7 Dec 2017 /
Moderate 3k

Only 5.02 min/km pace but it feels like more a lot more effort when I'm running on my toes, which I did all the way.

6 Dec 2017 /
Easy 3.5k

Forefoot all the way. Felt fine with only very, very stiffness in the knee early-on which disappeared later. Five days in a row!

5 Dec 2017 /
Easy 2k

Calves slightly sore from the night before. Knee fine.

4 Dec 2017 /
Easy 4.5k

Calves were a bit sore but knee felt more or less okay. Had been to the gym previously.

3 Dec 2017 /
Easy 2k, easy 4.5k

Junior Park Run with the kids. Then ran with Jason, forefoot nearly all the way. Felt great.

2 Dec 2017 /
Easy 4.5k

Midfoot. Felt fine.

28 Nov 2017 /
Easy 4.5k

Mostly forefoot. Calves felt stiff towards the end. Rest day tomorrow as I think my knee needs a break.

27 Nov 2017 /
Easy 3k, easy 4k

Forefoot in the morning, then ran in cushioned shoes in the evening, when I focused on only breathing through the nose. Accelerated up Recreation Road which felt good as it was the fastest I'd run for a couple of months. I think my knee felt it, though.

26 Nov 2017 /
Easy 4.5k

Forefoot mostly. Felt fine.

24 Nov 2017 /
Easy 3k

23 Nov 2017 /
Easy 4.5k

Mostly midfoot but over a km on the forefoot. Felt fine.

22 Nov 2017 /
Easy 3.5k

A better distance. Because of the stiff calf on Monday, I rested yesterday and ran in cushioned shoes today. Everything felt fine during the run but shortly afterwards I felt some soreness in my knee. I think that's because of the cushioning.

20 Nov 2017 /
Easy 2k, easy 1.5k

Midfoot all the way. Some stiffness in calves.

19 Nov 2017 /
Easy 2k

Slightly stiff calves after yesterday but otherwise okay. 

18 Nov 2017 /
Easy 2.5k

Forefoot, felt tired towards the end and would've stopped running on the forefoot if I'd gone any further. Knee was fine.

17 Nov 2017 /
Easy 2k

Forefoot. Felt fine.

15 Nov 2017 /
Easy 2k

Forefoot. Some stiffness in my calves but knee felt ok.

14 Nov 2017 /
Easy 2k

After two runs yesterday I took it easy on my calves and ran more midfoot.

13 Nov 2017 /
2 x easy 1.5k

Forefoot. Felt fine. 

Then in the evening I went out again and did it a bit faster (5min/km pace). I felt some tightness in my knee when running quicker.

10 Nov 2017 /
Easy 1.5k

Forefoot. Felt fine. 

9 Nov 2017 /
Easy 1.5k

A little bit stiff around the knee area today but absolutely fine while running. I ran a little bit more on the midfoot today, still wearing low profile shoes.

8 Nov 2017 /
Easy 1.5k

Ran in low profile shoes, on the forefoot all the way and it felt great. Nothing from the knee at all.

6 Nov 2017 /
Easy 1k

Can the knee handle a short run? I felt when running more naturally that I was limping slightly. When running on the forefoot, it felt okay. 

I think it's time to get back to running with lots of these short runs and lots of little physio exercises. 

28 Oct 2017 /
Not running

Gutted. It was the Norfolk Coastal Half Marathon today but I had to skip it. It sounds like the scenery was amazing and I missed a corker.

24 Oct 2017 /
Easy 1k

The knee was feeling a lot better so I tried 1k. Running without any heel strike was less pain but two days later I feel maybe I shouldn't have run at all.

I'm admitting defeat and will skip the coastal half marathon this weekend. 

16 Oct 2017 /
Not running

A few days after the Wimpole run I thought my knee was recovering well but over the weekend it started to feel more sore. I think what triggered it was walking to work on Friday. At the beach, yesterday, it felt perfectly fine when walking on sand with no shoes on. And the more cushioned the shoes I wear, the more it hurts. I was wearing my most cushioned shoes during the walk to work on Friday. I think my feet are telling me something.

I cycled to work today. Still taking ibuprofen; it does nothing for the soreness and I'm not sure I need an anti-inflammatory now, so I might stop.

8 Oct 2017 /
Wimpole Estate Half Marathon

After a rest day that seemed to do more harm than good, I had no idea how this would go. The course was pretty relentless - not because of the gradients (they were nothing really) but because the terrain was so uneven. It ruined my knee quite quickly and within a few km I knew it was going to be a struggle. I tried to keep a decent pace going but my stiffening knee was joined by a tight hamstring on my other leg, and it became a job of just trying to finish in the end. Uphills hurt, but downhills were the worst. I'd say I hobbled probably two-thirds of it.

