running blog

Taper tantrums


Sorry there’s no write-up about the Great South Run yesterday, I’m afraid to report that I was a No Show. I made the sensible decision earlier last week not to run it. I’ve had ongoing Achilles niggles for the past few weeks and I knew that I would not take it easy but end up trying to beat last years time and 10 miles at decent pace on hard tarmac would not be good for my Achilles nor leave me in fresh enough shape to run Rutland Water Marathon at the weekend.

Apart from that one sensible decision, not to race but to stick to easier paced taper runs on soft surfaces, the rest of my taper so far has been full of tantrums! Well not real tantrums but sometimes I wish I could have!

My first tantrum was about shoes.  I know, less than two weeks before a marathon this isn’t ideal but the seed was sown when both sport massage therapist and BMF instructor suggested my shoes are worn out.  I’ve also been reading far too much about injuries and running shoes and have self diagnosed that the probable cause of my pain was overdoing it in low drop minimalist shoes. (Particularly my two half marathons in 2 weeks) which has put my tendon under strain.  Whilst I mid foot strike most of the time, when my legs are tired my form slips and I heel strike, particularly in ‘long run shuffle mode’ putting impact on my legs when wearing shoes with less cushion in the heel.

So I then I read that more of a heel lift would ease the strain on the Achilles so pulled out my Mizuno Wave Creations with a more cushion and a bigger heel toe drop and wore them to BMF.  They seemed good,  my ankle was less sore, however with orthotics they are now about half a size too small and my toes touch the end. NO way can I run a marathon in them and keep my toes!  Panic stations!  So I’ve faffed and panicked trying to get hold of a pair a half-size bigger and wondered how I can wear them in and wasted days staying in for next day deliveries which don’t arrive.

Tantrum 2 was my last longer run before Rutland instead of GSR. I aimed for about 8 to 10 miles at easy pace and set out on a new bit of cycle path on Sunday lunchtime.  I was over dressed, the cycle path was too long straight and boring, I was huffing and puffing, I hated the shoes I was running in which felt like I was running in treacle, my head wasn’t in it and my ankle was beginning to ache and burn so I rang my husband to collect me after 5 1/2 miles.  I came home in a very despondent mood complaining about everything and anything.

Tantum 3 my husband has developed a stinking cold manflu.  I am staying as far away as possible, obsessively washing my hands every 5 minutes, opening all the windows, overdosing on vitamin C and zinc and eating as many anti-oxidants that I can, and Jaffa cakes.

Don’t worry, as we get closer, sanity is returning.  I have to keep reminding myself I’ve made it round 24 miles OK.  I have several pairs of running shoes to return to the shops and will no doubt end up wearing one of the pairs I’ve trained in. And if I catch the cold or my Achilles pulls me up there are plenty of other marathons.

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.

5 thoughts on “Taper tantrums

  1. Worth reading for the title alone!
    Hope you make it through to the weekend untouched by illness and/or doubt.

  2. Hope you avoid the cold. I wore 7 mile old shoes for GSR simply because they felt so right straight from the box. They were. Don’t panic, as you say it’s only a 26 mile jog. Good luck.

  3. Repeat after me: “My immune system is fabulous and I won’t catch that cold!”

    See you on Sunday!

  4. you will have a fantastic run on Sunday xxx

  5. Oh I remember that panic. Your training will kick in, you are extremely well prepared, you will not get ill and you will finish your marathon strong.

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