The frustration about the injury is now at its height as a consequence. As such, with the pain getting less and less I gave the elliptical a try. The good news was I could manage it without the pain becoming unbearable, so in the next couple of weeks I should be able to start on that and put in the hours, getting my body accustomed to moving for anything up to a 4 hour stretch, but without the rigours of impact on the body before I can get out and pound the roads.
Hopefully the injury is now going to be less of an all-consuming problem and more of an inconvenience. I reckon that from now on I reckon I should give it a name in order to refer to it in an easily manageable and easily dismissed notion... Brushing it off as if it were an irritating person who hangs round like a bad smell, like an office work colleague whose proximity you have to endure day in and day out through no form of choice but necessity... From this point forth my heel injury shall be named Bernard.
Whilst cycling on my way to swimming in the sub-zero temperatures I passed Pini who was out for a run. Seeing as we were off in opposite directions I fired-off an email to discover how things are with him - crazy I know seeing as he lives across the road (and I mean that literally). And to fill him in on how Bernard was and my recovery... Pini replied with the following about his recent exploits and what I should be doing in my recovery/ training for the marathons and what to expect:
"You need to be fully fit for a marathon, and to get the miles in the legs for a good month-6 weeks. It's the 18 miles onwards that gets tough and that seems to surprise new marathon runners. I ran my 4th, nr Gloucester, on Jan 22 - hence avoiding the pub. All was fine until 18 miles when I started fading, then I really struggled at 23 miles and the last 3 miles felt like 10. I think I got the food intake a little wrong, and as it was windy and the course was undulating, my pace was a little erratic. So mara #1&3 went well, but #2&4 were tougher. Good experience though. I spoke to an ultra runner - there was an ultra mara at the same event - he was on his 110th mara. Another was on his 210th!"
The temperatures round here have been struggling to get above freezing, so the rides to and from swimming have been fun. The snow that has fallen has not really stuck around so after the slush drained away the roads have been pretty cyclable even with road tyres.
Swimming has been progressing. I managed to do the 20 lengths straight through without stopping so I am now concentrating on doing that every time. After finishing the lengths, I have attempted to do the proper breathing whilst swimming, but have been unable to crack-it yet without nearly drowning myself. I have always had trouble with the breathing around water and put this down to the fact I cannot breath through my nose (an hereditory problem on my dad's side), although it has all got me a pondering and I have thought of a different way to breath so as to keep my head down in the water when I swim rather than continually thrashing from side to side... Still I'm wanting to get the distance cracked before working on technique and speed.
Sunday saw an early(ish) start for a bit of a 'randonnée' with Kelv - who is keen to start cycling to keep fit having managed to get a good bike through the government 'Cycle to Work' scheme, Mart and Mike. Mart is a very experienced cyclist and Mike enjoys being out and about. We headed off out in to the countryside from Kelv's following this route. It was all about just taking it easy and doing the miles without racing the clock with the plan of ending up at the George in Odiham, where we duly decamped upon finishing for a sit around the fire, a hot cuppa and a sausage and bacon sanger for those that desired.
Here's some shots of the guys in action and some of the scenery around South Warnborough way!
|Mart & Mike|
|Kelv showing us how its done.|
|The civilised post-ride warm-down - or warm-up after being out in that cold!|