Valencia Ciudad del Running



As I sit and type, I can feel my vitamin D levels rising. A few days in sunny Valencia (300 days of sunshine a year, which makes me wonder why on earth I chose to live in a city that feels like it manages about 12 some years) and I might just make it through the winter.

Yesterday was the Valencia marathon and 10k - I did the latter, and enjoyed supporting others straight afterwards in the former. There were some brilliant performances - my particular kudos to Georgia for 37:14 (with a nine month old baby!) in the 10k, and to Nick Harris-Fry in the marathon, who put in a 15 minute-odd PB to finish in 2hrs 38min. Nick's amazing run of PBs at every single distance in the last few months is testament to the effect working with a coach can have.

My own 10k race was somewhat scuppered by spending the week in the run up breaking the world sneezing record. I've had nasty colds, but this one was definitely in the running for the all time top five. "Oh god" said my husband on Thursday. "You look dreadful". And they say romance is dead ...  So at any rate, I just ran it on feel, no watch checking, and went through halfway feeling fine but in a well-outside-PB-pace of 20:10 (first watch check!) and decided to bring it home with a negative split. There's nothing like sailing past what feels like (though clearly isn't) half the field in the second half of a race. I crossed the line in almost exactly the same time as I ran this same race last year (39:55). Not bad, considering.

Valencia puts on a fantastic race. The course is perfect - well organised, wide roads, few bends, good support particularly towards the end, at the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. The race finish is amazing - you race between mirror-like lakes along a blue carpet. It's like a stadium finish, only outdoors, and in about 2090. And if the race is wonderful, the Turia park, which snakes across the entire city on the old riverbed, is just heaven for running. Miles of runners paths, winding through the palm trees under blue skies. Absolute heaven.

So, over to you. How was your weekend running? Come share your stories below the line as ever. It's hard to believe it's December when it's 20 degrees and sunny, but they were playing Fairytale in New York at the hotel breakfast this morning, so I suppose it's definitely advent. Anyone doing an advent streak?



Post race pizza. WHAT A PIZZA. Vera Pizza - proper Neopolitan style. And the calzone.
OH the calzone. Is it lunchtime yet? 

Comments

  1. I ran outside for the first time in ages on Saturday. The hard surface (compared to the treadmill) didnt play too well with my injury but it was great to be running with a group again (until they ran off and left me). 10k covered in a bit over 43 minutes was a couple of minutes quicker than a fortnight ago so the progress continues.

    I enjoyed the outdoors so much that I nipped out yesterday for another rain soaked run around the lakes, albeit at a much slower pace...it felt much like a recovery run on marathon legs. Hard yards but satisfying ones.

    My progression so far seems to have been fairly linear across a range of distances/workouts (about 30s per month over 5k). I would have struggled to break 20 minutes on Saturday but I'd like to think that by the end of Dec (beer and food notwithstanding) I'll be in a position to get into the mid 19s...

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    1. So good to hear you sounding more cheerful Asta. Sounds as though everything is moving in the right direction, albeit a little slower than you'd like right now.

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    2. Delighted that you're outdoors and getting some decent runs in Asta, even thought it not at your typical speeds. Keep it going!

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    3. Glad to hear you're getting back outside. Sounds like recovery is going ok, even though it's always slower than we'd like it to be.

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    4. Progress faster!

      Glad to hear it's all going well.

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  2. Oh god that pizza isn't doing me any help this morning.

    I've come for a little bit of a sulk. November has been a really easy month for me, after a few pains in my leg, and getting ill a couple of times. Marathon training starts tomorrow, but I thought I'd go out for a long run yesterday just to see where the legs are at and god it was slow; 25 sec/KM slower than I'd hoped overall. So 18 weeks of training ahead and morale is absolutely ruined. Can only get better from here right?

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    1. Definitely. Onwards and upwards - 18 weeks is a long time.

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    2. You'll get there Chris. Remember, you want to be peaking in 18 weeks, not today!

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    3. Sulk if it helps. Sometimes we just need it. But it was just one run and it will surely get better!

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  3. Valencia is somewhere I'd really like to go. Now you've got me Googling holidays there in February half term - that's when I always need sunshine the most.

