I saw the work physio yesterday. He spent a while prodding my tibiæ (I had to Google the plural of “tibia”) and poking them with what looked like a vibrating tuning fork, before agreeing with my self-assessment that I had a case of shin splints but no fracture and needed to take a week or so off running. Interestingly he said he could feel calcified lumps as he ran his thumbs up my tibia, showing exactly where the stress fractures had been. None of the NHS doctors I saw even bothered doing this, or the tuning fork thing, which makes me cross that they were so quick to write it off as a soft tissue injury.
Anyway, as I couldn’t run I had half a mind to blow out yesterday’s Chase The Sun, but the thought of going to the bloody gym on a nice evening and boring myself to death on the cross trainer just didn’t appeal. So I decided to go anyway, and see if I could beat my “walking PB”, set last time I was injured, of 47:58 for 5km.
The route RunThrough use is very familiar to me, as it’s not far off the parkrun route! The differences are:
- it starts to the right of the main gate, on the gentle uphill
- it does not go up The Hill!! Instead it takes a gentler path round the side of the park. It’s the same amount of elevation in the end, but not as steep
- slight detour at the bottom of the hill near the main gate with no real point to it
Anyway, I positioned myself at the back and off I went. Walking in a running race felt really weird at first. I was moving my upper body in a running-like kind of way to get my walking speed up but my legs were still walking and they really wanted to change themselves into a running motion. (This is typical of my legs. When I run, they want to walk, when I walk, they want to run). But I plodded along as fast as I could and once all the runners had started to get away from me got into a nice fast walking rhythm of between 8:30 and 9:00 per km. I did rather feel that I needed to explain myself to every marshall and everyone who lapped me but they were all really encouraging and no one said “get out of here, hopalong, this is a running race” or anything like that. Recently I’ve been taking a bit more note of what the RunThrough people get up to in their spare time and they are all really, really good runners (one won the recent London Landmarks Half Marathon and a bunch of them did the London Marathon, all finishing in really good times. It’s so nice that Proper Runners like them are so welcoming and encouraging to rubbish runners like me at their events, not just tolerating our presence but taking an interest in our training and our own little milestones.
The low point of the race was being lapped by a man in a banana suit but to be fair he would have probably lapped me anyway. Also, doing a “march finish” instead of a “sprint finish” felt really wrong. I probably could have managed a sprint finish but it would have meant I didn’t walk the whole way and therefore would not have achieved a “walking PB”…
I finished in 44:08 knocking nearly four minutes off my Walking PB so for the first time since the marathon I went home with a massive smile on my face. I had been suffering a bit with the Post Marathon Blues, especially after the painful parkrun at Newcastle. It is depressing to go from finishing a marathon to barely being able to finish a 5km. I am taking another week of complete rest (a busy work schedule so it shouldn’t be too hard) and hopefully returning to running next Friday.
Sad end note: I couldn’t have one of RunThrough’s delicious flapjacks. Flapjacks are not suitable for vegans.