Last week's layoff thankfully worked out as I'd hoped it would and my toe pain disappeared just as quickly as it came.
After running at a decent pace on Monday evening without experiencing any discomfort, I felt able to throw myself back into training, so on Tuesday ran into work in the morning and attended my club's track night in the evening. It was a hard session and, though my legs were a little too sore to run into work on Wednesday morning, it left me feeling positive enough about my running that I decided to give myself a more immediate goal by signing up for the Kingston 10K on Sunday 1 December.
Still being a few weeks out from beginning marathon training proper, it makes good sense to enter a race of some sort because I find it's always good to have something to focus on in training, even if I'm not clocking up the serious miles. It will prevent me from turning over my legs just for the sake of it and, if I can push myself to a sub-40 minute finish in four weeks' time, should see me starting my marathon schedule in reasonably good shape.
A good 10K performance is going to require a good month's training, which is why I could really do without the cold which set in towards the end of the week. I woke up on Thursday morning with a bit of a scratchy throat, but was certain that it couldn't be the start of another cold because I'd only got rid of the last one four weeks ago. But, sure enough, it developed over the course of Thursday and Friday into full on man flu and turned me into a croaky snot monster.
However, following the old advice that you can run with a cold so long as it stays above the neck, I still managed to get out for runs on both Thursday and Friday. Thursday's run into work was fine as the cold hadn't fully set in, but Friday's was hard work and I could feel my heart working harder than normal to keep me at eight minute mile pace. On reflection, it was a dumb move as my cold was even worse on Saturday. I realise there's no way of knowing if it still would have taken a downward turn if I'd done the sensible thing and stayed in on Friday, but it surely didn't help and it may have cost me the chance to get some decent miles in over the weekend.
So I just hope that this is the last illness I get for a while; I could really do with a period of uninterrupted training which enables me to get my mileage up to at least fifty miles a week. At the moment, I'm way off that kind of distance and my immune system doesn't seem to be keeping up even now. Time to visit Holland & Barrett for some iron and vitamin C, I think...