    For me this week, it was a case of pride literally coming before a fall. Still riding high on my XC victory last weekend I had a league XC race lined up on Saturday which I was really looking forward to, just for hopefully improving on last year's time and getting up the starting hill without sliding backwards.

    Friday my kids had a training day, so I thought I'd nip out for a short dawn wander around the streets before they got up and I was on duty. I hadn't quite bargained for how dark it is at 6.30am - seriously, it was proper darkness with the moon shining and everything. Not even a mile in I misjudged the step up on to a kerb and went flying, skidded across the pavement and landed hard. I sat there a bit stunned for a minute or so, with the wet pavement soaking through my tights and gauging the level of pain in my knee on one side and ankle on the other (I think it sort of twisted upwards on the kerb as I fell). Then I very carefully got up to see how much weight I could put on either - fortunately the pain was just about manageable, so I limped home to the sound of waking birds feeling very fed up. Knee was a bit of a mess - there's what looks like a friction burn (presumably against my tights where I skidded) at the top and a right old cut at the bottom. The ankle I put straight on to ice, but fingers cross it doesn't seem as bad as I'd feared - very little bruising or swelling, so I think I've got away with it.

    I took myself out for a long bike ride yesterday in compensation (although I'll admit I had to grit my teeth on every turn of the pedal!) and will try a little jog today to test things out. Lesson learnt - wait until the mornings get lighter before trying to run in them!

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    1. You need a VERY bright headtorch for running in the dark Ruby! My daughter in the USA has one as she runs with no streetlights. I'll ask her what it is and let you know.

      Glad that you think you injuries are not too bad. I saw your ride on strava yesterday and it sort of prompted me to get out on my bike even though my hamstring was complaining.

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    2. friction burn from tights? Why weren't you in shorts...have you gone soft on me?!

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    3. @Asta haha-I actually use our Copenhagen run temperature as a benchmark for decision-making when it comes to winter running wear! I was in 3/4 lengths if that helps, and I had actually considered wearing shorts - good thing I didn't though, my knee would have been ripped to pieces.

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    4. @Pete (wish this let you reply to individuals like the Guardian blog) that would be great. The street lamps were on, but they seemed to be a lot dimmer than in the evenings, or perhaps that's just because I was running on side streets and they're light-responsive.

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    5. Ouch, glad it doesn't seem too bad.

      I have this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Diamond-Sprinter-Rechargeable-Headlamp/dp/B01LE9ZA28/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543837960&sr=8-1&keywords=BLACK+DIAMOND+Sprinter+Rechargeable+Headlamp for the night running and so far it's been fine.

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    6. ouch! Just rest it for a couple of days! Do nowt!

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    7. That sounds a nasty tumble - bet it shook you up rotten. Not sure a long bike ride the day after was a good idea. Just checked my headlamp (not yet used it, except when we had a power cut the other month) - it's only 90 lumens - am feeling distinctly under-powered. Saw a Petzl Nao on Strava the other day - a blinding 750 lumens(!!) and a price (almost) to match. OK for running on uneven ground where there are no street lights perhaps, but otherwise surely discourteous to other runners, pedestrians, cyclists.

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    8. @PaulNewton Well it was the day after the day after... And I needed to get out! Those uber-powerful head torches are strictly for off-road only. I drove towards a cyclist with a light that must have been that powerful the other day and I think it was more dangerous for me than for him tbh.

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    9. This is the headlight my daughter uses ://www.rei.com/product/793150/light-motion-stella-200l-led-bike-light It is 200 lumens and really lights up the road. I've run with her when she has it on and it is brilliant. It also doesn't slip or move

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    10. Decathlon do a pretty reasonable one at around £25 with 300 odd lumen. Get me around Hampstead heat at night (where there are all sorts of hazards...)

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  4. That's one of those massive fig trees that grow throughout Mediterranean Spain, innit? The only time I've been to Valencia was with work and I spent two days going from secondary school to secondary school observing English classes and talking to teachers. Never saw much of its legendary sun!