I'm not too gutted, as I still managed a time of 1:33:37 on what I'd call a proper cross-country half-marathon. Now it's back to resting the knee ready for the coastal one in three weeks time.

6 Oct 2017 /
Easy 1.5k

Just seeing what the knee is like after a week off. I felt something on the cambered pavements but it seemed okay.

The Wimpole HM is on Sunday. I'm thinking I'll just start out at 4.15min/k pace and see how I go. 

2 Oct 2017 /
Not running

I'm taking ibuprofen to keep the swelling down and trying not to walk on it too much but it's hard when you walk to work everyday. I'm going to try working from home later in the week. Yesterday I was getting concerned about whether I'd be able to do the Wimpole Half Marathon or not, but it feels much better this morning. I think I got more sleep this weekend, so that might've helped.

27 Sep 2017 /
Easy 3k run

The knee doesn't seem to be getting any better and it was very stiff the next morning. This is not good. Rest and ibuprofen. I think I'll try working from home a bit next week as well so it gets some proper rest.

26 Sep 2017 /
Easy 4k run

I'm trying to run shorter and more often, on tarmac, while waiting for the Wimpole HM. This was a day later than I'd hoped. I'd intended to run my Golden Triangle Triangle segment, which is 5k, but my knee felt a bit sore so I cut it short. I was running forefoot style, which I'm not used-to so it was still a good workout.

I'm still optimistic I'll be alright for targeting a 1:25 half marathon time at Wimpole. I'm probably a bit short, maybe 1:26-ish, but it depends on the terrain and the weather. If it's slippery, we're probably just looking at sub 1.30. If it's firm, all out for around 1:25! Though I have the tougher Norfolk Half Marathon only two weeks after so maybe 'all out' isn't the best idea...

24 Sep 2017 /
Two easy 3k runs

Unfortunately, the pain in my right knee has proven to be more than tiredness and it seems to have got worse, not better, over the last week. I'm convinced it was caused by the irregular stony terrain around Whittlingham so I'm going to restrict myself to short, easy runs on smooth tarmac until the Wimpole HM in two weeks. It hurts no more to jog than it does to walk, so I don't see what harm it'll do. At least this way I should be able to keep my fitness. At the end of the day, my knee actually felt better for these short runs.

20 Sep 2017 /
Easy 6k

After the epic session around Whittlingham, sore calves and a very stiff right knee meant taking it easy today. Everything felt great until the stoney part of the path around the broad at UEA, when I could really feel my knee, which makes me think it was the surface at Whittlingham that was the problem and not the distance. It was very irregular with knobbly rocks poking out of the dirt for quite a lot of it. I've been taking ibuprofen to keep any swelling down and am a little concerned. 

My thoughts are I'm going to be okay running on smoother surfaces like tarmac and grass so I'll just try and avoid irregular surfaces over the next few weeks leading up to Wimpole. A Parkrun would be nice on Saturday to help with building my speed. No more long runs until the event.

18 Sep 2017 /
21k around Whittlingham Broad

This was my last big run before the Wimpole HM in three weeks so the aim here was to run at HM race pace for as long as I could. I also wanted to get a feel for that pace so I can run it instinctively rather than looking at my watch all the time.

I planned to spend a couple of km warming up then set out at 4.10-4.15 km pace before easing up to 4.00-4.05 pace for as long as possible. But having cycled there I didn't really need much warm-up and went straight out at 4.15 pace. I thought I'd just go for it then and bounced between 3.57 and 4.17 pace for another 20km, averaging 4.07. Which, according to Strava gave me a 10k PB time of 40.59 and a 21k PB time of 1.27.14!

There wasn't much consistency in my pace, so I need to work on that but I think I'm getting a feel for what it's like running at threshold. I could've got it down maybe a minute under race conditions but I did try and accelerate for a 22nd km but stopped at 21.5. I wasn't expecting to run that fast for that far, so it's (of course) got me dreaming of breaking 1.25 now. Is that possible in three weeks? I think the priority is to avoid injury so probably not. But let's see!

Running around Whittlingham Broad was really nice. There was mist over the water when I arrived and it was really quiet. It got slightly busier towards the end with a few runners about, though there was only one time where I was able to chase someone. It might be better to go a bit later as more runners seemed to be arriving as I left. I wouldn't want to run around it too much but it was ideal for what I was after and the scenery is much better than running on Marriott's Way. One circuit is only 3.5 km. I ran six and a bit.

15 Sep 2017 /
Easy 12k around UEA with a decent mile

My original plan was to run around Whittlingham Broad yesterday but I needed another day to recover and am going to save the tempo stuff around Whittlingham for Sunday. I ran my regular 12k UEA route instead, going for a decent effort on the cross-country mile segment. The time was 6.27, only nine seconds behind my best and I felt I could've easily maintained that pace for longer. Which is a good sign.

