Minimalists will tell you that less is definitely more (and probably end the sentence with “darling”) and in my case recently it’s certainly had to be. I’ve had to cut right back on my mileage, run mostly indoors whilst watching TV (to alleviate boredom) and monitor my Plantar fascia/calf/Achilles like a state registered nurse. However, as I enter the last week before my half marathon, that seems to have paid off.
Today I had my last “long” run to do, a 5 mile taper. I decided to run it completely off road on trails close to home with my trusty hound. It was a good decision. The wind was up and had I run along the shore road I would have surely been running into it either going out or heading back. The trees afforded me shelter, most of the time. In fact it was a delight running through the trees as Autumn is starting to creep in. There are a few golden leaves on the ground already, scattered like confetti at a woodland wedding. The sun was out and the temperatures were ideal for running, not too warm, not too cold. Baby Bear weather.
I had new toys to take with me! A new armband to replace the one I’ve been using for the last goodness knows how long, held together with sellotape, and some gorgeously comfy earphones to replace the cheap ones I’d bought from Aldi that felt as if I was wearing drawing pins.
My armband is an Armpocket i25, which is big enough for my iPhone in its Mophie Juice jacket (giving me double battery power at least), my keys, gels, dog biscuits and a small country, I think. It’s roomy, shall we say! It’s dearer than a lot, but I wanted something big enough to carry my phone in the battery pack as my battery just isn’t up to lasting the distances I am currently running.) I paid £17 including postage from eBay, but I was prepared to pay £25 for one, if I had to. I rarely replace this kind of thing, but having a waterproof jacket for my phone is essential when I run in the middle of nowhere. The earphones are Karrimor bought from Sports Direct at a knockdown price of £4.99. They made up for the armband.
I had loosely planned to do two laps of a route that I thought might be around 5 miles, but ended up changing this slightly as I ran. It wasn’t a fast run, trail runs rarely are, but it was a solid run with only planned walk breaks and a decent off road pace. My split times are fairly consistent, which is great. That’s the first time in ages that an outdoor run hasn’t disintegrated into a limp! My data is here, if you feel the need to look!
My foot held up fine, although I am starting to feel it now as I had expected. I’ll be limping for the evening, but it should be OK by tomorrow morning. I’m away for a bath shortly and then I’ll ice my heel. It’s becoming a well-kenned routine.
So I’m on for Sunday’s race, providing nothing happens between then and now. I won’t be looking to beat any personal bests – I’ll be happy to finish without any problems. I will be taking regular walk breaks and won’t beat myself up over the time.
I will be wearing these nifty things, bought after seeing them on Facebook. They are called Event Clips and are a replacement for safety pins. They don’t break the fabric, but pinch it between the front and back of the clip, holding your bib number securely (hopefully). I’ll report back on how they performed.
I’ll leave you with some photos I took on the trail as I head off for a lovely, bubbly bath!