Friday, 28 September 2018

So Here I Am












So normal blog service has been resumed. Thank you to everyone who suggested solutions. It turned out to be cookies. All gone now.

I went to see my physio, yesterday. In the absence of running I've been walking miles and my hip has been grumbling. By Tuesday I felt ready to explode with the lack of running so Pop and I went out for a gentle 4.5 miles round the lanes. It was lovely, but I paid for it later. Not the shoulder again, which was a mercy and reassuring, but all down my leg and into my ankle, it kept me awake at night. So I rang Steve and yesterday saw me describing the symptoms to him while he looked intently at me, before getting me to lift, press, push, twist, bend, squat, rotate. Finally he poked and prodded. At some points I yelped and nearly exploded off the bench, at which he nodded in satisfaction, other times I didn't and he nodded again.  

In the end, his assessment was the shoulder/ arm was a trapped nerve in my neck from clenching every muscle I possess in order to run that stupid time at the NF half, and the hip was from an over-wrought hip flexor that had caused the piriformis to contract, probably begun by running a flat marathon when I'm used to hills, and made much worse by doing four short, fast races over consecutive weekends afterwards. As well as learning about my own psychology, I am learning about muscles I never knew existed and what they do. It is an education.

Anyway, after some pretty intense massage and some wonderfully tingly acupuncture, I was sent home with some neck and hip stretches and a stern instruction not to run until I've seen him again next week. He's confident he can fix it and that I'll be good to go for long distance next year, so that's good.

He did make me laugh. I think he is getting to know me pretty well having looked after me for more than a year and seen me through a couple of running crises during that time. At one point he stopped what he was doing and gave me a stern look: I think we are getting some pretty clear feedback that your body doesn't like running fast. If you don't want to stop the shorter races, you're going to have to learn how to run with a loose upper body and stretch out your hip flexors. Otherwise stick to the long runs. It was so much what I'd been thinking (not the short, fast runs, I've had enough of those, but the focus on long distance) that it made me grin. It felt like a final valediction to the short, speedy runs.

So, I am kind-of in limbo at the moment, trying to be good and rest my hip flexors, applying for a new part-time job which will change the way my week looks, helping L with university open days, clearing the diary of short races and making chocolate fudge cake and apple and cherry pastries for M who has been suffering with a cold this week. He's manfully persevered on at work including two trips to London and one work active day where they did drumming, juggling and ping pong (!), but has had to trim back his marathon training which is making him cross and grumpy. He does have a particularly nice, deep, gravelly voice with it though, so not all bad :o) 

I am being annoyingly pragmatic and keep reminding him he's got another of my marathons made over in his name for November, one that sold out in 4 days so the entry is like gold dust, so even if October's cliff race is a wash out he's still got a nice, hilly, muddy, gnarly one to look forward to. Luckily, I booked the hotel (remember the graffiti-ridden flat over the offy M booked for London?), so we're staying in a bit of Luxury.

I do feel I'm emerging from a fairly mentally and physically tumultuous few weeks with a new and better understanding of things. I get that the majority of people will find the idea of running long, long miles borderline crazy, and that this preference will doubtless open me up to further exclamations of disbelief, doubt, scepticism (and a certain amount of glee when the inevitable injury throws a spanner among my carefully thought-out plans and I'm forced to take some time out), but frankly I am getting used to that and ultimately who cares anyway? It isn't going to stop me.

While I'm off running, I've been keeping myself entertained looking at 30 mile races for next year. It's a short step up from a marathon so a good place to start, but long enough to make it a challenge. There are a fair few of them around too, mostly in beooooootiful places in the countryside.

I've also started planning a 50 mile training schedule for the year after. Researching them on line I've been struck at the sheer scale of mileage involved and how different they are to marathon training plans. When you're training for a marathon you have a three-week taper at the end where you progressively reduce your mileage. The advice is also to take recovery seriously afterwards because of the impact running 26.2 miles has on your body. Training for a 50 mile race, you work up to running back-to-back marathons over one weekend, and then two weeks after that you do a 30 mile run on the Saturday followed by a 10 mile run on the Sunday, with the 50 miler 2-3 weeks after that. A marathon takes the average runner 4-5.5 hours, a 50 mile race takes anything from 9 hours (and for a hundred mile race you're looking at 24 hours at least, if you finish - we've a friend who ran 91 miles of his first 100 mile run last weekend and had to stop there because a groin strain had made it impossible for him to run and he was starting to go hyperthermic in the rain. I really hope he doesn't view that as a failure. 91 miles!!! Can you imagine?). It's another world, people :o). 

In the meantime, M is enjoying teasing me that soon I won't get out of bed for less than a 30 mile race..... 

Hope you are well, avoiding the cold bug that is rampaging round the UK if you live here, and staying healthy elsewhere.

Here's to a good weekend. My 5-10k group have now completed their training and are all set to take part in their first 10k race this Sunday. I am cheerleading! (without pompoms).

CT :o)


21 comments:

  1. "the majority of people will find the idea of" anything one might like to spend time on "borderline crazy" :)

    We spent a total of five hours two weekends ago crouching down next to flower beds to take photos. We had a great time and we have some amazing photos as a result, but if you asked my parents they would say "Five hours taking photos? THAT'S CRAZY". :)

    I spent three hours one weekend at an art class making clay art. The results were gorgeous and to be honest I lost all track of time and was surprised when my time was up. I could easily have sat there for double that time.

    That is just two examples from my own life. I could go on. I have many many more examples. :) And then there are some things people do where I think they are nuts, like camping, or riding a dirt bike, or jumping out of planes.

    It is totally fine to do what you love. It is normal. People judge all the time, that is normal too and we have to accept that and not let it affect us..

