Monday, 20 January 2014

An overdue progress report

Sorry I've not written anything in ages but not much has been happening, or so it feels.

I didn't want to do the usual review of last year, I'm just glad to slam the door shut on that one and hope never to see its like again.  But just looking back at my running, it still proved I'm alive and very much kicking! A PB at Smokies 10 in March, a week before my treatment started showed I was in the best shape possible for the fight ahead. Then in June, covering the Skye half marathon in just under three hours a week after my radio and chemo finished did wonders for my morale.  Then filed under How the Hell did I manage that!  127 miles at the 48 hour race at the British Ultra Fest in August,  which according to the DUV Ultra Marathon Statistics website, the World ranking for 48 hours in 2013 has me in at 46 from the 131 women listed! Then I'll always remember my 25 miles in 6 hours at Glenmore24 with an emotional smile, I was back where I belonged.  Loch Ness Marathon was tough, and although my slowest marathon in over five hours it still showed progress.

After the Loch Ness Marathon I had a bit of a rest, I felt very tired afterwards and thought I better try and recoup my strength, (the words of my specialist nurse ringing in my ears, "The fatigue can take a year to go away!") I had done some big daft stuff so decided just to take it easy for the rest of the year and start 2014 fresh. In mid October I went back to the club for the first time in months, I wanted to try and get some quality back into the 15 to 20 miles a week I was starting to do.  The first session back was five minute efforts with ninety second recovery, the plan was to ease back gently to speed work.  Ha!  Gentle speed work?  I think it's more likely I win the lottery and see the Loch Ness Monster on the same day than that happen!  Generally the pace recommended is either 5km or 10km. Now, how am I supposed to know my pace for these distances?  So I think doing "push 'til I boak" is close enough!  I'd missed running at the club, at Carnegie the sessions are tailored so that we all work together, there are no wee cliques and it was great being back. I'm also back to my yoga class, and that has and will continue to make a big difference to the damage to my shoulder and neck. 

The plan for the new year is to gradually increase my training, aiming at covering around 30 miles a week for January and increase the number of days a week from three/four to five/six.  So far so good, yesterday I rounded off the week with my longest run in training so far, a slow 14 mile run with Sue on a very muddy, hilly route, a great time on feet day.  

My mouth is taking a lot longer to heal than I thought it would, it's still sensitive to a lot of foods and eating is, at best, a chore and quite often an ordeal and sometimes I feel I could quite happily never eat again but if I want my body to perform it has to have the fuel so I will persevere.  It is hard to come to terms with the fact that I'll never eat properly again but still a small price to pay if I'm to stay alive.  I haven't been able to get my weight back to what it was pre-surgery but it is fairly stable, so I'll just take it that I have a new fighting weight.  I don't have a schedule to work to, I'm just going on how I feel, working hard then taking the recovery and rest days needed.  I have a lot of work to do, my quads are still puny, especially on hills, but I have noticed a difference,  I'm no longer dragging my carcass, I'm pushing it. That's huge progress!