My first injury! Oddly enough – considering that 90% of all my training stresses my legs rather than my upper body – it’s a shoulder injury. It flared up about 20 miles into the marathon I ran on the 21st April, disappeared in time for a trail run 3 days later, felt a bit sore on Friday’s aborted microadventure and returned with a vengeance about halfway through Sunday’s half-marathon. It seems to be some sort of RSI caused by 26 miles of swinging my arm back and forth while carrying a 300ml drinks bottle, which obviously served as a wrist weight and put extra strain on a muscle or joint – I don’t know which.

I completed Sunday’s half-marathon (my usual trail run undertaken in heavy boots) at a ferocious pace and equalled my best ever half-marathon time of 1:42, which I obtained wearing lightweight trail shoes. Unfortunately, the extra effort seems to have exacerbated the problem and rather than recognising the signs and slowing down I foolishly ignored the pain and plowed on, with my arms pumping up and down to drive the pace. Over 48 hours (and multiple applications of ibuprofen gel) later and my shoulder is still very sore, certainly  sore enough to put me out of action for the remainder of the week at least.

Needless to say, injury is the Great Fear when a fixed deadline is looming on the horizon. On the one hand I dislike the thought of ‘wimping out’ just because something hurts a bit. By the time I’m two days into 32 in 72 I’m reasonably certain that almost everything will hurt like hell! By then the ability to push on regardless will be a benefit rather than a hazard. At the moment, however, I recognise that it’s daft to ignore warning signs and risk incurring a serious injury. As you can tell, I’m a bit ambigious (and bloke-ish) on the subject. Hopefully my shoulder will require a few days’ rest and nothing more.

As mentioned in my previous update I designated May 1st – today – as the day to begin cross-training in earnest. Running and upper body work may be out of the question but cycling is not! This means that it’s time for me to get on my bike. It also means that I have absolutely no chance whatsoever of indulging in a week free of strenuous exercise this side of the event itself…


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