“Listen up, kids. I've got something important to tell you..... The training plan and I haven't been getting on too well lately. .....
"I'll admit that a lot of the fault lies with me.... It hasn't been easy.... In the early days, I was definitely much more attentive. Lately, I've missed the odd date. There have been times I've wanted to take things a bit more slowly..... And there's been a real (calf) strain in our relationship.
“But I'm still learning:
- On long runs, the pain seems to move - it usually starts with a numb left ankle, sometimes a mild stitch a few miles later, and sometimes a dull ache between the shoulder blades after an hour. But never at the same time! Why is that?
- People aren't that interested - I've noticed eyes glazing over even before I've even uttered the words, "would you like to see my training spreadsheet?".....
- If you're worried that you're returning from injury too soon, you probably are - I've had a tight right calf lately, and while I've been straining at the leash to get back to it, more experienced heads than mine have been counselling patience. And quite right too.
- Deep tissue massage is worth every penny - although it doesn't half hurt!
“But most of all, kids, I've learned that this relationship with my training plan is worth the effort, even when the honeymoon is over. Although it's been frosty in the last few days, things are definitely beginning to thaw. And running the Reading Half Marathon last month showed me that we can definitely last the distance.
“It's two months until the Edinburgh Half. I know now that I can do what the training plan tells me until then. Together we are stronger.”