The run was also going to be my first venture with my new addition to my running apparel, a long desired camel pack/running bladder.
I have really wanted one for ages as an addition to my long distance running gear and decided to order one from amazon. It was pretty cheap but had a high number of really positive reviews so I decided to go for it just to see how I got on with using one.
Being 3 weeks to my marathon and this being one of my last long runs I decided to focus on practicing my race preparation.
So I put 100% effort into my preparation, Friday evening I loaded up on protein with a steak, Saturday I carb loaded and was selective in eating clean and whole foods. Saturday evening I ate my pre race meal of double carbs in the form of potato and brown rice with chicken and vegetables, completed with a protein shake before bed.
Sunday morning I continued my carb loading with an early breakfast of cereal, flapjack and fruit juice at 5.30 before returning to bed until 7.00. At 7.00 I got up and had my second breakfast of cereal with natural yogurt with another flapjack. I then prepared my gear for my run:
I took an energy drink before I set off and spent some time making sure I was comfortable with my camel pack before I headed out.
So off I went, my route was to head through Ingrebourne Country Park out to Rainham and along the Thames out to Purfleet and back.
I started off feeling so good, really feeling the benefits of my training and feeling so strong and fit. The feeling of being 'carbed to the max' felt good as I really felt I had fuel to burn over the next few hours.
I was aiming to run just over 5minute/km splits but my first Km was nicely under the 5 minute mark. I started to focus on slowing it down and settling into a rhythm, when just coming up to my second Km I felt pain in the ball of my foot. I shrugged it off as a niggle that I could run off, I soon realised I had been covering a whole Kilometer while experiencing pain with every foot strike. So I reluctantly but sensibly decided to stop, I walked for a few hundred metres and the pain eased off so I sped up to a jog only for the pain to return.
After walking for another minute or two I pulled over to sit on a bench. I removed my right trainer and started to rub and massage the sore area as I thought it could be a cramp as I have suffered from cramp in the same place before. After a bit of rubbing and mobilising of the area I set off again only for the pain to return again after a short while.
Now I was in a dilemma, if its an injury I need to stop to avoid making it worse and to hope that I could still successfully take part in the marathon in 3 weeks time, but if its not a serious injury I really need to run through it as I need to get a long 30K run under my belt.
I kept on running trying to push through the pain hoping it would ease off. It wasn't getting any better though and I noticed I was starting to twist my ankle to compensate against the pain in my foot to try and put less pressure on it. I knew this was bad news that would only get worse so I started to come to terms with the fact I wasn't going to be able to see this run through.
Continuing along the path I was reluctantly starting to think about pulling up but was so keen to keep going, then around the next corner I was confronted with this:
The path had been a little watery but now it was completely flooded where the path passes alongside the river Ingrebourne. All the way to the gate you can see ahead the path was flooded and I could see it was a good few inches deep. That was it! I decided this was a sign that the run was over and I gloomily turned around to trudge home. I had only covered 3.5Km.
It was disappointing and so difficult to come to terms with on many levels. The main two being all the preparation I had put into the run, the eating, the getting up early now all for nothing! The second being that my training for the marathon would suffer without this long run especially as I had only manged 20K last weekend due to illness.
Anyway I was soon home and starting my rest and recovery process.
Lots of RICE for me today and I guess I will just have to see how I go to see as to whether I can get up an running again soon and maybe squeeze in a long run in the next day or two or leave it until the weekend.
I wasn't resting for long though as after a bit of ice I decided I had all the energy and preparation to do something so I had to do some activity, so I headed out on my bike and covered the same route I had planned to run. I must have covered close to 30Km in just under 2 hours, as I had consumed close to 1500 calories before heading out to run I needed to do some exercise and I felt so much better for getting back out and doing something.
Thanks for reading, come back soon to see how I recover from this injury and if I can get back up and running this week.