I would have liked to be telling you about plan A – how I established a strong measure of trail endurance from this year’s Xterra series, then after a week’s layoff, I kicked into some serious mileage and hills to leave me at the strongest and most enduring I have ever been.
But this is plan B. A mystery right knee/ITB ailment that came on post Whitford and the North Shore Marathon was compounded with a calf strain on the same side. The eagerly hoped for quick recovery became a painfully slow return, resulting in a running layoff from Sep till mid Oct.
I have now been running for two weeks. I started with a mighty 10 minute jog, with running interspersed with 40 second walks every 80 seconds. I have built up slowly and managed 11km on the weekend. That’s 5 weeks out from the Westcoast marathon. A race of 42 km distance, 2000+m climb, and with a record of just under 5 hours.
So the plan now is to build that 11km into 30km in about 3 weeks, doing a long run once a week and then recovering between them. Meantime, I keep stretching and doing core strength work which will hopefully yield some performance and injury prevention benefits come Nov 26. Then on that Saturday, I will take to the trails of wonder and see what happens. I’d love to say that I am just looking at running easy and enjoying the course, but the stubborn competitor in me still wants to push it hard and see how close to the front I can be (who is he kidding?). I may yet throttle that inner maniac, and allow myself a pleasant run on the coast, but I can tell that he isn’t dead yet.