Last week my routine changed as I had a weeks holiday from work with the schools being off. At first I was delighted with this and planned loads of activities to do with the kids envisioning quality, family time together only to be met with ‘I’m going to my friends mum bye’.
I felt used.
If they didn’t have their friends staying over they were sleeping at their friends and I had to be on call at the end of the phone ready to jump when they said so. I barely managed a run or two and spent the majority of the time trying to do yoga but ultimately just falling over and spraining every possible joint in my body (and my head still hurts – my feet are just not meant to go over it, end of story).
It also gave me a little reflection time though over my last few runs and I have come away with some golden little nuggets.
Firstly, there’s the trainer thing. Just don’t ever change your trainers close to a big race. No matter how good an idea you think it is because you’ve worn them before – don’t. Your feet will end up looking like they were used for an advert for The Walking Dead.
Second is socks. There actually is a reason you get left socks and right socks. Your left foot is different from your right foot. Your big toe is on the right of your left foot and on the left of your right foot. Mind blown. I know! Cushioning is different on both socks so do the right thing and match the left sock to the left foot and the right sock to the right foot. Or you will get blisters.
Blisters. It IS possible to get a blister underneath a blister. Fascinating yes but also a pain in the arse. So, wear the right trainers and the right socks (and the left trainer and the left sock).
Core. You need to do core work. You need to strengthen that stomach. That pain you are feeling and fondly referring to as your abs screaming to get out is actually just your body screaming for help. Listen to it. Sacrifice the odd run a week to do those planks, lunges, sit ups, etc and do your body a favour. Or you know, you can feel like you are contracting and having a baby at every race – your choice.
So yeah, a little down time has been good on reflection. I’m thinking of next years goals and beginning to wind down a little as we get nearer Christmas. I have a half marathon this Saturday which I think has the very real possibility of breaking me given the elevation and the guidance notes stating ‘not for beginners’. I’m trying not to think about that though and finding a tree swing on my lunch time run today certainly helps!