Mission: Podium at 40

This year I’m turning 40! And for my birthday I would like podium position at TR24. A 24-hour race where the person who runs the most 10km laps wins. I love this race. It was my first ever ultra distance and I came 7th in 2012 so moving up to podium position should be attainable. After all I’m more experienced, fitter and more knowlageble, so what could go wrong…?

First up is the 12-hour Conti Lightning run on the 1st of May. Training has been good during the winter and despite my DNF at the Thames Trot 50 I’m feeling good. 

Until a month ago when I tripped over running down hill and did a penguin belly flop sliding down the hill. My first thought was “I’m going to be sick and I don’t think lying flat on your belly in gravel and mud is the best position to be in to vomit so I got up. My knee was very sore but at this point in time it was the least of my conserns because now that I’m standing I’m feeling dizzy and I could feel the blood draining from my cheeks. The little people that lives in your brain ( you know the one’s like in the movie Inside Out) panicked. It’s bad to be sick, but it’s worse to pass out and be sick, but my knee is too sore to bend it to sit down again so: breath, focus, breath, focus…

I knew I couldn’t run and also knew that I won’t be running for at least a month. But first things first. I’m at the bottom of a hill 6km away from home. I can sort of walk/ hobble or I can try to find a phone number for the Rangers to unlock the gates to get car access but I’m already starting to cool down and I prefer not to add hypothermia to the list. I had that before and adding this to my pre breakfast list doesn’t seems too appealing!

Walking up the hill took forever. My knee now ballooned and felt very hot. It was just about above freezing  and the water in the muddy puddles was quite cold. In an attempt to cool my knee off I tried to some sort of downward dog to cobra stretch to get my knee dunked into this puddle. It felt great on my knee but I did think what would someone think I’m doing if they walk pass me now 😳😳😳

For the first two and a half weeks I did no training. I rested, iced my knee daily, kept it elevated as much as possible, kept my knee and muscles taped with kinesio tape and saw a chiropractor to improve my functionality again. The following week I started on a water rehabilitation and mobilisation programme, 15-min of cross trainer and upper body gym programme. I also had to change my diet. Eating to sustain 150 miles running per month is a lot different than when you’re not running at all. 

Last week I was ready to try my first run. I ran from the school gate to my car, approximately 100m. No pain and no swelling. The next day I ran from the gym to my car and back. Again no pain!! Whoop whoop! 

I know that I only have two weeks left before the 12-hour Conti Lightning so I’m not going to do anything to injure my knee again but I felt ready to go out for a run. Starting off I would have felt happy to do 5km. After 5km my knee felt fine so I kept going. 10km and my knee still felt fine. It was such a lovely day so I kept going. I did 15km with no swelling or pain. 

I’m well rested and I can run! Bring on the Conti Lightning. 


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