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Ultra Training Week 5: Overdoing it

Posted Feb 09 2014 12:07pm

Things were going so well and then this week happened. I was a little bit sore after the race on Sunday- always likely, it was my first trail race in really tough conditions, and my body is not used to the hills or terrain.

Muddy trail shoes

I was very sore on Monday morning so I did some yoga to try and help ease things up. I did an upper body weights session in the morning and despite the soreness, I went to my first ever spin class at Boom Holborn. I really enjoyed the class, but it probably isn’t the best form of recovery, not when you aren’t taking it easy and rather stupidly going all out as well. I also did a fair amount of walking which I hoped would help the soreness but probably overloaded the body even more. By the evening I could barely bend down which I attributed to post race soreness and spinning.

Tuesday I was extremely sore but instead of resting I forced myself out for a 4 mile run. I actually nearly fell over when I tried to start running, like my legs just said no and flat out refused to run. I did not feel right, almost like I was hobbling through the run, there was so much stiffness in my legs. Going for a run when you actually can’t walk down the stairs is probably not the best idea. In the afternoon I did a full body Hiit workout. Smart.

I left the house on Wednesday-again no idea why I tried to run-and I could barely get to the corner of the road, so I was sensible and turned back. I did a load of foam rolling and stretching and it felt better later in the day so I had a short 2.5 mile jog to another spin class at Boom cycle.  This was a session with upper body weights, and it was tough and again I didn’t take it easy. Not clever.


Thursday my calf was still hurting, but I ran 6 miles. So clever. I then did lower body weights, because my lower body wasn’t hurting quite enough already. That really was the breaking point. Looking back on the week now I realise how stupid everything I did was, and I’ve no idea why I did it, I’ve been through enough training cycles to know way better.

By Friday I actually couldn’t walk. I had to get the bus to and from my nutrition course (ironically the day was on the muscular system), as I couldn’t move my leg forward without pain in my left calf. I can walk-although not pain free- when I have a compression sock on to support it but without it, it kind of feels like it’s giving way. Going up and down the stairs is very painful. It’s been the same all weekend, and I have actually rested it for the last 3 days, a little too late.

All the runs this week I have had pain on every single step, and yet I haven’t stopped one of them. I have no idea why I was forcing myself through them, in some ways it was a determination to stick to the training plan, and also to not mess up my Jantastic score which was just plain stupid. Ultimately I’m in a good place, I’ve got months ahead of me, and plenty of time for long runs and I just ran the hardest 20 miles of my life, so I really should have taken it easier this week.

I don’t actually know what I’ve done, the fact that there is so much pain suggests it’s bad, but I don’t know. I’ve barely taken my compression socks off all weekend, I am taking natural anti-inflammatories and I am elevating and icing when I can. I don’t think it’s swollen or anything, so perhaps it’s a minor tear. I will be resting it now until I can walk pain free, I have no idea how long that’s going to be, but I’ve already done enough damage by forcing myself through runs this week when there was pain.

Hopefully it isn’t too serious, but I’ll probably go and get it checked out if it isn’t getting any better by the middle of the week. As frustrating as it is, it’s a good sign to slow down and remind myself that I can’t do everything. I’m just going to enjoy the rest and try and focus on the positives, rather than negatives right now. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!

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