Disaster struck at the beginning of November when a pain in my right forced me to go to the doctors. I was sent for an x-ray to check for a suspected stress fracture however it turned out to be some soft tissue damage, probably due to really pushing myself during the 80km session I ran in September.
The doctor advised me to rest for 4 weeks, which meant that I had to wait until the 27th of November to start tackling the last 180 miles! This was not the news I needed as the most I’d run in costume in a single calendar month was 100 miles, and I definitely didn’t want to be running on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. I could see this year’s challenge slipping away from me, plus I wasn’t sure if I’d continue to get foot pain when I started running again.
On a positive note, the 4 weeks of rest were frustrating but also good for me, it was a nice break from the costume which had completely dominated my life this year.
As the 27th of November approached I was given a run/rest program with a physiotherapist, I got to the stage where I was able to run with little discomfort for 30 minutes therefore I was discharged from the physio and given permission to continue on my own.
Now I had to decide what path I should follow:
A - Stop the challenge and pick it up in January again. The only person who would be really upset would be me.
B - Do my best to run 100 miles or so and finish the remaining 80 in the month of January.
C - Take it to the next level, run nearly twice the distance of my maximum month and get this job done in 2020.
I opted for option C.
I decided that if I could run 30 miles over the last 4 days of November it would leave a more palatable figure of 150 to run in December. The runs in November went well, I ran all 4 on my treadmill as I wanted to have the option of stopping at any time should my foot pain come back.
I ran 7, 8, 8 and 7 miles respectively which brought the outstanding mileage balance to 150.
I still wanted to get this done before Christmas, so I decided to break down the first 3 weeks in December to 50 mile chunks, each chunk would be a 6 day running week with one day for a rest day: 4 x 6.5 mile runs and 2 x 12 mile runs. I did this for the first 2 weeks.
It was great to be out running again but I had really noticed the dark evenings and I was often finding myself running late at night due to work commitments.
This brought me to now, the 17th of December and my 3rd rest day of the month. I have run 146 miles in the costume in 3 weeks and have 34 miles to go, the end is so close right.
Tomorrow will be my first day of the final 3: Friday 8 miles, Saturday 8 miles and 18 miles on Sunday the 20th of December. The next blog I write will hopefully be when I have completed my 1000 mile challenge!