weeks to reap the benefits so I'm waiting patiently.....

Wednesday was yoga night - usually challenging but relaxing too. I usually feel the pain a couple of days later. Not this time - Thursday morning saw me with throbbing joints (haven't been that bad for a long time) and aching muscles everywhere. I'd foolishly run out of the prescription tramadol but miraculously found some diclofenac in my desk at work so doubled that up with co-codamol and survived the day. Hurrah ! I felt a bit less achy by the evening and decided to give running club a go. I joined in the speed sessions on the grounds that I could stop if I needed to without affecting anyone else's run. Trouble is I get all stubborn once I'm there and probably did more than I should have done, albeit very slowly !

I'd already agreed to an 8 mile run for today so I put my sensible head on and decided to have Friday and Saturday as rest days (I'd usually have gone to the gym on Saturday) to give my still aching muscles a chance to recover.

I ended up staying up to late last night, thanks to getting all excited and emotional about the Olympics and celebrating with a few drinks, like you do ........ ;-)

But, I turned up at the appointed hour - 10.30am - and the two of us set off on our run. We had some short walk breaks but still managed to cover the first 5km in a little over 34 minutes - I know that's not too speedy but I think the only time I've managed that before was on my graduation run and I somehow managed the same pace on my 10k race a few weeks ago. Health issues have been slowing me down but I'm hoping today shows that being more careful with the iron supplements etc is improving things. We both said that we were quicker than we would have been running alone - that was quite a confidence booster :-)

After 5 miles we stopped at a petrol station for a bottle of water and a toilet break and had an energy gel each. I've never tried them before so I was interested to see if there was any noticeable benefit.

It was quite tough setting off again, to start with, but after ten-fifteen minutes it started to get more comfortable again. The rain was still holding off and it was really quite hot at times so we were grateful for the occasional cool breeze. Lots of people asked if we'd been inspired by the Olympics ! At one point we saw two men walking, one of whom had a three foot tall Womble under his arm. We wished them Good Morning but they just looked straight ahead in a stern sort of way - I can't imagine what that was about !

At about 7 miles my feet were aching, my right foot had a niggly pain under the arch and my left foot was aching more towards the outside edge. Later my right ankle was sore on the inside, just below the ankle bone so at times I think I was running a bit lopsided to compensate. I played it cautiously and took short walk breaks to rest it but I did manage to run up a flight of steps and I think we took on most of the hills and inclines.

We ended up covering 10 miles, which took us to McDonalds for a nice cup of tea - a long way to run for a hot drink but it was fun. The rain started shortly before we got there, just enough that we could get away with looking as if were wet with rain rather than sweaty :-)

My feet are still a bit achy, as is the ankle so I'll probably invest in an ankle strap for a little extra support. If the feet don't improve I'll have to think about gait analysis again.

I've considered the training I've been doing and decided that doing two training sessions a week is probably too much as it is quite intense and high impact. I'll probably do the training session on a Tuesday night and a gentle 4-5 mile run on a Thursday night, especially now I've proved to myself that I can manage to keep going. Plus a long run most weekends. I also found I wasn't having to concentrate so much on my breathing and, by not carrying a bottle, I found it easier to relax my shoulders too (I had a belt with two small bottles instead).

I'm feeling a bit more positive about the next 10k (Ellesmere on 26th August) and the Birmingham BUPA half-marathon in October now. I don't expect to be quick but I think by then I'll be able to manage the distance if I take a few short walk breaks. My mum is looking forward to watching me run the 10k so I didn't want to be too awful !

I had horrible bloated stomach ache about half an hour after finishing the run and for the rest of the afternoon though (still managed to eat my well-earned Sunday lunch at the pub!) - I don't know if that was an effect of the gel but it wasn't something I'm used to experiencing. I can't even say if I noticed any benefit - has anyone else tried them ? I think these ones were called "Torq".

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