Billy’s Boots

A Physio free week, but I am making progress.  I‘ve worked hard at my rehab – meticulously doing calf raises and drops whilst wearing a rucksack full of water bottles  at least four times daily. My left calf is noticeably stronger. I’ve had the foam roller out most evenings and rolled away whilst watching series 2 of “The Bridge” on telly.

On Monday’s I go to a Yoga for runners session excellently run by Liz from Valley Striders. Although I am a typically stiff middle aged bloke with a crap sense of balance, it has helped and it’s been nice to meet up with team-mates whom I haven’t seen much because I have been missing training sessions and races.

As directed by Louisa the Physio, I went for three short jogs on alternate days of 5, 5 then 10 minutes each. My achilles and calf were tight at first, but not painful like before and felt looser after a few minutes running.

It is difficult for me to relax whilst running because I am obsessing about my achilles and calf, so it’s all quite stressful.  There’s a latent fear that I might aggravate the injury and send me right back to square one.

To allay my depression at not running, I have treated myself to some new trainers – Newton Gravity IVs. They are an American brand, not that popular in the UK, but I had heard good things about them.  When they popped up at half price on Sport Pursuit, I took the bait.

The main feature of Newtons is a series of raised lugs on the mid-sole:


Running in them feels weird at first, but you soon realise that these lugs really promote a mid/fore foot strike. The shoes were really comfortable and felt fast.

In my new trainers, I deviated from Louisa’s strict programme today and went for a 5.4 mile run around the village. It was supposed to be at gentle jogging speed and I could hardly believe the Garmin when I saw that I had covered the first mile in 7 minutes 15 seconds because it felt so easy. Maybe I was just exhilarated to be running around my favourite village loop, or maybe it was my new magic trainers…

I completed a 5.4 mile run in under 40 minutes at an average pace of 7:16.  Undoubtedly that’s a lot quicker than jogging, but I really didn’t feel that I was pushing it.  Thankfully, I seem to have retained a good measure of fitness through all the gym work and rowing. Maybe you can cross-train your way to success.

With just 12 weeks to go until Comrades I feel that I am standing on the banks of the Rubicon. I have another visit to the physio on Wednesday afternoon, hopefully she will tell me that I can step up the mileage. I have next Thursday and Friday off work, so I aspire to do a longer run one day and a long bike ride on the other and get myself back on track. If I don’t get running soon, then Comrades will be off the agenda. I think its 50/50 at the moment.

It would also be great to have a go at a parkrun or a race to see how running fit I am. My digits are crossed.



CM -12 weeks
Weight 11st 10.6lb
7.4 Miles Longest run 5.4miles, 32,000 metres rowing



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