    All my weekend running was shoehorned into Friday by accident rather than design. We were up in East Yorkshire visiting in-laws, so I ran 22 miles along the Wolds Way. I should have been running the full-length of it, all 80 miles of it, the weekend before but injury put paid to those plans. It was hilly and muddy, tuppy and bully (the rams were busy siring spring lambs in several fields I ran through and I had to make my way past two bulls, which didn't seem to give a damn about my presence). I neglectfully only took one pair of running shoes, one pair of shorts, one pair of socks and one top and they got absolutely sh!7-caked (probably quite literally after all those farmers' fields) meaning I was without any kit on Saturday and Sunday. Probably for the best really as I am just over an ITB issue, so I don't want to overdo things without any races on the horizon.

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    1. I thought you were going to say you just stuck it on and went out anyway!

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  5. I made the huge error of going out for a run yesterday to see how my left hamstring was responding to the rest and stretching it has had over the last two weeks. Understandably, I was more than apprehensive before I went out, but that was because I had all these other niggles that were “real” or imagined. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised as I was moving well and there was no discomfort…for just over a mile. Then I could feel a dull ache in the hamstring and a bit of tightness running up the inside of my leg. Like a clown, I carried on instead of stopping, and did another 3 miles. By then I had realised I shouldn’t be running yet! I’m not smart when I’ve decided I need/want to do something. So, it’s back to rest., stretching and rolling. I’m supposed to be starting a 24 week plan today for a half distance triathlon, but clearly the running element will have to wait a bit longer.
    On the good news front, my daughter in the USA got in to the Berlin marathon. She is understandably delighted. She has done Chicago and I can see her mentally ticking off the other big 4 as well. We had told her if she got in we would go over to cheer her on, but it now turns out that there are seven members of the family going out to wave the banners and shake the cowbells.

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    1. I look forward to seeing you there Pete! Book a hotel with free cancellation now...the prices can get scary as the race approaches...

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    2. I'll be in the campervan(team bus) Asta! At the Outlaw they have the option of camping at Holme Pierrepoint, so that'll be ideal for the weekend. See you there!

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    3. Glad to hear you're still forcing yourself to take it easy even if it's difficult.

      Congratulations to your daughter! And how lucky she is to have so many family members going out to support her next year.

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    4. Exciting! Sounds like a perfect family trip.

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    5. Hope to catch up with you and anyone else who makes it!

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    6. I've already told my daughter of the recently introduced parkrun at Hasenheide HD, so that sounds like a good meet up place.

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  6. Hey Kate, any chance that this blog can be linked/embedded into the Strava Guardian Running Blog feed every Monday morning? It would be a nice reminder for fellow runners to drop by and write about their recent exploits.

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  7. Came down with an extremely heavy cold on Thursday and struggled against it Friday/Saturday before giving in yesterday. I think it's that time of year... Blargh. Week 2 of marathon training a write off.

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  8. Had a beautiful long run yesterday. The weather wasn't so great so there weren't so many people out. Beautifully quiet and tranquil.

    I am enjoying the off-season. It's easier to be a bit more social and I've also gotten back to climbing, which I had to put a stop to as it was contributing to my PF pain while marathon training. I had a big breakthrough in the climbing gym this weekend actually that was a great confidence-builder. In general I'm realizing that I'm not as unfit as I was thinking I was so that's quite nice. Part of this was fueled by the realization that my optical HRM was doing more harm than good. It seems that especially in the cold weather the readings are not very accurate. So I've turned it off for now and am just trying to run only based on perceived effort, which I think might be better for me in the off-season anyway.

    I've also been taking some time to "do the little things"- ie, a bit more strength, a bit more mobility. I've been doing Kinetic Revolution's 30 Day Challenge which seems to be helping quite a bit -- I think someone was wondering about it last week so I'll put in my two cents and say it is really working for me so far. And the challenge itself is free.

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    1. Yep, Kinetic Revolution is my go-to. The 30-day challenge is boring as hell but it absolutely works.

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    2. @Ruby OMG that first week. So boring. So effective. The second week is feeling a little bit more interesting so far but is a literal pain in the rear.

