After having learned a thing or two about fuelling on longer runs a few weeks back (anything beyond 2 hours was uncharted territory for me, so with hindsight I suppose it was only to be expected). I regrouped, restocked my pack and continued to build up mileage and altitude.
Last week’s long run came in just shy of 25km with over 1000m of climbing, and although I felt like I was forcing food into myself the whole time (I’m not really someone who tolerates eating much whilst running) I came through it comfortably. In fact I’d go as far as to say that I felt pretty strong by the end. I was pretty happy that I was in a place where with two months extra training I’d be able to really enjoy the Routeburn, rather than it being a bit of a slog. I really should have known better shouldn’t I?
If I’m completely honest, I wouldn’t have been that surprised if I’d managed to mangle an ankle, or a knee, or even pick up a foot injury, but over the last year I’ve been doing lots of work with my awesome PT to help support and strengthen my joints. They’ve held up well, very well in fact.
An overtraining injury wouldn’t have been entirely unpredictable, but I’ve developed a sensible streak lately and reined in my ‘rip, shit or bust’ mentality.
No. This time my downfall was a five year old’s birthday.
It’s not every day your little girl turns five, so as a bit of a treat we took her to a place called Leap for the afternoon, a trampoline park. No self respecting dad would let his kid bounce alone in a place like that and by the time we left I could feel the effects of a few dodgy landings early in the session. Nothing serious, just a few bruised ribs.
Fast forward four days, the ribs seemed to have settled down, the obligatory birthday party with hordes of screaming kids had been and gone, and the first day of school had passed without a hitch. I felt like I needed to get back into things so I headed out for a swim. For the first few hundred metres my chest was surprisingly sore, but then it settled and whilst it wasn’t wholly comfortable, it wasn’t anything to write home about either. Once I’d got out of the pool and was getting dried however, it felt a bit odd. Things were moving in ways they normally don’t and there were crunches and clicks that aren’t normally there.
Over the course of the rest of the day it was pretty sore, so I headed to the doctor. After a quick consultation, she got me to lie down, and poked around to find where my chest was tender. Then, with no warning whatsoever, she bashed me in the sternum as though she was trying to jump start my heart. To say I was unimpressed would be an understatement, I made a noise something like a kitten being trodden on. “I’m glad that hurt.” she smiled “That confirms that you’ve got a couple of cracked ribs. If it hadn’t been painful, then there’d be nothing wrong with you, and then where would we be, hmm?” she added sagely. Quite.
So, I’m back in the rather familiar territory of trying to train for something, without being in a position of being able to do the thing I’m training for. The thought of the jarring I’d get running steep downhills at the moment makes me feel sick, so the road bike is likely to get some hard use and I may even have to work out how on earth aqua jogging is supposed to work. The only thing I am sure of is that I still plan on being on the start line on April the 23rd. The endorphins will get me through, right?