    Me personally I like to leave my judging to Judge Judy, after all she does get paid a lot of money to judge! ;)

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    1. Yup, it would be a much happier world if people kept their judgements to themselves :o). Live and let live, I reckon, as long as you're not harming anyone I can't see it's relevant.

      Intrigued about the flower bed photos- was it anything in particular you were photographing? I get teased a lot for 'taking pictures of grass' by M, when in fact its the small people living in the grass I'm photographing.

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    2. I put a few up on my blog earlier this week - it was Floriade in Canberra which is a tulip festival. :)

      http://www.snoskred.org/2018/09/photography.html

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  2. I'm glad Steve has pinpointed what the problem is and given you some exercises - he sounds like an absolute treasure. And I'm glad that it's something you can work on to sort out. I hope that he has you back out there very soon. What does Poppy think of the enforced training break?! And no, I cannot even begin to imagine what running 91 miles is like. I stood in the rain watching football for an hour and half last weekend and started to go a bit peculiar. I can't even imagine what it's like to be able to run 10k. You are all amazing! Wishing you a good weekend and I hope M is all better soon. The boys had the cold and it wasn't fun apparently. I half had it, which was odd. I would definitely have benefited from chocolate fudge cake and apple and cherry pastries though. CJ xx

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    1. Poppy’s fed up with the lack of running. She’s going decidedly squidgy round the middle too! I’m now coming down with the wretched cold, it’s a good job the cake tins are well stocked. At least it will stop me running 😬. Good old Steve, he is a treasure, you’re right. Happy weekend to you, the boys and Bert, lovely CJ xx

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  3. The only advice I can give is to always do as the Physio says - they are are almost always right and it does pay in the end however frustrating it may be.

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    1. Steve's got form so I'm happy to put my faith in him :o)

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  4. So, since I'm all about the furbabies, I'm curious to know how you plan (since you're planning everything else at the moment, haha:)) to incooperate Pop in your new long-distance running routines? I bet she'd be real grumpy if she couldn't come along:(

    All the best from a very autumnal Sweden<3

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    1. Hmm, a good question. I’m not sure she’ll be doing the 30 milers (much to her annoyance no doubt) but she’s good to go for marathon distance. Happy autumn to you and the doggies x

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  5. I'm vaguely aware of ultra distance running as there's a chap up here called William Sichel, who has done some crazy races. And I'm pretty sure that you could totally rock the pompoms.

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    1. Just looked him up - he has some extraordinary runs to his name.

      I’ve threatened to get pom-poms. They all laughed. Slightly nervously I thought 😬

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  6. It must be amazing to be able to run such long distances that a normal marathon seems relatively easy! Your physio sounds like a keeper, and I'm sure you and Poppy will be back at it very soon. I hope you manage to fight that lurgy off with some of your delicious sounding puds! xx

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    1. Amazing what we’re capable of when we try isn’t it? Hope you’re all well, especially Hamish 🐰 xx

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  7. Glad you are back on track. I am puzzling over your photos as, if that is Winchester, I can't place it!

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    1. It is! The water meadows and the old medieval bit x

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  8. I do love reading your running thought processes and how they have evolved over the last few years. Glad you have more understanding about recent injuries and that there is a solution, hopefully things are not so painful now. Finally back home for a while so I can enjoy jogging through my country lanes soaking up the autumn beauty. Good luck with the job application and the uni open days : B x

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    1. I think there's a value in an honest, real time record of how things change and develop and how you learn along the way. Very much looking forward to reading about your runs again. Job app now in! Uni open day coming up! x

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  9. Beautiful Winchester! One of my favourite cities! Water meadows are stunning!
    Reading your running regime makes me feel like I’ve run a marathon- from the comfort of my bed!!!!!!!
    Spring is here... the blossom is in full swing and I’ve been making cleansing herb sticks for my meditation group! Great fun!
    I’m on two weeks school holiday from work - lots of spring cleaning and beach walks!
    Btw - I have a friend who runs and she uses yoga to keep all those areas stretched and loose! Thoughts?
    Have fun... hope M gets better soon! Make him hot toddy with plenty of those warming spices! It will hope the gravelly throat!
    Cheers xx

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    1. Next time you're here we'll go to winch for a walk and cake :o). Leaves falling here....
      I do yoga-it makes a huge difference to flexibility and strength, Great stuff! M now on the mend xx

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  10. I am a regular lurker on your blog. As someone who has taken no exercise beyond walking up to the age of 56, and who is now wanting to run, it gives me great inspiration - even tho I'm plagued by constant injury. My body obviously complaining at being used at last! But the way that you also have injuries and then get going again really helps to keep me going.
    The diagnosis of your arm and shoulder pain explains why it's so painful. I got nerve root irritation (i.e. constant atrocious pain that was nudging towards the childbirth scale) in my right arm after a multi-day long distance walk, when my comfortable rucksack turned out not to be so comfortable. The pain actually took my breath away, but has thankfully settled down. I do hope yours will melt away soon.

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    1. Hi Linda,

      I'm so glad my experiences encourage you, that's really nice to hear. Injury when you start running is really common as areas of pre-existing weakness get thrown into sharp relief. Almost always its a question of developing strength in a muscle after a suitable period of rest to let the initial inflammation go down.

      Thanks also for the nerve pain info, that helps me feel less worried about what was going on in my arm. Never known pain like it! It is heaps better but I can still feel a residual ache/weakness in the arm when I do certain movements so I think it needs more time.

      Do keep going with the running, the aches and pains should grow less the more conditioned your system gets. And if in doubt, a good physio is a useful addition to your phone book!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x