Archive for the ‘Injury’ Category

I think I’m done

Posted: August 16, 2017 in Injury, not running, running

I know I’m possibly prone to a bit of melodrama… but I think my running days are done.

For a while now I’ve been using the tried and tested injury treatment method of ‘ignore it and hope it gets better on its own’. This has usually served me well. And until recently, though I had no illusions of being fitness guru, I would think that I always had another marathon in me (at some point in the future… when I lost a bit of weight…etc). The thing is, recent aches and pains feel…different. Not like an ‘injury’ at all.

You see, I’ve not injured myself as such, but for some time now my left knee in particular doesn’t feel strong, I can’t fully bend it and sounds and feels like an old wooden door if I replicate anything like a squat. So I don’t. But it also means I have to sit down to put on underwear or socks. Until recently, I did not see myself as a sit-down-to-put-on-underwear-and-socks person.

Also, if I do run now, it’s just not fun. It periodically actually hurts and even if it doesn’t, it can just feel a bit awkward….just lacking. And it has been known to swell afterwards…

The above photo was taken after a parkrun about a month ago. I didn’t even really go for it. I was a full 6 minutes slower than my PB.

I did, unfortunately, have a sprint finish with a young lad who’d been overtaking me and dropping back for the whole race run. It turned out, through conversation with the chap I’d ended up running next to for most of lap 2, that the boy was this guy’s son… and I say “unfortunately had a sprint finish” because my intention was really to just push him all the way to the line. As I hadn’t run a particularly hard 5K I actually had a lot left in me but I deliberately stayed just level with him…except he actually gave up about 2 metres short of the line, so I ended up crossing the line in front of him, and although I congratulated him on a good run, and we exchanged a high-five… he subsequently burst into tears and went off for a cuddle with his dad.

I am a bad, bad man.

I’ve still been playing tennis. Although again, feel like I’m a few steps slower than I was even six months ago. But with tennis, you can adapt a bit, play a different game. I think I could actually still enjoy tennis if I couldn’t run at all…. Mmm…no….that’s not true actually…. I’d be immensely frustrated. But but I could play.

Truth is, I just haven’t been enjoying running for a while now. It hurts. And it reminds me that I’m slow and getting old and falling apart. My left Achilles has been giving me jip on and off for about a year now, too. And my left ankle crunches and clicks for as long as I can remember.

And I’ve put on weight. That doesn’t help. It doesn’t help with my running. It doesn’t help with what I inevitably believe to be osteoarthritis setting in. It doesn’t help with my mental health because now I don’t identify with my previous self-image of being a fit person, a healthy, sporty person…. a runner.

I started rewriting the words to the Ed Sheeran song – ‘Thinking Out Loud’ when I first thought about writing this post… But I didn’t have the staying power to see that through either. This was how far I got…

Now my legs don’t work like they used to before

And I can’t see me back on my feet. Will my mind still remember the thrill of the race,

Will my glutes now forever be weak?

Oh running I may be loving you ’til I’m 70… ” etc.

It’s not all bad.

I’m just at the end of holiday now. It’s been lovely – Lots ‘outside’ time… volleyball on the sand, gentle bike rides – including teaching my daughter – she’s been a bit late to the cycling party but is eventually getting that she can do it, and enjoy it. It’s just the stopping we have to work on really! Currently involves my running to the best my ability alongside her and catching her/her bike when she decides to bail off! Well get there.

I’ve managed to play some badminton and even won the resort’s doubles competition that they were running (after first being paired up with someone I’d not met before turning up to the event). There’s another tournament before I leave and I’ve entered again, but this time with my son as he was desperate to join me. He’s a great little (he’s 11 so not that little) tennis player but has only played badminton a couple of times. He enjoys it though, so that should be fun.

Today, he and I are having a go at ‘Stand-up paddle-boarding’ ! I just hope that if(when) I fall off, I can actually get back up again!