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    3. +1 on the boring, I didn't get past 10 days. I'm sure it's great, I just don't have the willpower. Same goes for stretching!

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  9. I think I said the same last year when you posted but I loved Valencia in 2016 - great place, great race. It also has the honour of being one of only two or three races where I've kept the medal.

    My weekend was ridiculously busy so I did not run a single step but I did at least see it coming so had a solid 50km plus five days before. The base building continues with a Paarlauf on Tuesday which is theoretically a competition but in reality a glorified training session to justify tanning a wad of Ethiopian food and beer later. Nomnomnom.

    Advent running - I've never seen the point but whatever floats your boat as mother Handsome would say.

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  10. Hmm, Valencia might be my Autumn marathon destination next year, I need to run late in the year and the sunshine would be appreciated. Well done Kate on getting the sub-40 given your build-up.

    I ran my last race of the year on Saturday morning in Battersea Park. 10k in the wind and rain. Probably 3 weeks ago I harboured ideas that I might crack 35 minutes for the first time. An injury wobble two weeks ago left me unsure if I should even turn up. In the end I went out a fraction too quick, settled into 35 minute pace until half-way (17:27), then gradually fell away over the second half. I rallied for the last 400m as a couple of people went by me. That dragged me across the finish line for 35:26, my slowest 10k of the year, though 5s quicker than my previous year's best. My running club's Christmas meal/disco was in the evening, so I reduced and delayed my Sunday run until the evening, starting out at a fairly easy pace. Gradually my legs came back to me on the way home which felt good. The good news is that I don't seem to have aggravated whatever had happened in the back of my left leg, so hopefully I can do the right stretching and training to bring it back to normal over the next month.

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  11. That pizza looks lush!
    Did 2nd Lytham Hall parkrun and a minute faster than previous week but still very slow.. There's folk 20 yrs older than me running tons faster... but onwards and upwards!
    It was 'our' 3rd birthday too and there was loads of cake. The official cake was beautiful... wish I could post a pic.
    I'm marshalling this week... should be fun... how do I prevent myself freezing to death tho?

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    1. Plenty of layers and cheer everyone as they go past!

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    2. Yep - layers, cheering, clapping, and possibly a flask of tea.

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    3. layers it is then... and jumping up and down to cheer on ...

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  12. Tapering, and all went smoothly, except for a bit of a wobble in my personal life that threatened to put paid to my marathon hopes (and possibly my entire future) for a day or two. All smoothed out now, though. Funnily enough, one of those days was Sunday, which meant I had to do my 12km run under a cloud of worry and gloom, but the fact that I had something to think about meant I paid absolutely no attention whatsoever to what my legs were doing and it was one of the easiest runs I've ever done, I think. Kind of a shame it's all OK now. I might engineer another personal crisis so I have something to brood on over the 42km of the marathon...

    Weather forecast is looking great too - minimum 3 degrees maximum 12 on the day. Quite nippy, in fact, so I reckon tights and maybe even a long-sleeved t shirt will be the order of the day.

    I never know how much to do in the last week - I usually keep it to a single 5km or so, but perhaps I should do a bit more. Any input would be appreciated.

    Flying to Kyushu Saturday morning. Wish me luck!

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    1. I think you should just do enough to stop you going crazy with frustration TD - my plan had three short runs on it, but I also did a lot of walking that week. Sorry to hear about the personal hiccup and glad it's resolved, but I'm interested that it helped you run. I find if I'm having to deal with personal stuff (I suppose it depends what it is though) I run worse, as I get too upset and my legs stop working. But I can see how it would at least take your mind off the pain.

      Buckets of good luck, and enjoy it. I'll be watching Strava!

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    2. I agree with ruby... save yr legs for the day... but a pootle to keep you ticking over is fine... you cant gain any other benefit other than nerve calming... all the other work is done..
      So enjoy the pre day excitement... its all part of the fun!

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  13. A frosty 2 hours off road on Sunday. Cold but lovely. Though out solo as the other half is struggling with an injury, which is a shame.