A couple of times I tried to get a feel for 4.10 km pace but it's awkward when the terrain is so variable. The muddy bits were super slippery and I don't think my Trail Gloves were much better than road shoes!

12 Sep 2017 /
Easy 12k around UEA

The quick Parkrun on Saturday left me with some soreness in my shins but it was mostly my anterior extensis having worked too hard and not shin splints. They were still sore today but were no bother, probably because I took it so easy. My knees felt tired so I think this will have done them some good and it was nice to run on the mud paths after the recent rain has made them nice and slippery!

I'm thinking a similar distance on Thursday but with a lot of tempo. I need to start getting a feel more for 4.05 to 4.10 pace over the next few weeks, ready for the Wimpole HM. That means finding a flatter, less twisty route than the UEA one so I might try a couple of laps of Whittlingham.

9 Sep 2017 /
New Parkrun PB

I messed up tracking my pace here because I chose to record the 2k warmup as part of the same route on my watch. It meant not starting with a clean slate and I didn't actually look at what distance my watch said when I started the 5k. I went by feel instead, keeping a pace I felt I could definitely maintain for the distance. 

I'm now wondering if I should do that every time, I as ended up sub-19, with a time of 18.52. That's 40 seconds quicker than my previous! So I'm going to take some confidence from that, that the running I've been doing is having an effect. Especially when I was feeling some tiredness from the 30k I did six days before and the splits I did see weren't suggesting a good time. Very happy.

The Norwich Park Run is at Eaton Park and it's 100% tarmac so it'll be interesting to see how my shins are tomorrow. I've been trying to avoid tarmac as much as possible, but really fancied a Parkrun this week. I should try the Catton Parkrun, though I think the next one will turn out to be the Markeaton Parkrun in Derby. Looking at the results for the Markeaton parkrun, the times aren't as fast and I think I'd be first in my age category if my time is the same. Something tells me the Markeaton one is a slower course...

6 Sep 2017 /
8k easy run around UEA

Still recovering from the 30k on Sunday, so just needed to get out really. I accelerated for the 'cross country mile' segment but nothing too strenuous. Felt some tiredness around my right knee but not as sore as I thought I'd be. Took some ibuprofen just in case.

Booked both the Wimpole HM (8 October 2017) and Norfolk Coastal HM (28 October 2017) yesterday.

3 Sep 2017 /
30k on Marriots Way

I'm leading up to a hard 30k three weeks before the Wimpole HM so the idea was to get 30k in at an easy pace. Urgh! It was not easy. After only 12k I felt my right calf tightening and it didn't really get better. At 18k I was feeling much worse than I've felt after finishing recent half marathons and at 27k it was pure hell. The legs didn't quite seize up but weren't far off, even though I felt fine aerobically.

I'm now sore (mainly calves but also lower thighs a bit) and hoping I'm just tired rather than damaged. I can only think I wasn't recovered from the decent HM I put in six days previously. The plan is for me to follow this with an easy 12k on Wednesday, then go for a 5k PB on Saturday. No long run for me for a fortnight!

31 Aug 2017 /
7k with a fast mile

I set out to do the 12k UEA loop again but was thwarted by some setup for a festival and ended up turning back and only doing 7k in the end. Still, I managed to knock a couple of seconds off my 'UEA cross country mile' segment.

Throughout the run I felt I hadn't recovered from Monday's 23k and possibly last Thursday's run around UEA.

28 Aug 2017 /
23k with 5k at HM race pace

Second run of my circular Ringland/Lenwade route just west of Norwich. It's 23k of really nice cross-country. Even the short 3k road section is nice as well.

I ran 5k at my intended half-marathon race pace of 4.05 but didn't slow down much, averaging 4.28 for the whole run, including the warm-up and slowing down in the last few km. I'd hoped to run race pace during the last 3k on the road also, and while I was able to do that for 1k I was too tired to maintain it all the way to the end. A really good effort and my extensors in my shin are still feeling sore from the mile I did last Thursday! It bodes well and based on this I think I'm going to aim for a 4.05 average when it comes to the Wimpole Half Marathon.

24 Aug 2017 /
12k with a fast mile

My usual 12k loop around UEA. It starts with a 2k warmup then kicks off with one mile segment I've setup on Strava called 'UEA cross country mile'. The mile is twisty and the terrain isn't always smooth so it's definitely not a fast mile but it is flat. And lovely when you're running through the woods. I only managed 6.20 but it gives me something to work on.

There's a couple more segments on the loop, and I also set a good time on one through the woods to the south of The Broad.

UPDATE (5 days later): The extensors in my shins still feel slightly sore from this run. I think it's the speed and my legs just not really ready for it yet.