On Saturday last, I even ventured out on the bike to travel the short distance the nearby forest for a very picturesque parkrun. Having absolutely no expectations of any time, I intended to run it (or walk if necessary) fully within my capabilities and pain levels. As I was on the path in, I recognised a fellow blogger who writes at ‘Run Young 50‘ – Katie – who normally runs at Colwick but was partaking in a bit of parkrun tourism, herself. We had a bit of a chat and she kindly said nice things about missing my posts here and I said I’d just started one about winding down my running days. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be finishing this post now, if it wasn’t for the fact I said I’d be posting it soon. It was lovely to see you, Katie. Thank you for your encouragement.

It was to be my slowest ever (without children) parkrun but as I did so, I also collected discarded bottles and crisp packets from the route – NOT from other runners (they looked like they’d been lying around longer than that) but it gave my run further purpose and served to appropriately slow me down, stopping me from getting carried away with the pace of those around me.

#fitterlitterpicker

On which note, if you feel so inclined, please consider visiting Runners Against Rubbish which is not something I head up myself but it does what I do… with the added element of badges and car stickers if you sign up for a one-off £2 fee. I have.

Of course, you can be against rubbish without joining an organisation – just don’t be an idiot yourself, and occasionally correct someone else’s idiocy by a) telling them not to be an idiot (if you happen to witness their idiotic rubbish discarding behaviour – especially if they’re another runner!) or b) simply binning someone else’s rubbish.

So anyway, there we go… parkrun 69 completed. Who knows if I’ll make it to 100.

Perhaps if I do, I’ll write another blog post.

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I’m not sure if this particular area of the body has a name, but on the left hand side of my body… about 20 cm from the top of my shoulder – specifically, the bony bit where the humerus meets the scapula (yes – I know words. I know all the words)… on the lateral side anyway… where the deltoid muscle sort of makes a slight ‘V’ shape … well it does when I’m a bit slimmer… when I’m fit… and tensing it… and standing underneath a spotlight anyway… well that bit anyway… actually… hang on…. I’ll find a picture…

Image result for deltoid muscle

That is clearly not me.

I have skin on.

But that bit of the body, anyway.

Not the labelled bit.

The bit below that.

The ‘V’.

That specific bit.

That…

 

… is pretty much the only part of my body that DOESN’T hurt*

 

Today, I have developed facial swelling and toothache.  I have a dentist appt. on Wednesday anyway, so I will cope until then.

I did not go for a run today.

 

I barely did anything.

 

So… at only four days into June… I have had to use… the emergency plank!

Just 1min 30secs though. I do need to sit up from bed in the morning.

 

 

*clearly, I can still function, I am still going to work tomorrow, and I am well aware that at some point in the (probably quite near) future, I shall consider how I feel now and think, “you were lucky!”

It was that 10k on Sunday last week. You know… the one I’ve been tapering for six months for… laying down the adipose tissue for added insulation from the cold.

I wasn’t feeling all that great beforehand as you might know if you read my last post.  Basically I’d managed to do something to my back in the process of getting out of a car last week.  I really wasn’t sure if it would be possible so on Saturday night, I managed a little 3k run/walk to ‘test it out’ and I figured – ‘if I can get out of bed in the morning then I’ll do the run’.

Well, I could get out of bed in the morning and so I did indeed head off for the run.

It was busy. Well over 600 runners and the usual mad scramble at the start with people trying to beat their 400m record in the first minute of a 10k race. Silly.

At least one person took a dive in those initial stages. I didn’t see it but I heard a ‘…*slip*…*splat*…’ and then a collective… ‘OooOoooooo’ from somewhere behind me and to my left.

It soon thinned out and I got into a nice rhythm. The back wasn’t giving me any pain but I was aware that I am heavier now than I have been in a long while.

This was one of those races that I entered about six months ago as an incentive to lose some weight… and then did absolutely nothing about it.