    Feeling like of a bit of a juggle to fit everything in at the moment, especially with work being crazy too - have been building up to 5 runs a week this week, plus 2 gym sessions, 1 or 2 swims, and a wee bike ride if we're on Speyside (too nice not too). But daylight at the end of the tunnel with 2 weeks off work over Xmas and new year. Cannot wait, already a bit fed up of running in the dark.

    RGG - can recommend the petzl action core - bright enough on the top setting for off road, middle setting fine for unlit tarmac. Handy USB rechargeable battery pack, won't break the bank. And it's red, which is the fastest colour.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation - reckon I'll be putting a headtorch on my Christmas list. Red is definitely the fastest colour (along with green, as the two combined are my club colours!)

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    2. Actik core - hate autocorrect!

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    3. Long term Petzl user from the pre-LED days. The 4 LED Tikka+ was probably the best. Bright enough to run with and lasted for ages with AAA NiMH rechargeables. Ok running in the rain too. The previous 3 LED version tended to break where it clipped together rather than hinge.

      Upgraded to the Tikka R+. USB recharge is good and it is very bright, but battery life is shocking. It would drop into eco mode after 2.5 Hours night riding on the MTB. It was also a bit heavy compared to the Tikka+. Not an issue on a bike helmet, but uncomfortable on the head for running. Not that easy to swap in another battery either.

      Just got an Actik Core in Red. Only used round the house so far, but it is bright like the R+, but sized like the Tikka+. Seems flimsier than the Tikka+ and the weather sealing looks worse. Charge via USB requires taking the battery out, whereas the R+ had a port with a flap on the housing. Easy to swap in a new core unit, or even 3 AAA NiMH batteries.

      The Actik and the R+ both have red night vision modes, but they can be used 'backwards' to give you a red light on the back of your head.

      All in all, unless running at night in a monsoon, the Actik is probably a good bet. You can use a lower setting to avoid blinding oncoming runners or cyclists.

      Have not used the Black Diamond brand, so cannot comment on those.

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  14. Meant to add - speaking about vitamin D, I had a blood test during the week that showed my levels are really very low. Hefty supplement recommended by docs.

    I do get outside a lot and have translucently pale skin, but I do live pretty far north (nearly 57degN), and It is not enough. Will be interesting to see if it makes a difference to my usual winter knackered feeling.

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    1. Vit D levels in Scotland af very low. Many of us are deficient. Supplements and oily fish should help!

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  15. I had 5 weeks of real niggly grief following the Munich Marathon in October. I had it all, the full runners injury A-Z, never quite succumbing to proper injury but threatening every day. I lived in constant fear, the child's nursery rhyme "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes [... and foot, and hamstring, and hip flexors and toes (again)]" played out through each of my creaking body parts. Erghhh. I guess you learn something after every Marathon and this edition's afterthought was to respect your body for a good month after a race of that style.

    Anyway - Thankfully it seems that I have managed to get over the worst of that and back to double-days and a consecutive two weeks on the pavement. Christmas party season is the only threat to my mileage these days.

    I've enjoyed a real boost in fitness recently and have no idea where it's come from, but I'm not complaining. I began strength and conditioning after the Marathon for the first time and I can notice a difference. Perhaps the cold weather has handed me a boost as well.

    I still haven't chosen a race for Winter 2019, but I am at least feeling more confident than this time 4 weeks ago.

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  16. Decided the weekend was the right time to attempt my 5th restart, so headed out yesterday. Very very mild. Nothing strenuous - 2.6km, and a nice controlled easy pace - the latter especially pleasing for me as I usually only have various degrees of "hard" when running. The easy pace was not only for the sake of my ankle. I've been reading up on training intensities (and distribution) and have been trying to get a feel for what low intensity means (still as confused as ever mind...) but this did feel very pleasant. (There's some very interesting papers, presentations, conference videos on this on the web e.g. Seiler.) Was much more aware of surroundings too - dozens of starlings chirping away up on an overhead power line, and a large thrush - mistle thrush probably - in a car park, watching the world go by.

