My Sport Relief 3 Miles

It seems like Sunday March 21st was a big day for runners.  All day I had the pleasure to read about runs:  from super speedy half marathons in Fleet, to first marathons done in LA – my twitter account (where I follow a lot of people who get out there and move) was alive with info about runs and races all over the world.Sunday was also a “race day” for me – my first time lining up with a race number in 2010, as I headed down to the Embankment in London for the Sport Relief Miles.  I signed up for 3 miles, and in discussions with my coach agreed that although I probably wasn’t ready for a full three mile non-stop run, it would be an ideal way to test progress and to feel how my running is progressing.Me, in my nice Sport Relief socks and New BalancesWhere to begin?I think I will begin with post race.I ate this.  The Hawksmoor Hamburger… Yum!It was delicious.  I think this is definitely one of the key upsides of racing:  a good hamburger and beer.  Of course, I couldn’t really eat anything else for the rest of the day (except for a salad for dinner) as I was so full from lunch!  But man, this burger was to die for.  For those of you from London, I can only sing the praises of the Hawksmoor hamburger.  Prepared complete with marrow, it is just as delicious and savoury and finger licking as a good posh burger can be.I also baked these.  Chocolate chunk cookies… Double Yum!DH ran 3 miles for Sport Relief too and he requested chocolate chunk cookies (he did his 3 miles in less than 27 minutes, without too much effort, and he cycled there and back, so it was a good training day for him all around).  What could I say – especially since he is aiming to break a sub one hour 10k this tri season and he looks well on track for that!  And by the way, I can confirm that the way to DH’s heart does seem to be through his stomach – he seemed very content Sunday evening!  Now, onto the race…Sport Relief 2010 – the line up for the 10:15 wave…I ran 3 miles in 41 and a bit minutes and felt good.And, more important…  It’s Monday, and although I have tight hip flexors, I still feel good!Getting to run again – with good form, strong legs, and no injuries while managing my CMT and hypermobility related issues – is my aim this season, with 10k my goal.  Last season I started my journey to run again, and found that by September my feet and legs were a mess.  Peroneal tendonitis had come to my right foot.  It hurt to put weight on my foot when I woke up in the mornings.  My doctors and physios advised me to take time off until the pain associated with the tendonitis had mostly gone.  So from September until November I spent my run sets on the elliptical trainer, trying to avoid impact to take the strain off my peroneal tendon.  On the back of this, I decided that in order to run again I would need a new approach – back to the basics.  I asked Coach T to start spending one set a month with me at the track to work on building leg strength.  We really did start with the basics.  Heaps of lunges, squats, and only 2 x 400s max running at first – to focus and work on ankle strength, quad strength, and overall stability before actually running.  Since December I have skipped along the track.  Sideways hopped.  Been there in rain, sun and snow.  And upped my sessions so now, on every free Saturday that we collectively have, I am at the track for an hour with Coach T to improve my strength and form.  To build to 10k by August without problems.The last track session we had I did about 25 minutes of continuous running, close to about 2 miles.  Not yet at the 3 mile mark (the Sport Relief distance).  Not wanting to up things too quickly (at the risk of injury or instability) we decided that a sensible goal would be to run at least 2 miles.  The way of getting to that point – the exact race plan – was kind of up to me.  I talked with Coach T pre-race to make sure he thought my plan was sensible.  I based it a lot on how we have been doing my Saturday running sessions.I went into the race with the following plan, designed in line with our track sessions, and giving myself a chance to warm up and then to pause to consider how I was feeling at about what I estimated would be mile 2.  3 minutes run3 minutes walk3 minutes run3 minutes walk12 minutes run1 minute walk (to check how I was feeling)12 minute run (or run to the end)I pretty much stuck with this, although my second 3 minute run turned into 4 minutes as I was feeling good and not checking my watch often enough (oops).  When I stopped at the one minute rest, the only thing that felt kind of tight were my hip flexors, but other than that, all felt good.I felt strong, consistent with pace, and not weak in my legs.  I’m so happy with the progress!  It is a huge change from last season.  In all honesty I think it is incredible to say that I ran three miles in 41 minutes (with 7 minutes walking in the mix).  I have been smiling on the outside and inside since finishing yesterday morning!  And I know that this time can improve too…I am really thankful to be working with a coach like Terry who is taking the time to figure out how to create training that will strengthen me without threatening my progress by pushing things too hard. All of the track sessions and dedicated time for strength work on my legs are really paying dividends.  Sure, I still have a long way to go, but it all seems do-able now.  This is a really huge confidence builder for me at what is basically the start of “in season” triathlon training.On the advice of Coach T, post-race (post-lunch) I iced and took ibuprofen to manage stiffness and tendon irritation.  It seems more sensible than just hoping and wishing it away (which is what I normally do as I am pretty lazy about that aspect of training – the stuff that happens outside of the training sets).Note to self:  I also need to tape my foot for sleeping post-race to try to avoid the strange relaxed positions it falls into, which tend to stiffen up and aggravate the tendonitis on the morning after.  A learning for the next race.I must confess:  I am still a bit worried about my peroneal tendonitis.  My right foot felt stiff this morning and I really do need to get my orthotics sorted out.  I am on the waitlist to go back to my orthotic clinic at the National Hospital for Neurology in London, so hopefully within April I will be able to be on my way to a more stable set of inserts to control the supination (outward roll) of my right foot.  That will really help.So, what next? Confident about the swim, feeling on the right track for the run, that leaves… The bike!  Next week sees us heading to Florida for about two weeks with our bikes in tow.  I am really excited to take the new bike back to its motherland (it is a Specialized) and on some smooth long oceanfront rides.  You can be sure I will blog all about it!Note:  My run this weekend was the first in my season of racing for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association and the STAR initiative to find a cure for CMT1A – the nerve disease which I have.  If you would like to support my racing and efforts to help find a cure, please feel free to click onto this secure link and donate to CMTA.  Any amount will help, and is so important as 1 in 5000 people have CMT1A.Second Note:  If you would rather support Sport Relief, you can do so on my giving site.

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