Tom's blog 6.8.18

By editor August 6th, 2018

Almost exactly a year since my last blog post and running-wise it’s been an ‘interesting’ time. I carried a significant calf strain into the Snowdonia Trail Marathon in July last year, chiefly because the long weekend away with the family was booked and we were due to meet friends up there, the Just Giving fundraising page was open and well underway and because I knew I could still give it a go – fast forward 12 months and hindsight is a wonderful thing but looking back now, I’m still not sure if I would have withdrawn from the race despite the injury interruptions. Since last July, I’ve had three separate injuries all to the same right leg and I’m convinced they are all related and having raced competitively and virtually injury-free for nearly 25 years, it’s been a new and somewhat frustrating experience. But, every cloud and all that…

In the past 12 months of stop-start running (including a vaguely respectable 62 minutes at the Tarpley 10), I’ve enjoyed complete freedom at weekends to spend as much family time as possible and a few more beers too without the nagging need to get the runs in. However, whilst for a while having a few beers feels like a novelty, I’ve increasingly missed this wonderful and simple sport of ours – being out injured (just over 3 months in the latest and hopefully last spell with a plantar plate rupture of my toe joint) has really reinvigorated my appetite to get running again. It’s not the competitive element I’ve missed, just running for the simple pleasure of enjoying the countryside trails, feeling fitter, shifting a few kilos, and maintaining a more tranquil temperament from the outlet that running brings. We moved to Horringer last summer and having such an incredible trail running venue of Ickworth on my doorstep has been a real carrot dangling in front of me. I guess it is such times as these in terms of injuries, particularly those of us who have been racing since our teens, may feel less and less inclined to get back on the horse and eventually give up the game. However I know I need running in my life and know it’s one of the few things I’mquite good at, so I was increasingly champing at the bit just to be able to run, whenever and wherever I wanted, and when James at Abbeyfields gave me the green light and some taping techniques to get running again, my first reaction was utter relief and exhilaration at the thought of getting a vest on, getting out there on the sunny long days and being able to enjoy running on holiday etc. Fast forward to now, after a few weeks of steady runs, and I know I want to get back to decent shape not just the ability to ‘getround’, so sure enough the competitive juices are very slowly starting to flow again too.

There’s no specific or fixed targets at this stage – I’ve committed to the Round Norfolk Relay and certainly that helps motivate me to be in vaguely respectable shape by then, if only for the Pacers’ team’s sake. Who knows how long it will take to really find some decent form again? I’m going to keep steadily increasing the frequency of runs, the pace of track sessions and then the distance of longer runs and only then, once I feel some real improvement, will I start increasing the frequencyof races so hopefully at some stage during the winter season I will be nearer the front-end again. In the meantime, it’s just great to get a sweat on in this glorious summer sunshine and get out there running.