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  17. Also in Valencia for the marathon, my third time running here in just over a year (VM, WHM, VM). The plan was to do justice to what is a great course, but niggles and lack of training for various reasons meant I was just aiming to finish. I ended up being so slow that I was overtaken by a man balancing an open 2 litre bottle of Coca-Cola on his head... Still enjoyable of sorts with the support from the roadside and on the road, the sight-seeing as you go through the city centre, and the fast last 800m as you drop down to finish over the pools at the City of Arts and Sciences. I’m sure I’ll be back.

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  18. It's hard to read this today. I did get to run over the weekend, but I'm feeling pessimistic about my running future. I say this aware that others have bigger struggles... but it's still how I feel right now. The pain in my knee is much better after two weeks of almost complete rest (aside from a lot of cautious yoga), but it's still present. I suppose that's not so unusual but it is disappointing. I'm trying not to catastrophise! After all, if I can't make it to the start line for my first marathon in March, I can take the time to correct whatever issue is at cause and run the following year.

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    1. March is a long way off yet. That’s really annoying tgat your knee is still niggling, but maybe it just needs a little more time.
      Have you any idea what’s caused it? I’d a calf problem for months last year that would go away with rest but come back when i started running. Physio pointed out that that meant it was probably being caused by running rather than an injury, don’t know why I hadn’t figured that out! Some simple changes to my form, mainly lifting my knees more which helped stop overstriding, and it stopped and hasn’t come back.
      So yes, things can drag on, but that doesn’t mean yours will. There’s also a chance it’s something easy to fix. Just need to find what it is.
      You’re not still running on those really worn out shoes are you!?

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    2. I'm not going to offer specific solutions Brussels, but to say that it's ok to feel the way you do. When you know that running makes you feel like "you", it's something that needs to be done, you've got to get out and eat up the miles/km. So, when an injury comes by and stops you in your tracks, you might have all the sensible and reasoned thoughts that tell you it'll be better soon(ish), but those irrational thoughts that tell you it'll never get better, you'll never run again, etc just lurk in the recesses when you're feeling a bit down/frustrated. Apart from your yoga, is there anything else you can be doing to burn off the pent up energy? Swimming/Cycling/gym classes? And I agree with McWhirr, March is still a way off, so don't despair just yet.


      PS just to let you know that you are not alone, since I've been back from the USA, almost 4 weeks, my body has felt like it has been in a train crash, constantly aching all over, stiff as a board and genuinely feeling like an old man! I thought I'd be flying after all the running I did In the States. It does make you feel miserable! My solution, which is ongoing, is to do lots of stretching and core work and just believe that it will get better. And it usually does, until it doesn't (the final sentence came into my head and made me laugh, so I included it!)

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    3. Sorry to hear this Brussels. It's hard to come crashing down when you've had as much success as you have in the past year. But as the others say, March really is a long way off, and you wouldn't want to be training for a marathon this far in advance anyway, even if you weren't injured. Is there a good physio you can see? As McWhirr says, it may be that you need some form-tweaking. But it's not worth pushing through - better not to run now and for the knee to repair than end up like a friend of mine who now hasn't run for three years and has just had to have a knee replacement (nothing to do with running, although I know the trolls won't start jumping up and down on here to say that it is).

      As Pete suggests, is there anything else you can do for now? Even just walking? I know it's not the same, but it's getting out and getting the fresh air at least.

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    4. Brussels, as Ruby says, are you able to see a physio? Knee pain can be caused by a number of different things, so it would be worth trying to finding out exactly what the problem is and whether there are any specific exercises for it. I would also take a look at Jessica Valant's 'Knee Pain Exercises' (two videos) and 'How to do a bridge exercise' video on YT - imo, these give good strengthening exercises that we can all benefit from doing regularly.

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    5. Thanks for the consolation McWhirr, BHP, Ruby and Paul. I'm working on trusting my coach on how to manage this. I have to admit though that I've written to my brilliant physio back home to pencil in an appointment when I'm in Sydney for Christmas! If my coach suggests seeing a PT before then, I'll do that too.

      I can't say if it helps my knee, but I am definitely benefiting physically and mentally from the yoga. At first even walking was a bit painful but it's fine now, so that is a good idea. I can take it as an opportunity for more quality time with our dog!

