January 2019

Here is my first update of what I hope will be an epic year of running, starting with January’s scores on the doors:

Jan 2019 running stats

All in all, January was a really solid body of work topped by a somewhat out of body, jet-lagged run experience followed by sickness near the beginning of the month, and frustratingly curtailed by an untimely and currently unspecified foot injury near the end of the month.

My primary focus in January was to continue on with the base building I’ve been doing these past few months. I’ve been mainly running by feel, not worrying too much about pace or intensity – running fast when I want to, and dialing things back when that’s what my legs or lungs are telling me do. Mainly I’ve just been having fun, getting out, putting some miles in the bank and digging the foundations for when the real work begins.

I’ve set a goal of ‘running the year’ in terms of total miles, which requires an average of at least 42 miles per week, or 168 miles per month to hit the 2,019 mile target. I really want to run ‘more’. It’s hard to argue with the benefit this will bring in terms of overall fitness, endurance and marathon readiness, and utimately more miles should better prepare me for one of my medium term goals which is to step up to run an ultra distance.

I just need to be smart about it – specifically when I bring speed and strength workouts into the mix, and I need to be disciplined about running the bulk of these miles within my ‘easy’ pace range. Easier said than done when you’re caught up in the thick of training for a race, but for me I think it’s critical that I take real care with upping my mileage if I’m going to avoid succumbing to more injuries.

So, about that odd start, and frustrating end to the month. Let’s start at the start.

I spent the Christmas and New Year holidays back home with family and friends in Blighty and, as is my habit, I suffered from the usual sleepless long flight home, followed by jet-lagged, interrupted first night back. With virtually no sleep in 48 hours, I probably should have bagged my 12 miler in favor of a nap on the couch, but it was Sunday, and Sundays are run days where I come from.

It’s a little odd going out running when you’re not ‘all there’. I mean I’ve run many times when I’ve been just a little off the pace, a bit fuzzy around the edges, but usually the endorphins kick in enough to wake me up and get me through. This time though I was in full space cadet mode the whole run, a fact fully confirmed when I ran into the woods and passed a cup of erm, Milk-maids?, Little Bo-Peeps?, I don’t know…I mean I had to snap a quick pic on the run to prove to myself when I got home that I wasn’t actually hallucinating. Not your everyday sighting when out racking up the miles but each to their own.

When you go down to the woods today…

Anyway, I finished up the run, got home, and after some post run refueling promptly got really, really, sick (not the way I wanted to lose those excess Christmas pounds) and ended up spending the next 24hrs in bed anyway, missing two run days in the process. Moral of the story? Well a) embrace the odd or off-kilter stuff you see out on the run (like cos-play in the woods). It’s one of the things that makes it fun to be out and about in the world, and b) always go out for your run, no matter how spaced out you are, because if you’re going to get sick, you’re better off puking having got your miles in first.

So about that frustrating finish. Having made up for lost time during the month, I was looking forward to finishing January strong and racking up some bonus miles along the way – a bit of cushion towards my annual goal if you will. Anyway, that didn’t happen. I got a mystery foot pain around the 29th which got progressively worse during the week forcing me to delve into the depths of my closet for this:

The pain subsided enough by Saturday for me to go out for a short run (I mean come on, I’d missed another 3 days by then, what was I supposed to do?) but boy did I regret that on Sunday when the pain came back in full effect, finally convincing me that I needed to do what I hate doing, which was go see the doctor. Anyhow, I guess you’ll have to tune in next time to find out what he said…

In the meantime – I hope you all got your own 2019 running plans off to a flyer and remember – keep running my friends, because you never know when sickness or injury is going to sit you down.

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