Saturday, 29 June 2013

It's been ages! A massive update on what I've been up to after Paris Marathon

It's been quite a while that I haven't posted on this page. In fact it has never been such a big gap between the posts. There are a few reasons - or better said excuses -behind that. As I believe there are more like excuses rather than reasons, I'd prefer to skip those and carry on writing up.  There was a couple of  long-awaited posts which I am going to stick together and update you with what I have been up to after Paris Marathon. So here comes a long - and hopefully not so boring - post.  

1. Keep On Running

A few days before heading to Paris to run the marathon, I came across another race. A three-day race in Alzenau and Mombris (Close to Frankfurt in Germany). I did registered for that although I wouldn't really know how I would feel after Paris marathon. I had never run long distances a few days after my previous marathons.

After running the Paris marathon and set a PR I had sore muscles and aching knees. But I was feeling more than ready to go for a new challenge. So I made my way to the start of yet another race. Salomon Keep On Running it was called, A three-day race covering the total distance of 53km with 1500 meters of ascent. The first stages was a three-kilometre run around the city. Followed by 27 km of muddy train running the day after from Alzenau to Mombris. And a 23-km back to Alzenau on the third day. 

Overall it was a great running weekend and I was quite pleased that I made it to the finish line. Here are a few lessons I learned from running a three-day event after a marathon

1. People running shorter distances are often more competitive.
2. Running two days in a raw can hurt, particularly if it is less than a week after a marathon.
3. Downhill running requires skills! Especially if it's on ankle-deep slippery mud! That's one reason I have taken some of my training up to the mountains. After a couple of months I feel more comfortable and confident running downhill. 
5. Running on uneven surface can activate some muscles you've never used before. 
6. Small multiday events are fun and you get the chance to know the other runners and have a great conversation with them. Something that rarely happens during big city marathons.
7. You need to be prepared. You need to train for the environment. Another reason to run in the mountains.

2. On enduring an injury

I cannot consider myself as injury-prone. I am not injury resistant either. Since I started running I have had a couple of injuries a year that often keep me away from running for less than a week. My main injury has been usually ankle sprain. I have had it a few times, but I used to recover relatively fast. Once it happened nine days prior to a marathon and I could still run the marathon. 

Being injured sucks, but it is much worse when it happens at the peak of your training and while you are not running! Last month, while I was simply crossing the road, my ankle touched the kerb and twisted inward. And that happened to be my most serious injury since I started running. For the first couple of days I iced and elevate it and took a few anti-inflammatory tablets. A few days after the pain outside my ankle faded away and I started running again. Went for a short 15-minute run and was stopped by seriously aching ankle. This time it was the inner part of the ankle, under the arch and behind my heel.Visited a doctor and he diagnosed ligament sprain. I gave up running and went swimming, did some weight and circuit training. It took me around four weeks to fully recover from the injury. And it was quite a hard process. You need to endure the situation, you have to deal with the situation and give your body a chance to recover. But it is much easier said than done. As a runner you often find yourself being addicted to running. You have your favourite time of the day dedicated to running. an hour or two that you can hardly spend another way. A day started by running is considered a great day and if you miss a run in the morning you feel miserable. 

3. Planning, missed and upcoming races

I was planning to run my next marathon in 16 June. But my visa was not issued on-time and I missed the San Francisco Marathon. But I was lucky enough to get an entry to New York Marathon. So my next marathon is going to be in early November. I cannot wait for that.

But before that I am coming back to Davos. This time for my first ultra -- Swissalpine K78. Davos is where I ran my first marathon and now a year after that I am challenging myself to finish my first ultra there. While I was recovering from ankle sprain I didn't think that I could train for this. Now that I've got only for weeks
to the race, I am still not quite fit for that. But as always I will give it my best. I'll keep training hard for the next two weeks, pay extra attention to my tapering and will make my way to the start line. I will be ready for the challenge. Ready for the torture!

4. Encouraging people to run

Running is not the most popular sport in Iran. You cannot spot many runners in the streets of Tehran. There is no large marathons, only a couple of marathons a year dedicated to elite runners for which you have to register through a club. Before we start organising such events here we need to embrace running. We need to acknowledge it as part of our culture.

Since I started running I have always tried to encourage people to run. Always talking passionately about running and how it affects your life --It has certainly changed mine. The main reason of creating this blog is inspiring the readers to run.

Last month, I - with the help of some friends - organised a weekly run in Tehran. Our aim is getting as many people into running as we practically can. We invite everyone we know to try and run - or walk and run - a for half an hour in one of the busiest recreational area in northern Tehran. So hopefully after a few sessions we will be seen and there will be some other runners joining us. So if you are reading this and you are based in Tehran - or planning to visit Tehran - If you are a runner or would like to give running a try just give me a shout.

5. Feedback and E-mail Subscription

As I have always said, I would really appreciate your feedback. So please drop me a line if you have any comments or suggestions.

I only realised last week that the "Subscribe by E-mail" link provided on the right hand bar of this page didn't function quite all right. It's now fixed and you can register your e-mail address so you will be notified whenever this page is updated.

Keep running everyone.