Recovery week, a massage and hypermobility

Week eight of the training plan, and it’s recovery week. This means there’s a slight drop in mileage; I also decided to slow my pace slightly on my runs.

First run of the week I buddied up with my friend Roeland for six miles (10km actually) around Greenham Common. There was rain forecast, which I don’t generally mind. What I didn’t expect was rain trying to be hail, with a wind blowing it straight at us! It gave us something to laugh (and grumble) about though, which helped the miles go by.

Wednesday was just four miles, this is my easy effort run day and having kept my Tuesday run slower than usual I felt I needed to slow Wednesday’s run even further. Trying to keep the pace slower than the previous day was hard work, but I’m sure I’ll see some benefit from it. I possibly slowed a bit much as my Garmin decided I was now ‘unproductive’, where it had said I was in ‘recovery’ the day before.

On Thursday I had a full day of work and appointments, so got up and out for my run before 5am. Six miles, in the dark on frosty pavements and roads made for a tough run but this only drove me to push hard. This push meant I actually completed the run at a faster average pace than my Tuesday run!

I also had a massage on Thursday, something I had been looking forward to. I mentioned on my Facebook page (Jen’s Fitness Adventures) that I’m hypermobile, more commonly known as double-jointed. Hypermobile people are those who are able to move joints beyond the normal range of movement, but there are lots of other issues that can go alongside this. The reason for the extended range of motion is that the connective tissues in the joints are looser and more stretchy. This means the muscles around the joints need to be stronger in order to support and stabilise the joint.

My sisters and I were very active children, we were always outside playing and walked a lot, and I’m sure it’s down to the muscular strength gained from this that I don’t suffer with joint problems as other hypermobile people do (subluxation and dislocations are common with hypermobility). However, I do have some of the other effects of hypermobility, such as suffering with fatigue (this is more than just feeling tired and worn out) if I do too much, clumsiness due to poor proprioception and a high pain threshold (aside from joint pain). When I go for a massage I often have muscle tightness that I’m not aware of due to the high pain threshold, so going regularly really does keep me able to function without joint pain.

Saturday was yet another busy day but I still wanted to fit Parkrun in as I’m aiming to have completed 30 Parkruns in 2019, having taken five years to reach 50! 14 miles was the scheduled distance for the day, so I went out at 6am to do the first 11 and managed to maintain a pace inside my tempo range. With this in mind I wasn’t expecting to be able to pull off a particularly quick Parkrun, so was absolutely elated to achieve a time sub 28 minutes!

My final run of the week was on the ‘dreadmill’ due to working at the gym all day. Five, soul-destroying, miles with nothing to look at but a screen giving me stats in kilometers (whoever decided to do away with the option to choose between miles and kilometers on treadmills should be shot!). The air-conditioning didn’t seem to make much difference as I was pouring with sweat, but I got the job done.

This week the mileage ramps up a bit, which is a little scary. My long run jumps up to 20 miles and due to work commitments I’m going to have to do this on a weekday, and all in one run. Having been splitting up my long runs, I’m a little wary of how both my body and head will cope.

I’m training to run South Downs Way 50 and London Marathon in aid of Child Bereavement UK. You can sponsor me here…

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