Today is the culmination of, what I can only describe as, my three week running nightmare. It all began towards the end of April; after 5 weeks of intensive half marathon training and with a string of 9 10 hour night shifts on the horizon I ran the full race distance (22K’s) – the furthest I’d ever run. What then followed was 9 days and nights of 18 mile cycles with a bit of running in between. Suffice to say, by the time I got to the beginning of May I was ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff*****.
It surprised me how long it took me to recover from this over-exertion. Night shifts are part of my life, cycling 18 miles+ daily is part of my life, running and sleep deprivation are part of my life – so why was this so hard. Well, turns out I wasn’t eating enough of the right things – I was eating healthily – very healthily, but my non-dairy veggie diet lacked protein – sure it was there, but there just wasn’t enough of it – lesson learned: Eat more.
My running for the first week of May was sluggish and painful, it became apparent that I’d simply over-done it, I got a bit of running in but was only able to manage a pitiful 11 miles when I should have been running 30 odd. To compound the issue further, Sunday 5th was the ‘Oxfordshire Classic’ a 60 mile cycle I’d agreed to do in January (and forgotten about when I entered my June race). 5 hours of cycling was a long way to cycle but the exercise was surprisingly manageable (surely a testament to my endurance fitness).
5 Days later, one 6K recovery run (positive results) and a happy gym & swim session and I’m standing 500 yards from Wendover train station with a fully loaded CamelBak about begin my longest run yet (and quite possibly the toughest) – a 15 mile trail run along the Chilterns. The start was optimistic a rigorous ascent to the top of Coombe Hill and after a brief look at a spectacular (if overcast) landscape below and I was off into the woods and heading for the next town. And then,
Massive internal compass malfunction – I got lost. very, very lost – the result was a 9 mile loop which took me in a 6 mile arc in the wrong direction before I got my bearings and was able to, at the least, get back to the start – abandon the long run and get a lift back to base camp – not my most impressive moment.
Still. Back on nights. I have 29 days until my race and it’s time for some no holds barred intensive training. This week I will be running the 6 miles home from work – and when I’m not doing that, I’ll be at the gym.