Well after making noises about being a runner again it was about time I update my blog with details about how things have progressed, and how they haven't at times.... I have been racing regularly, finally, a little later than I had originally planed (more on that in a bit) but I have now strung a few races together. In the past, even before my injury hit 2013 I had been fairly selective with my racing however as soon as I knew I was able to race again I just wanted to do so at the first opportunity. Some of my early races were nothing to write home about but they were never going to be about PB's.
As I alluded to though after looking like I was ready to start cracking on with things in January and February time, starting with a training camp in Kenya and with a view to racing off the back of this I unfortunately pick up a new injury. Half way into the camp I picked up an injury to a small muscle in my foot/ankle, a not too uncommon injury when faced with the testing terrain of Iten but a frustrating set back to say the least having been out for so long previously. At first I thought this might just mean a couple of easy days, however over 3 weeks later with no running (I was home by this point) only then was I finally able to start to running again. It took another 3 to 4 weeks of regular treatment and a gradual build up in my running before a full routine was resumed. This didn't stop me racing during this time mind, helping Newham to bronze in the Southern Road relays in March and also a half marathon in Berlin, in what I can only describe as fairly average performance at best. Most importantly though I was able to come out of these relatively unscathed and with the motivation that there was work to be done!
More recently I have been able to string a few weeks of regular training together in the region of 90miles a week alongside regular work in the gym... the conditioning work has been something I have done much more regularly since my operation last year. The idea being to work even harder on the general conditioning and injury prevention side of things in order to keep my body robust going forward. With a short family break wedged in immediately before the Easter break I then ran a local event in the Guernsey Easter Festival. I raced in the Keith Falla Cross Country, a race with a lot of tradition and history for us Guern's so it was nice to win the race and post a respectable time feeling quite controlled. It was especially nice to run this having been watching this event from the side lines last year, having been only a few weeks post op. Last weekend I raced in the Great Edinburgh 10mile race, racing a certain Mr Thompson, who was only 2 weeks post London. I was little unsure what I might be capable of going into this but knew I was in better shape than I was for Berlin. Admittedly I was looking to sneak under 50 minutes but when faced with the course - a somewhat testing and undulated route through the city centre I was pleasantly surprised with a 49.54 clocking.
So what now... well with little more 12 weeks until Glasgow the marathon work will soon begin, I guess technically the transition has already started but the nature of training will progress more like what I'd associate with marathon specific work, the longer runs/tempo's for example. Racing wise I've still left this open but realistically at this stage it will likely just be one or two low key events which I will use as part of my marathon training. In June though I have a 4 week camp planned in Font Romeu which alongside Iten in Kenya have been like second homes me the past few years.
I must admit the Great Edinburgh race was just what I needed, but the last few weeks have seen noticeable progress within my fitness generally. Training is now starting to feel like it's some I am using to get prepared for Glasgow, whereas previously is was about just to fit generally! Don't get me wrong there's still work to be done and whereas earlier in the year I could claim to feeling like a runner again, now I can start being actually being a competitive one again.... roll on Glasgow!