Not wanting to be too negative here, I shall say that it’s a new training method…

THE THEORY: My access to altitude training is somewhat limited, so if I run whilst overweight, the additional stresses placed on my heart and lungs will simulate the increased oxygen requirement achieved by the much more expensive option of running in the Andes… or Nepal… or wherever it is that altitude training is done (can you tell I’ve really researched the science?!).
To be honest I don’t know why more athletes don’t use this method. Oh wait…maybe they do… Cue Steve Redgrave and a packet of Crunchy Nut…

Sorry Steve. But I do notice you have 5 gold medals there. 

(Not sure if he used this training method at the time of winning those. Perhaps not.)

THE OUTCOME: A slightly chubby bloke, making it look like very hard work sprinting for the line to get sub 50 minutes for this 10k… but missing out by 9 seconds.

pudrun2016

If only I’d ran that first 400m a bit quicker! 😉

10k  taper ?

Posted: November 19, 2016 in Injury, running
Tags: , , , ,

Tapering? For a 10k? Is that really necessary?

Well, no. No, it isn’t. But that hasn’t stopped me from inadvertently experimenting with it as a tactic. Because, as previous blog posts have shown, I’m a proper science type person an’ that.

Either that, or I just generally haven’t been running much recently and now that 10k I signed up for ages ago has come around.

It’s known as a ‘pudding run’. Intended to have connotations of Christmas and because you get a Christmas pudding instead of a medal at the end.

It is  NOT called that because it is run by puddings. Except for me, that is.

I feel like a right pudding, currently. Caught in a bit of a cycle of being a bit overweight, making running harder, not enjoying running as much, not running as much (/eating all the food), being a bit overweight, etc. I decided to hit the gym a bit for some variety.

Don’t worry, I shall not bore you with tales of my reps and weights and sessions and motivational quotes and the like (yawn). Suffice to say I do a variety of things and do a few circuits of said variety. I was feeling stronger and generally quite good… until I attempted something a little beyond me…

…That ‘something’ was getting out of the car on Thursday last week.

Yes…I don’t know why I thought I was capable of exiting a vehicle on my own without anyone to spot me.  Doing so without a warm-up was clearly just sheer recklessness. The result was an initially mild ‘mmm…That twinges a bit’ that gradually intensified into a ‘I don’t think I’ll ever be able to paint my toenails put my own socks on again!’. 

I don’t really know what I’ve done exactly but it’s somewhere between having my spine ripped out (like on the retro computer game Mortal Combat) and maybe pulling a bit of a muscle.

So here I am three days post-injury, and able to walk at least, but really not sure about tomorrow’s 10k. I still have hope… Especially since immediately following that, I have a tennis match to play.  That is ‘immediately after’ as in I have warned my tennis partner to expect to see mud-splattered legs when she’s serving.

If I’m honest, and I had to choose between the run and playing tennis, I’d choose tennis. But:

 1) I’m greedy and I want to do both.

2) I’m tight and I’ve paid for the run already.

3) If I do do the run and then find I cannot play tennis/walk/breathe properly, my son (aged 10) would likely do a good job of standing in for me in the tennis and I’d enjoy watching him.

I shall no doubt write a blog post next week about how it’s ALWAYS the right thing to rest an injury.
:-/
I’ll keep you posted.

When I were a lad…

…I lived in Devon. So no one (other than Monty Python)  used such Yorkshire-like phrases. And if I did then I probably would have been corrected to say ‘was’ instead. That’s not really important to this story – the point is, when I was younger, I can remember, one snowy winter, standing on the actually quite excellent climbing frame (built by my dad after he found he was unable to remove one of the supporting posts of an old wooden garage that used to be in the garden and he built a climbing frame around it instead, until when I was like, 20 or something, that original support eventually rotted away enough to be removed along with the rest of this makeshift but brilliant climbing apparatus – that’s not important to this story though) ….so I was standing on this climbing frame in my full winter gear – padded coat, gloves, balaclava, the works, when my brother throws a snowball at me…

I don’t want to give my brother the credit for what happened next because he missed…or, as I like to remember it, I expertly and deftly evaded the missile…

…unfortunately I then lost my footing, fell off the climbing frame and can then remember a very sick and claustrophobic feeling that I was in pain but couldn’t remove the million layers of knitted garments of industrial (grandma-strength) yarn.