      BHP: it really sucks that you don't get to reap the benefits of all that hill running! Reading the comments this week, struggling with some kind of injury or setback seems quite the theme. Forced-rest-solidarity!!

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  19. On Saturday I did something I haven't done since schooldays cross country. I stopped. Twice. I'm not entirely sure what the problem was but it went like this: I had run in the week as usual and also had my Tuesday swim - my new empty nest routine with Mrs Grumpy - so planned a nice long run on Saturday morning. Anything over 10k is my long run. When I got to 6.7km I just stopped. I didn't plan to but I just did. I stood on a bridge looking into a rive and wondered why I had stopped. I then had a chat with a friend who came past with his dog. "Having a rest GrumpyJim?" "Yes, Rob and your dog". And then I ran off again. I ran on trying to up the pace but it was like running through treacle. I stopped on 5km. A bloke with his dog came up to me who I had ran past. "Having a rest?" "Yes, unknown bloke and your dog". And then I ran home really slowly, feeling energy-less. At home I checked my stats thinking that my heart rate would be all over the place but it wasn't. I had mainly trained in the 3 to 4 aerobic zone. My legs just didn't want to move. I slept in the afternoon too, which I never do. I can only put it down to a hard week of work and not eating many carbs the day before. Today, Tuesday, I feel ok but I don't want to run as I usually do. Has anyone else had a sudden loss of energy and motivation? It's just a bit weird. Anyway, I just thought I'd share. Happy running, everyone.

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    1. Yes, I've had those runs. They're massively bewildering and frustrating. It's often that my body is just basically knackered, and it's going on strike. Or maybe you're reacting to the empty nest in a way you hadn't bargained for. It may just be that you're coming down with something and tomorrow you'll have a horrible buggy/viral/coldy thing and go 'oh that's what it was!' Perhaps you should take a tip from Rob and unknown man and their dogs and have a rest - a bigger rest than juts looking at the river, and do no running at all for a few days. Or just do some long walks.

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    2. Thanks Ruby, I'm going to rest for a few days, apart from the swim tonight. I'll have Strava withdrawal though!

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    3. Had a few of those recently, barely a month after a couple of weeks of PBs (at 5k and 10k) and feeling boundlessly energetic. Always say to myself that running on those days is a victory in itself...

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  20. I'm still in Valencia, enjoying the city and sunshine (and achey quads) after an 18 min marathon pb on Sunday.

    Lovely place and awesome race that I would happily do again in 12 months time.

    Chasrle, I heard about the bottle of coke guy although I didn't see him. That's some steady deportment right there!

    Cheers all.

    Wanderingstar, rare presence in the G blog and rarer still here.

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  21. Two days of easy paced running at the weekend, a Saturday park run and a Sunday 5k that got a bit out of hand as I got lost and ended up more like 10. Slowly building fitness is feeling quite satisfying.

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  22. Like Kate, I did a 10 km race in the weekend, but took a lot longer

    My race was at Omaha Beach, north of Auckland. The weather and the organisation were excellent and I liked the course, which included roads, walkways, boardwalks and the beach. There were, however, some slow-you-down bits. One was a bottleneck near the start where we turned off a road with several runners abreast onto a single-file path. Then there were many humps and hollows where the paved track ran over sand dunes. And a sandy beach where we mostly ran on wet, firm sand - the organisers must have chosen the date to ensure the tide was low. But on the soft sand in the transitions between sealed walkway and wet sand, I had to walk.

    So my time of just under 65 minutes was slower than I achieve on flat road running. But it was the same for other slower runners, and I came first among the 4 competitors in my category (F 70+).

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  23. Just one 10K in the week and not at the weekend. I have been swimming as part of my shoulder recovery and on Friday managed my first non-stop mile. I added one more length for good luck and at the turn around both calves cramped. Standing on tip-toe to stretch out the muscles does not work when you are standing in 1.4m of water since buoyancy makes the load so light! Eventually the muscle relaxed and I could leave the pool. The next day my calves still felt damaged from the cramp and this was enough of an excuse to stay in bed rather than go to parkrun. Went for a family walk later instead. Must do better this week.

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