Instead of hitting the South Downs 100 in great shape and smashing my previous time, and basking in glory, I spent four weeks in post-Yomp misery with a torn adductor and calf and hamstring strains. My physio also diagnosed a massive strength imbalance between my legs, with my(knackered) left leg way weaker than the right.
So I had a couple weeks off running, put on a stone, did loads of yoga and some strength exercises, bought a pull-up bar (I can do 12 in a row now!), and slowly built back up to an 60km week (+20km on the bike) in prep for the Southport Half Marathon.
I was super nervous before the race. I was worried the injuries might flare up and lay me out again, either during the race or afterwards, but as it turned out I needn't have worried.
Conditions were great, sunny but not too warm, a nice cool breeze, and the flattest course ever. My race plan was simple, to run 4:10-4:15 kms as long as I could, and back off at the first sign of any pain, which fortunately never came. The pace was slightly uncomfortable by about 19km, but I was nearly done then, and after a lap of Victoria Park which came within metres of the finish line about three times before looping round for the final approach, I crossed the line in 1:28:57 for 50th place out of about 985. It was also a PB by 4 seconds which was amazing considering I'm a stone heavier than I was a couple of months ago when I ran my previous PB at Liverpool.
One of the worst things about the injury apart from missing the SDW100 has been not having the confidence to plan the rest of the year. After today though, I'm feeling so much better. I've got the Lions Bridge marathon in two weeks, then the Railway Ultra a couple of weeks after that, and if I can manage them (and the training load in between), I might have the chance for something big and stupid before training for Paris starts properly in January. Maybe the Ladybower 50, or even Hell of a Hill again. Or maybe just crank out Chester, Portsmouth and Liverbird Double marathons to see out the year with a decent endurance base before the speed work starts in earnest...got to shift this extra weight first tho...