This year was no different...except the story changed when HERC announced their names drawn from the hat. Woohoo!! It was finally my turn.
Having followed a beginner plan a couple of times, I chose the improver plan from the VLM site by Martin Yelling. The plan has 4 sessions per week, a schedule I felt was achievable. Once I start a plan, I'm OCD about following it, unlike any other aspect of my life (OCD is not a term I'm usually associated with!).
I'd previously found the mid-week runs difficult in the evenings, too cold, too dark, too tired...you get the picture. I decided to try a new early morning approach, still too cold and dark but at least I wouldn't be tired, eh?
All went well for weeks, even the early mornings were ok (yes, I was shocked too). The training plan talks a lot about being in tune with your heart rate so I used it to ensure I was working at the right effort levels. The long runs called for an easy pace and this meant I slowed down considerably to keep my heart rate low enough. It didn't feel like I was working very hard, ideal.
Week 8 - on my recovery run and my ankle started to hurt. I didn't think much of it until the following morning when it was too painful to walk.
And that's where the training ended. I followed all the advice to rest, sure that I'd be back pounding the streets soon but it took 3 weeks to walk properly and another 2 before I could take the impact from jogging. I saw a podiatrist and she explained that I had been overpronating, probably due to a shorter stride pattern on the longer runs.
It was hard to accept that I wouldn't be ready for the VLM, I spoke to friends about possibly using a run/walk strategy but I wasn't fit enough for that. I particularly felt like I'd let all the other members of HERC down, having taken a treasured VLM place.
I tried to see the positive side, it took a while but I got there eventually.
1. I have a guaranteed place for next year and I'll still be able to represent HERC.
2. I've discovered that morning running in the week works for me.
3. I've also found out that slower running isn't always better.
4. My injury isn't permanent and I'll still be able to run, something I never take for granted.
See you next year for, hopefully, part 2 of my report.