Highs And Lows.

I’ve had an eventful week.

I realised my ASICS trainers weren’t going to break in, and that ASICS have totally changed the sizing of the shoes I’ve been getting every time for the last 11 years. Marvelous. After I’ve splashed out on two pairs.

I’ll still get my miles out of them, but I need to rest my feet in between using them.

I started looking at “super trainers”,( with a plate in the sole and springy foam, like that guy used to break the 2 hour marathon). They aren’t made specifically for wide feet but some will do.

I got these beasts.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2. Which is a mouthful. To quote from my running blog entry:

“Today was the first huge test of the plan. It said to run 15 miles, with 12 of them at race pace. That would be 6.45 – 6.50m/m, I am nowhere near that. My best to date was 6 miles at 7.20, which near killed me.

I tried out my Sauconys for the first time. They were a bit tight and uncomfortable but I looked at my watch on the first, coasting, warm up mile, and I was doing 8.02, not even trying. The second mile I started running. I was going for a fast, but sustainable pace, nothing drastic. Looked at my watch again, 6.36! OK, looks like I’m putting up with uncomfortable trainers! To make my training tougher I’ve stopped going down the canal (dead flat, obvs) and am heading out to St Helens. After 4½ miles it gets some proper hills. So one mile warm up, 12 miles flat out, with 5 of them being hills, then 2 miles jogging it off.

I got back and looked at my stats.

Fastest ever 10K

Fastest ever 10 miles

Fastest ever half marathon

Fastest ever 15 miles.

Bearing in mind the first 3 PBs had a mile of warm up in them and the last one had all 3 miles of easy trotting.

Wow. Just wow.

My time for the 12 miles was 1.24:10, so a smidge under 7.01 m/m. With 5 miles of hills!

OK, still got a long way to go, but let me bask in the moment for a minute. I’ve gone from the plan’s first week long run (dead flat down the canal) of 12 miles, couldn’t hold the pace, averaged at 8.14 m/m, to 12miles, (5 hills) within a 15 mile run, at 7.01 m/m, in 8 weeks.”

That fantastic high was followed by a huge low. It was my first go of those trainers, and when you are going flat out they really favour forefoot striking. So I was racing flat out up, and more worryingly, down hills just on my toes, with no support for the rest of my foot, ankle, leg, knee… It’s not my running style and I’ve not built up the right support muscles. I had a bad pain in the side of my knee. Just like after Chester marathon, where I was sprinting down hills. That stopped me running altogether for months. I was really scared to get the same pain. I went out for my next run two days later and called it off after 100yds. It was painful and I didn’t want to risk it. I skipped the next day as well, but by Friday I was walking down stairs with barely a twinge so I risked the 5 easy miles the plan said. My knee was OK. I’m back to my training.

Today was 14 miles run, mara pace +10- 20%. I thought I’d do it in my Sauconys, as I wasn’t going flat out, to give me a chance to adjust to them and practice proper foot striking. As they make your feet turn over really fast and decrease perceived effort I decided to do it at the fast (+10%) end of what the plan allowed.

It turns out when you are only going ‘fast’ (not flat out) the trainers aren’t as super. Or I could have just been tired. Either way I didn’t get the feeling of super speed/ fast feet turnover/ manageable effort. It was hard work. But I did it a smidge under +10%, even with the hills, averaging 7.30 for the 14 miles. I’m happy with that. And so, so glad my knee is working. That was a scary week.

We’ve started decorating. We had this whole cunning plan whereby in future we’d pay a professional and get a good job done. But then I was bored sat at home so decided to do it on my days off. It turns out being bored and doing nothing is infinitely preferable to being bored and painting. And it’s a pitifully poor result. I’m from the Impressionist school of painters. If you stand well back and squint it looks fine. *sigh* I’ve started so I’ll finish.

I’m up to 3 days a week at work now. Still not ideal,but that’s nigh on office wallah hours for the week (35).

We seem to have Long Covidness going on. Wendy’s been coughing every night for months, with patches of bad weakness. Previously she wasn’t getting the plague weakness, that was just me. Luke and his partner have both tested positive for covid. She’s been told to carry on going in to work. In a customer facing role, serving predominantly old people. Not only should that not be allowed, they should be charged with attempted corporate manslaughter. But those are the rules now. Bozo is lifting all protections by Thursday.

Brexit took an interesting turn as new facts emerged

The Russia Ukraine thing threw up some new stuff.

The Ukrainians summarily executed one of their negotiating team.

But, regardless of the politics, it’s the people who are just trying to live their lives who get battered by governments.

In other news I got excited our tomato crops are all but ready to harvest

And some cool new plants arrived

And a bit of random twitter

Talking of, I’m down to 10 stone 3 now. Not long to go. Then I eat all the food!