This was a big test of whether taking a few days rest and performing lots of stretching would deliver an ability to run without being in pain. I got to the pitches early, and set about a long, intensive period of stretching. I did my usual routine, but held the stretches for half a minute and did three repetitions of each one. And then I did the whole set again. A little over the top, maybe, but fortunately more stretching can only be a good thing.
And then I ran around. I started with small, gingerly placed steps and was surprised that there was no reaction from my legs. No calf muscle complaint, no shattered shins jolting intense pain up my legs. I ran around properly, and still no pain. It was fantastic. I relax, but I'm still a little nervous. It was one thing to run around at a constant pace for five minutes and quite another to run around like a mad little lout for 40 minutes.
Forty minutes. There was the hope and the dream. I probably would have been fine for forty minutes. But the next team to have booked the space didn't turn up and, instead, we had the game that never ended. We must have played for 90 minutes (giving me far more sympathy with those who play full football games!), and by the end I was ruined.
I stretched again, iced my legs at night and sprayed on the Deep Heat. The next day I was a touch sore, but not too bad - maybe its sorted out?