Pain level 1

No pain, no gain! How many times have you heard that and wanted to punch the person expelling it from their lips? Well let me tell you about my week of pain without even putting by running shoes on.

Whether it was a combination of my first threshold run followed by a 60 minute run the following day or possibly even the slightly ill fitting shoes I wore for a lunch time stroll on the Monday, either way, I became acutely aware of a familiar pain in my left heel. I suffered plantar fasciitis a couple of years ago after a volleyball weekend in Bath and by the time I had it looked at, it required a couple of months of rest before I could even go for an extended walk again. So I immediately booked a physio session with Colin Bailey and took it easy, exchanged work shoes for my more supportive trainers and regularly stretched my calves and iced my heel.

Pain level 2

Along with the physical, came the mental pain. I received my first glimpse of the training schedule tailored to me and delivered through the ether by Full Potential during the week. The initial glance of this 20 week regime displayed a brutal abuse to ones body. With Kenyan hills, threshold runs, core workouts, cross-training, not to mention some extra long runs on Sundays, it will be a more uncomfortable winter than normal. On a positive note, the first session was a rest day, hoorah!

Pain level 3

I cycled up to the dentist on Friday to get over the frustration of not being able to run, thinking that afterwards I could go out for an hour long spin in the country to raise my hear rate. It turned out to not be necessary as my session with a ‘new’ hygienist had my heart rate close to maximum as she dug around mouth with her instruments of torture and left me in more of a sweat that a 10K run. So I used the subsequent cycle ride as a warm down of the body and mind.

Pain level 4

I arrived at Colin’s practice to have my heel examined and if necessary removed to stop it from spoiling the rest of my week. A thorough prodding determined it to be a case of plantar fasciitis and treatment began with some excruciating calf and hamstring manipulation. There was enough movement from my flinching to the treatment that I ended up a full 30cm from my original position on the treatment table.

Fortunately the pain of the day was eased and my fluids were replenished when we arrived in Southwold that evening and hit the Lord Nelson for some fish & chips and Adnams Broadside.

It was all worth it?

My participation in the Southwold 10K had been in doubt for most of the week, but the expert treatment on Friday and restoring powers of Broadside saw me get to the starting line. I was slightly jealous of my support team of Sue, Claire and Paul who were full of English breakfasts while my basic porridge was getting to work on my inner parts. As the starting hooter set me off down the pot-holed harbour road for the first time, my team got in position to take some less than flattering photos of my running style.

All I knew is that I wanted to get under 54 minutes for 6 miles and after the first lap I was well on course and still feeling quite fresh. However as I turned towards Southwold along Ferry Road for the second time there was a strong headwind coming off the North Sea and I began to feel my legs grumbling at the exercise. The second lap of the course wasn’t the same pleasure as the first and I thought I had set out too fast and would struggle with the uphill finish.

The third and final run past the Harbour Inn was about 2K from the finish and I began to perk up a bit, especially after recovering from a choking fit while trying to throw some water down the wrong hole at the last station. I took to riding in some taller runners slipstream on our last ascent up Ferry Road. I made my move as we peeled off on to Queen’s Road and the finish line outside the Red Lion was in view . I managed to find some energy from the stored Broadside to get me over the line in 53 minutes 47 seconds. As 10K is approximately 6.25 miles, this put me well under my target, so I very pleased with that.

Thinking ahead, this time would take me well under 4 hours if transposed to a marathon distance, but I think the pace would kill me.

The reward for completing this race was a banana, some water, an isotonic drink, packet of Percy Pigs, a bag of crisps, a healthy pint of beer and a medal that doubled up as a bottle opener. Not bad.

After a shower, we embarked on a walk over to The Bell In Walberswick for one of the best shortcrust steak pie and chips you will find in this country. Let’s hope that all weeks end like this!

Distance run since last entry: 6.25 miles
Accumulative distance run: 128.63 miles
Accumulative distance cycled: 95.24 miles