A very long month with all the work on. A very long month not helped with my running hampered, coming into the month in the middle of a three week stint out due to a leg injury.
I left last month’s note ending I’d be happy with whatever running I did in the end, whenever I start again, however much I get to do.
And this was the month I was supposed to do my first marathon, in Manchester.
In the first ten days of April I only managed to run three times. The first two were more experiments to see how my recovery was going. The last of those three runs was the start of easing myself back into running.
Control control control: Steady as I can, don’t push it with speed or distance. Control control control: Steady, take stock, and go steady again.
Over the last 20 days of April I managed to run, at various slow speeds, 91.8km. Steady away. Control control control.
Week 1 (five days): 3.1km (0.62km a day) Week 2: 7km (1km a day) Week 3: 29km (4.1km a day) Week 4: 39km (5.6km a day) Week 5 (four days): 16.8km (4.2km a day)
I passed 500km for the year with a 5km run on the last day of the month. A very satisfying return, and — in the later days of the month as I got in 7.5km and 11km days, distances I’d taken for granted a couple of months ago — an emotional one. It has been a bit of a battering month in so many ways.
I have not been running the canal paths or streets, instead heading out to the local sport fields and doing laps of the pitches, and not just because of Covid-19. These sessions helped massively, the fear at the back of my mind my leg might give in again. I could be in control. A problem? Just stop the lap, head home. Better to be going round and round close to home than schlepping along the canal and having to limp up to the main road. With the lockdown the emptiness of the school grounds and the seemingly softer mud ground made a good space to run and to think through some stuff (which was mostly work).
There was a couple of days I hit a wall and just jogged through, heavy legged, but there was no pressure. I could give up any time, but I kept going, slowly, in control. Maintain this course.
Doing some indoor cycling most days has also helped out. Earlier in the month it kept me doing something physical. Later in the month it helped me get going in the mornings, and the running bookended my days. 296km of leg rotating to go with the running. Not bad.
What’s my plan for May? Try to average 6km a day, but don’t worry about my pace. More steady away and see where it goes. Hopefully going into June planning might be a thing I can do more of, and with more than just running.
Thank you to everyone that dropped me messages and little bits of advice to help me through my running this month. It all helped.
- Running For Good, about Fiona Oakes (on Amazon Prime)
- Two Hours by Ed Ceasar
- Running Man by Charlie Engle
- Meb Keflezighi’s autobiography 26 Marathons
- The Song of the Ungirt Runners