Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What a long strange trip it's been

I suppose I could be talking about my twenties and thirties, or the past 15 years of running, but I'm actually thinking about the past three and a half months that really have been a long strange trip, characterized by a similar rhythm and atmosphere to the Grateful Dead's Truckin' - frantic undertones to a relaxed façade...

After the last encouraging post, I had a few decent runs of 20-40 minutes then blam! 25mn into my first morning run in two and a half months I felt a searing pain above my left ankle. I thought I might have re-torn the calf muscle but after several aborted attempts to run, the last of which didn't even last a minute, I finally found a physio who told me it was the Achilles heel - and put me on a regimen of eccentric calf muscle strengthening exercises that some Swedish study has shown to be highly successful in solving the problem.... And seemingly it works, because I am now once again - finally - up to 30mn running without a problem.
(Watch me jinx myself with this post...)

In the mean time, I've discovered the interest of cross-training. Primarily biking - I thought I'd be training for an ironman mainly focusing on the running, for my 100km, but it looks like I'll be training for the 100km with a load of biking... And the benefit I've seen has been to maintain my level of fitness so that while I can sadly feel 30mn of running, after over three months of almost no running, in my legs, there doesn't seem to be much cardio or endurance impact.

The other part of this long strange trip: unable to run, I've found myself constantly projecting training schedules and upcoming races - sometimes into 2017 before I put an end to the insanity. If this injury should have taught me anything, it is that plans must be flexible...

Finally, it's definitely been a long strange trip in the fact that I've come to appreciate swimming. Oh, not doing laps in a pool - but yesterday, when I was able to go swimming in the lake on my lunch break having heard that the temperature had reached a manageable 14°C, which it was at Alpe d'Huez two years ago, I had a magical time flopping through the water in my wet suit, watching the runners along the bank as I turned to breathe on one side, snapshots of the Jura mountains when breathing on the other side, the sun glinting on the water... Returning to work afterwards seemed surreal.

I was a little afraid of the swans, however.


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