After some of the coolest January weather in Melbourne in 15 years, February has brought the roaring summer heat right back in the door. It’s of course made running somewhat tricky, having to contend with ambient temperatures higher than my own core temperature, but I still vastly prefer the dry heat to the viscous, stinking humidity in Singapore.
As it is, my niggling peroneal tendon has meant that I’ve had to keep things easy. My long runs have been kept below 15km with plenty of walking breaks thrown in. Faster efforts during the week have been more or less capped at 5km, and I’ve reduced my weekly schedule to four sessions a week.
This week’s long-ish run started on the back of a massive thunderstorm the night before, so while the trails were slushy and slick, the reprieve from the heat was most welcome. The “bad” weather also meant that the few of us who made the effort to get out there pretty much had the trails to ourselves. Also, since I am now wrapping up my time at my current employer, I didn’t have any of the usual mental burdens to drag with me on the trails.
The smell of the fresh, post-rain air and the silence of the forest pulled me in to the zone, and I got completely lost in the moment, meandering slowly through the trees which glistened with raindrops from the early morning deluge.
The run itself wasn’t completely worry free – I still had my injured foot to look after, so I made sure to throw in regular walk breaks, and keep the pace down. In the end however, the lure of the peaceful forest was too strong. I gave in to the temptation and took that one last detour, extending my planned run by another 3km. As the run drew to an end, I finished with a tempo paced run for the last 1 km, and settled down by my usual bench for my post-run routine of stretching and cooling down.
It was only when I started walking back to the car, as the exercised induced analgesia faded, that I realised the dreaded ache in my foot had returned, ending a very hopeful and promising two weeks of pain-free running. I spent the drive home kicking myself for not sticking to my original planned mileage.
Hopefully I haven’t inadvertently taken a couple of steps back! I woke up this morning and the foot seems to have settled, but it was a big scare, and a reminder that I am still far from 100%. I’ve been down this road many times before, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. TNF100 is still 3 months away, but I certainly am not going to make it there running the piddly distances I am currently doing, and if I don’t make it to the start line this year, that would make it two years in a row. On the other hand, I dread the possibility of hurting something else if I try to ramp up the kms too quickly. Oh the conundrums of being an injury prone runner!
Thankfully, the day didn’t end on such a sour note. It being Valentine’s day, I brought my one-and-only and our precious little one back out to the trails that evening for a different kind of date. In true Melbourne fashion, by the afternoon, the rain had all cleared, and the sun had decided to come out in all its glory. We had a wonderful evening out in the forest, with lots of love, fun and laughter, complete with choc coated strawberries and champagne (not for E!) and a sunset to remember.
That evening’s hike could be a whole post in itself, but I think it would be best if I let some pictures do the talking.
The fortnight in KMs..
2/2/15: Easy run, 5km
4/2/15: Intervals, 5km
5/2/15: Tempo, 5.5km
8/2/15: Hike, 5km
10/2/15: Intervals, 5km
11/2/15: Tempo, 8.5km
14/2/15: Easy run: 16.5km, Hike:5km
Today (15/2/15): Bike ride, who knows? Heading out now – happy weekend all!