My loving mother (no sarcasm intended…She was and still is…) performed the obligatory parental skills of rubbing my arm, moving it up and down, making sure I could make a fist, etc , and advising that perhaps the snowball fight should take a rain check. I can remember my arm being moved backwards and forwards, accompanied by the words, “I’m sure it does hurt, but you wouldn’t be able to do this if it were broken”.

Of course, it turned out that it was indeed broken. I wasn’t able to sleep that night, mum realised that maybe something was in fact the matter, and we ended up going to hospital where it was confirmed.

 

*                          *                            *                           *

 

Fast forward approximately 30 years… it’s a Wednesday, and I arrive at my son’s after-school football club to take him home. They are just finishing up. It’s penalties. They always have a penalty each at the end of the session.

Son is in goal.

He saves a penalty and appears to land awkwardly.

But he walks up to now take his own penalty. He misses.

He returns to be goalkeeper …and lets the next penalty in. Game over.

Only at this point does he appear now to express any hand pain.

Now call me cynical  *pause… to allow time for you to call me cynical* but I wasn’t convinced, and told him to stop making a fuss. He shouts at me for never believing him (all previously  ‘life-threatening’ injuries sustained by son to this point have turned out to be no more than scratches and bruises) and when we get home, I am internally eye-rolling but in the real world I’m going through a VERY thorough hand examination, checking for scaphoid fracture – negative, checking for peripheral nerve damage – negative, putting hand and wrist through full range of movement. He reports some pain but isn’t jumping through the roof. I basically performed a slightly more elaborate equivalent of rubbing his arm, moved it backwards and forwards and telling him, “You wouldn’t be able to do that if it were broken!”. To show him I was a loving and caring father, however, I did apply an ice pack (frozen peas) and a wrist wrap bandage thing for the evening.

The next day, he goes to school and plays in a football match afterwards (they lost 4- 1 incidentally… though that’s not important to this story).

The day after that, due to ridiculous roadwork near us, I decide he will cycle to school while I cycle our younger child (using a tag-along bike) to her school. Son returns home 5 minutes after leaving, saying his wrist hurts and could I drive him? No I could not. He needs to stop being a whinge-bucket and if he’d just kept going he’d have been over half way there by now… and anyway, his sister was all kitted up and excited about cycling to school… and we didn’t have time now… and traffic would be dreadful and if he wasn’t going to cycle then he’d better start walking now or he would be really late!

He cycled to school.

And he cycled home.

But when he didn’t want to play tennis on Saturday morning, I thought something was up. I looked at his arm again.

Now his arm did look a little bit bent…mmm…not sure… swelling? … worse?

To cut this story slightly shorter, we basically spent the day in various hospitals where, after x-rays and a 3.5 hour wait, the upshot was basically “We don’t know for sure if it’s broken either. We think it still might be a greenstick fracture so here’s a brace (removable velcro-strapped splint) to wear for 3 weeks. During that time no swimming… no P.E at school… no football… come back and see us in 3 weeks“.

To cover my own parenting inadequacies, I have been recounting the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried, “WOLF!”‘ to my son.

He thinks it’s a rubbish story.

I shall be collecting my ‘Father of The Year’ award next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. they didn’t actually say “no running” so I have used his non-participation in school sports to persuade him out with me on three separate occasions for just a ten minute run.*

 

*and thus this blog fulfils its very loosely running-based brief.

 

 

Well just at the point I was considering giving up running, I get sent these from the lovely people at new balance… New Balance Vazee Coast

As you can see, they include a certain amount of ‘knitting’. The sort of main fabric they are made from… which looks great… but maybe that’s the point. They look and feel more like fashion trainers to me.  I have been for a short run in them (and I hope I don’t regret saying this) but I don’t particularly like them for running. I would run for the bus in them, sure, and if I was late getting my kids to school like this morning.

