running blog

To Half Marathon or not to Half Marathon


This morning I warmed up for my run with a boogie round the kitchen to ‘Night Fever’ (its OK, the boys had gone to school so did not suffer the embarrassment of witnessing my full disco routine!).  The forecast for hot weather today focussed my mind to get my run done early and I was also keen to run and see how my hip is recovering and coping with increasing length runs.  So I was revved up and ready to go.  Basically it depends on how today and another longer run of 8 or 10 miles at the weekend go as to whether I can go the distance in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 10 days time.

Last week I was exuberant to be running again and had a busy week doing 2 BMF classes, a 1km swim, a gym session, including 20 mins on the dreadmill, plus an outside run.  I found the run (my first decent run outside for 2 months)  hard work but after a tough couple of miles at the start things got easier and I was pleased to manage 4 miles.  I stretched well and was delighted to find my hip felt fine the next day and therefore bounced off to BMF where I got stuck in and enjoyed a bit too much sprinting! (You just can’t jog a race…  Well I can’t!)

The result was that by Saturday when I ran to the park my hip flexors were tight again and by the time I got there I was limping. On Monday after a day off I was frustrated to find running painful and limped through my BMF class.

A return to the Physio found that my hip flexors were slightly inflamed again, although not as bad and luckily the associated muscles are now OK.  On reviewing my weeks exercise we worked out that it is probably overdoing it and bursts of speed at BMF that are the culprit and if I want to get back to running half marathons I need to concentrate on strengthening and building up my running distance at an easy pace.  So no more sprinting 😦:(   (for a while).

The Physio stretched and loosened my hip out and the plan was to keep it slow and try another outside run, up to 5 miles, before my next visit to see how things are going.

Which brings me back to this mornings run.  All fired up with the Bee Gees I strutted my stuff out the door… I kept it slow, however the first 3 miles were horrible.  Really tough going, I just couldn’t get into a rhythm at a pace that didn’t strain my hip plus all the other bits of both legs were grumbling and aching after recent under use.  It didn’t help listening to ‘Tragedy’… “When the feelings gone, And you can’t go on its Tragedy…”   “With no-one beside you, Your goin’ nowhere”  Yes it was that bad! By 3 miles I had resigned myself to the fact that me running a Half Marathon in 10 days was impossible. I don’t know why   fortnightflo and plustenner  think I’ll need to go at a faster pace than them because on the basis of those 3 slow awkward miles I will have quite a struggle to maintain their pace!

The breakthrough came around 4 miles.  I upped my pace (It wasn’t sprinting, honest!), to clear a pedestrian crossing before the lights changed, which felt much more fluid and natural although I could feel a slight strain on my hip flexor.  I adjusted my stride and reduced my pace to slow again but then found that my running felt more natural and finally comfortable and enjoyable at the easy pace.  Typical!  I start enjoying my run just as I approach home, so I added an extra loop to savour the good running feeling and optimism about 13.1 miles in 10 days!

I started my run with ‘Tragedy’, but  finished on a high with my ‘Spirits Having Flown’! My favourite Bee Gees track.

“I am your hurricane, your fire in the sun.
How long must I live in the air?
You are my paradise, my angel on the run.
How long must I wait?
It’s the dawn of the feeling that starts
From the moment you’re there.
I’d like to take you where my spirit flies,
Through the empty skies we go alone,
Never before having flown.”

I reigned it in after 5 1/2 miles as promised making myself walk the half mile home to cool down.

5.6 miles,  64 mins,  average pace 11.30.

So the jury is still out on whether I’ll make my Half Marathon.  I’m going back to the Physio tomorrow and then will have to see how I cope with a longer run on Sunday or Monday.

Author: fairweatherrunner

West London fair weather runner, British Military Fitness fan, mother of teenage sons and drinker of wine. Sometimes found on the Isle of Wight.

3 thoughts on “To Half Marathon or not to Half Marathon

  1. It would be a ‘tragedy’ to have a set back now so no sprinting and take care if you do decide to do the half marathon next week.

  2. you should be dancing – yeah!
    Really hope you can make RP, Carla is very good at keeping the pace under control. It was only thanks to her reining us in at the start of RttB that we managed to finish as strong as we did 🙂

  3. 11m 30 is perfect pace – its what we were did most of the RTTB at – it was my wobble at 11-12 miles that took us up to 11m50 pace overall. RRREEEEEEAAAALLLLY hope you do run it as will be lovely to see you again, but you should obv only do it if you’re injury free – no point crippling yourself for one race.

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