This time last week I was standing, head in hands, as another foot issue took hold and again stopped me from running. It was only Athlete’s Foot, but those of you who follow my blog will know that I am effectively allergic to Athlete’s Foot and what is a bit of a sore foot for some people basically incapacitates me. It goes from a mild infection to the raging abb-dabs in a blink of an eye and last Monday I was struggling to walk, never mind run.
However the foot spray I use is very effective and within a day or two my foot was improving. It looks shocking, with bits of skin hanging off, but I no longer feel as if I’m walking on glass.
I managed one trail run in the week, which I loved. I must have look like I was fit to explode when I’d finished, but it was the sanest I’d felt all week. When you are running through woods which look like this nothing can bother you.
The woods are currently being worked which effectively makes them out of bounds during the day, so any runs have to be done early in the morning or after 6 in the evening when all the workers have toddled off home. Seeing great swarths of trees being felled can be a bit disconcerting, the entire landscape alters daily, but having lived here for a few years now I know that nature recovers and new growth happens very quickly.
The only issue for me is that the cut trees have opened an entire track to the elements; where I ran sheltered from the sun’s rays, before I am now totally exposed. It makes you appreciate the trees where they are on a hot day!
Today I was in two minds what to do, whether to do my missed 8 miles from Monday gone or just carry on with the programme knowing that I had 9 miles to do next Monday. In the end I decided to stick to the programme, mostly because today was a Magic Mile test, a timed mile, and I wanted to know how I was progressing.
I chose to run early this morning before the sun got too hot. I would have set off earlier, but my husband (who had said last night that he wanted to accompany me on his bike) seemed unable to actually leave the comfort of his bed. Maybe he didn’t expect me to get up, make a cup of tea, get dressed and just go! I ran an easy first mile in 10:27 – it was already getting warm, but humidity is the biggest issue to an asthmatic runner. It was about 85% humidity this morning.
Before starting my timed mile I took time to stretch my calf muscles a bit. They’d felt a bit tight in the warm up mile, so I was being sensible. By the time I get to the start of the timed mile the road has levelled out and it’s the closest thing I have to a reasonably level race track. It’s not level by any means, but what I gain on one way, I lose on the other! Hubbie was very quiet and I took that as meaning that I was maybe a bit slower than last time. I was struggling to get my breath at times (maybe I should have run with my inhaler) but my legs felt great! I turned at the half a mile and ran back knowing that the last two tenths of a mile were slightly elevated. When I finished I tried to see what the mile was, but my Garmin was having “issues” and wouldn’t let me see! I had to be patient.
I jogged back at an easy pace and got back to the village before the children started pouring out of their houses in order to catch the school bus. Working at the local school has it’s positives. The kids seeing one of their teachers in lycra isn’t one of them.
My Magic Mile came in at an encouraging 9:33. That’s faster still and I actually feel as if I’m starting to get back to where I was before injuries started hitting me last summer. My husband reckons that his bike computer was showing an average speed of between 6.8 and 7.2 on the first half mile and 7.0 to 7.6 on the second half. He says that at one point I was running at over 8 miles an hour. I’m impressed. I think he was too!