I still like them, I do. But more to go with my jeans than with my shorts, I think. On a night out maybe… if that ever happens again… but not to one of those places that says “No jeans. No trainers.” … obviously because they’d say, “Oi! No!  You’re  wearing jeans AND trainers” …and who could argue with that logic?!

As you may have noticed, the word ‘running’ has crept back into my blogging vocabulary.

🙂

It has… eventually… but not after getting worse first. I shall fill you in.

You see, in addition to the pulled hamstring in the dads’ race at sports day… I then, after eventual (well… partial) recovery, played a game of tennis and ( to give you the shortened version) I managed to pop my quad! Have I told you this before? * checks previous blog post* Nope, I haven’t. Well there was an audible ‘pop!’ and I couldn’t walk. It was shortly followed by a repeat of the hamstring pull and subsequent melancholy for a few weeks with me complaining of getting old and falling apart.

I resolved to ‘control what I could control’ and took to doing some weights and core work, together with taking some protein supplement (after many days of extensive internet research) to aid muscle recovery. It felt like it was working, albeit slowly.

A holiday to Wales came at the right time, and I was able to go out for a short morning run on most days, which I slowly lengthened….

…and…cue the photos…

And who could blame me for going out each day when this was the view in the morning… (filter included to help provide a sense of the feeling I got while looking out at it)…


I even managed Wepre parkrun on the journey there… Laps around a field it is not…


…and even the wetter weather closer to home hasn’t stopped me heading out…

 

Some of the recent weight gain has started to shift, and things are generally a bit more positive again. Though my ankle keeps reminding me I’m still not exactly the picture of prime physical perfection. Obviously… if it wasn’t for the ankle though… I’d be on the cover of a men’s fitness magazine 😉

This Sunday will see me and my boy head out on a 5k run organised by the company ‘Decathlon’ as part of their free race series. I really don’t know what to expect. The free T-shirt and goodie bag got my son to say he wanted to do it… about 3 months ago. When I reminded him yesterday though, he didn’t seem so keen :-/

I’ll let you know how it goes.

A 38 year old, thinning (hair rather than body-type), brunette runner has recently given an exclusive interview to this blog describing essentially how, following the onset of mysterious foot pains that threatened to leave him unable to ever walk again, he was able to miraculously turn his fortunes around in just three weeks!

I caught up with him over a coffee in his kitchen recently to establish the facts of this extraordinary case.

He takes a sip of coffee, lets out a long sigh and sits back in his seat as he places a cigar in his mouth and nonchalantly places his feet on the chair next to him. His hamstrings are so tight that the resultant release of energy catapults him backwards into the floor. He eventually recovers, shifts uneasily in his chair, takes another sip of his drink and a bite of his cigar before beginning his tale as if the events of the last thirty seconds never actually occurred.

“It was amazing really” he begins, recalling the events of the past month. “I went from being fully active – running, swimming, performing stunts aboard the top of a train, and Morris-Dancing at weekends – to being unable to place my foot to the floor without shooting pain. And I had no idea why!”

“I even wrote a blog post about it,” he continues, “to try and cement in my own mind that it was in fact real.  Because everything I write in blog posts is real and actual fact!” He slams his fist on the table and takes a further bite from his cigar as he says this.

“Runners fall into one of three categories when it comes to injuries,” he asserts with an air of authority in his voice…

“Category (1) – I’ll be fine. It’s just a niggle. Nothing that a good hard track session or ‘undulating’ long run with full mandatory ultra running kit won’t cure!

Category (2) – I must immediately make an appointment with a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and demand an MRI / acupuncture / a personal 24 hour round the clock physio / an invasive operation 

Category (3) As if there’s a category 3! There is no other option. Category 3 is clearly a joke. There is nothing to see here.” 

He snorts, laughing a little too long at his own non-joke as he proceeds to eat around the edge of his cigar before dipping it in his coffee. After a moments silence, I urge him to continue….with the story…not dipping his cigar in his coffee.

