my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise

On the road to recovery!

The bike I ride! Mine doesn't look this clean any more though...

The bike I ride! Mine doesn’t look this clean any more though…

In my last post, which was also my 50th, I talked about how I’d injured myself in two ways. I’d got a calf strain, and then I’d developed blisters on both heels of my feet.

Well, I’ve been on the road to recovery since and after days and days of doing no running, or cycling, I’ve now been back on the road to run a 5k, and been back in the saddle too to start my Summer Tour!

First off, I’ll talk you through my 5k. I didn’t warm up, because I never do really, but I did start slowly and continued to maintain the slow pace throughout. This is what I call discipline. I really, really wanted to run fast, break off the shackles and test my calf to the limit…but that would probably have just got me injured again, so I had to be disciplined and stay slow. Fortunately, there was no other runner  to overtake me. If there had been, I’d have had to speed up and teach them a lesson in running speed. Sigh. I’m afraid that’s just the way I was made!

Anyway, I was sweating a lot by the end of the run as the temperature had heated up dramatically in the middle of the day from the time I’d left the house. I wasn’t out of breath though, and I have to say it was a nice feeling to not be gasping for air and instead, to be really appreciating the views around the nature reserve I’d chosen to run around.

I completed the 5k route in 24:12. You can see the run here:

I was so happy to have finished my run without any pain in my calf muscle. I could have jumped for joy, but I was feeling a bit self conscious. I was already in my ‘proper running kit’ of short shorts, running vest and sunglasses, so I decided against the jump for joy this time round.

For the rest of the day, my mind was partly deciding on my plan for the next day (i.e. today). I was going to cycle early morning before the kids woke up and I was planning on making it a 2 hour ‘Tour Stage’ (well, for me it would feel like a Tour stage!). I’ve been really enjoying the Tour de France, and felt inspired to ‘go longer’ in my rides and now I’m on summer holidays, it makes sense to do it now.

It crossed my mind that maybe I was trying to do too much too soon, but I countered this by telling myself that cycling has far less impact on my body, so it’s ok to go for a long ride.

I ended up trying to cycle a route I’d done with the fantastic Mr Kite a month or so before. However, I got lost at some point and just followed my nose. I did find some familiar places of note throughout the rest of the ride, but just fleeting moments. All in all, I cycled from around 6:00am to 7:30am, with hardly a car in sight on a beautiful summer morning. I’ll be doing this again soon, but mixing up a route, so I can explore more of the neighbourhood. I’m thinking of doing a similar-shaped route in a clockwise direction from my home, and hoping to get all the way round and back to this route again by the end of the summer holidays. I just made this target up, but it seems like a good one to aim for!

On the home straight (downhill too!), a mountain biker was preventing two cars and then myself from overtaking him, which was very frustrating at the time, and even more so when I realised my average speed ended up being 29.9km/hour!! So close to the magical 30km/h average speed. I’d have done it too as that last downhill 2km is usually a very fast section for me.

You can see my ride here:

But I shouldn’t be too sad. I managed to get in 44km of riding and without injury. So far, the road to recovery is good. Short run tomorrow or Friday, then parkrun 5k on Saturday. Then I’ll be thinking about the week ahead with my forthcoming 10k race happening on 2nd August. I want to be at least sub 40, but preferably aiming to beat my 10k PB (36:58) which I ran during a 10 mile race in early July.

What races and running goals do you have this month/this summer?

What’s the most frustrating injury you’ve ever had and why?

Enjoy your next run or ride!



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