Saturday, 10 March 2012

I love it when a plan comes together!

Thirteen months ago I set my last PB of 17:49 and won my one and only parkrun (to date). At the time that was a massive PB, by 25 seconds, only achieved by the lure of that first place finish.

To be totally honest I thought it would be a very long time before I could challenge that time again. As it turned out I got fairly close a couple of times before my injury troubles started about a year ago.

First there was an innocuous hamstring strain, then re-injury. A period of recovery followed, only for a calf injury to really start my injury woes. That calf injury stay with me on and off from April to November, with a few sessions of physio providing only temporary relief.

I'm not sure which magic mathematically figure "ump" is, but when (in November) the calf strain occurred for the umpteenth time I had really had enough of it!

My next period of physio worked wonders as we decided that this time the recovery had to be slow and steady, rather than my normal rush back to full pace.

I left it a month before jogging. My first parkrun back was a walk/jog in over 38 minutes. I was as pleased to get through that run as I have been with some flat out runs! The next was 26 minutes, then a couple around 23 minutes. Honestly this was taking it very sensibly for me.

That took me to the turn of the year and the formulation of my plan to get back towards me best. I planned to do the 10km Regency Run in Leamington in mid April and everything was planned to get there at or near my best.

The plan was to try to improve slowly, knocking 20 seconds off each week, or whatever felt comfortable on the day, but never pushing myself. Just see how it felt with no risk of injury. Staying in the injury risk-free safety zone.

I ran 23 minutes again at the start of January. Then a bit over 21. A bigger step than planned but all felt fine. Next I broke 20 minutes, then 19:21 and then a sub 19. These were consecutive parkruns and I realise this was quick progress, but every run I felt stronger and the calf felt fine.

I knew I couldn't maintain that kind of progress any longer, only to be proved wrong with another 34 seconds knocked off at my last parkrun two weeks ago, finishing in 18:18. Wow, I'm back I thought!

So to today. I had run 6 parkruns this year, each faster than the one before. Today I knew it would be hard, to say the least, to keep that run going. I would have taken a one second improvement for sure.

So what I want to know is, how on earth did I take another 32 seconds off the previous parkrun time, breaking my old PB in the process to record a new PB of 17:46? How us that in any way possible?

I may have to go into that in a bit more detail in another post, as this one is long enough, I'm sure you'll agree.

To finish, I have to say that the PB is great, even if totally unexpected, but the best thing of all is that the calf didn't give me any trouble at all and I think I can fairly safely say that that bout of injury is behind me now. I'm also ready for my 10km a month early and I couldn't be happier about that!

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