Llanelli half-marathon 2011

It was great to see & hear so many Swansea med students at the Llanelli half-marathon today. It was also great to get to run fast (I had a big grin on the start line)! Unfortunately the running fast didn’t last the full distance.

This was an early, pre-season test of my running pace & endurance, but I’ve had issues with very tight calves locking up in the last month or so, & this was my first proper run for a little while. The cycling has kept my legs going though.

The run out after the start (by round the world Rosie!) was nice and fast, downhill with the wind behind. I paced it sensibly, so that’s a plus. For the windier sections my old cycling skills came in handy again, jumping from group to group when calm to stay out of the breeze when we turned into it. I sat on a guy’s shoulder for the long, windy stretch through to the start/finish area, & every time I tried to take a turn at the front he upped his pace as I breasted him. Weird, but fine, if he wants to take all the wind he can have it.

My calves weren’t too tight, & loosened with running. By mile 8 or so both soleus muscles were into the process of tightening up, & the loss of elasticity meant my pace & heart rate dropped. By mile 10 I couldn’t accelerate out of corners, and however fast I tried to run my pace wouldn’t lift. Rubbish. I’d put so much effort into the run so far, there wasn’t far to go, & the calves hadn’t gone solid so I opted to run to the finish. I lost more than 2 minutes in those last miles & finished at about 1:22:22. Meh.

The kids enjoyed seeing me finish & the MC(?) gave me a nice shout out. Nice not to start the season with a DNF (and certainly not a DNS). That time was still better than 2 years ago (my first half-marathon) and my effort & heart rate for pace were reasonable indicators for fitness for the first half of the race. A cold bath, lots of light stretching, an appointment with my sports therapist & we’ll work out what’s going on. I’m getting pretty sore all over now. I take running at pace for 13.1 miles a bit too much for granted these days. My running is good, and I need to focus more on biking and swimming, so as long as we can fix this over the next 100 days & get me strong for the 10km run at the end of the Windsor Triathlon all will be good. I ran further than that today, so I should be good and must be patient.

Hey, my left leg was in plaster this time last year & I still had a great season!

New Podcasts

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I’ve been a bit busy recently, but the first draft of the Embryology at a Glance textbook is written (hurrah!) & there are a couple of new podcasts that I’ve put out.
Phil Newton & I talked about the neuroscience of addiction in episode 5 of the neuro podcast series, and Mike Austin & I talked about clinical eye anatomy in preparation for his year 1 teaching week next week. You can get hold of both of those through your usual iTunes or Blackboard sources, and on the Medicine page of my website.