“I have always been a category (1) personality but losing the ability to weight-bear when shoeless had me stumbling around for answers. I thought my tennis match would let me accurately assess the extent of the injury but I had the wrong week, then it snowed on the right week and the match was cancelled. I ran to my car after work briefly last week but apart from that and lifting a few weights, exercise has been pretty non-existent. To be honest, I was quite fed up and I had very little mojo to do anything even if I could have. Maybe this saved me.”

He pops the rest of his cigar in his mouth and gets another identical one from the TWIX packet next to him…

“So there you have it.” he says, as the interview reaches its climactic conclusion, “I basically didn’t do anything. Didn’t take painkillers. Didn’t take anti-inflammatories. Just rested. And it got better.”

WOW! I’m left speechless. As I attempt to adjust to the enormity of these events. How one man, by resting, has effectively turned upside down conventional wisdom with respect to running related injuries.

He pulls me over to one side and whispers in my ear…

“Do you know, in hindsight, I reckon it was doing the can-can in bare feet on the tiled kitchen floor with my daughter a few weeks back and following that up with a few sessions of that ‘Shape-Up’ game on the Xbox – again, without shoes. I reckon it was just some sort of…well… bruise. 

Maybe I’ve been a bit over-dramatic.”

I am in shock. I have wasted too long writing an article that I could have headlined ‘Man recovers from bruise!‘ and so I collect my belongings and leave, slowly shaking my head, and without saying another word.

As I get to my car, and for the entire drive, I panic that I cannot find my wallet that I was sure was in my trousers earlier…but when I get home later that evening it turns out, I find it down the side of the sofa. 

The following day I smile to myself and think.  That runner bloke and me… we’re pretty similar really.  

I crack open a TWIX, dunk it in my coffee and look forward to my rearranged tennis match on Sunday afternoon.

Bare with me while…. Err… Bear with me… Err… Stay with both me and any nearby bears who currently may or may not be wearing clothes, while I explain the whole wallet/injury thing.

Now, I may either have a little niggle, or possibly a life-changing medical condition.

I do most definitely have a tendency to exaggerate however (I’ve been told a million times to stop doing it), so none of this should be taken too seriously. I hope.

It’s a foot pain, basically. It came on very suddenly about a week ago. Specifically – on my 4th MTP joint (underside of foot, the bony bit of the toe next to my little one where it meets the rest of the foot) making placing a bare (definitely ‘bare’ this time) foot to the floor feel like I’m stamping on a piece of Lego.

Yes. Stamping on Lego.

That bad.

So naturally  I immediately presume that I have developed aggressive, sudden-onset sero-positive erosive rheumatoid arthritis.

In a similar way, I thought my wallet was in my shorts pocket after my night run to the 24hr supermarket the other day…but the following day when I came to wash them, it wasn’t. So naturally I presumed that I dropped it and its contents (including £40 cash I’d just got from the machine) somewhere on the route home.

I go through stages of ‘wallet loss’ . These include

1) Oh my goodness! Panic! Cancel my cards. We can only live off stale bread and water until we have saved the money to repay this dreadful loss.

2) OK…think! This always happens. It’s not where you thought it was but you’ve probably just absent-mindedly put it in the fridge instead of the milk or something.

3) Right! Panic again. Not in the fridge. Check other pairs of shorts in case you were mistaken about which ones you were wearing. No luck. Check pairs of shorts not worn for a year – just in case. Nope.

4) OK. Stay calm. It nearly always turns up. You have just now looked everywhere it could possibly be (and even some places it couldn’t possibly be) mmmm…face it. It could actually be proper lost this time.

5) It’s still not found. No point getting angry at your own carelessness. Try to be happy for the lucky person that has just found £40, and hope that they really needed it). Time for bed. Try to sleep well. Don’t be angry with yourself or the world. It will change mothing.

6) Oh there it is! (Under the pillow with the headphones I’d taken out of my pocket when I got back from the run) I was never really worried. I knew it would be somewhere.

A pic from my New Year’s day run (in case, like me, you were getting bored with all those words)

.

.

Unfortunately, I am still in the equivilent early stages with my injury/niggle. I don’t remember actually doing anything to it… Maybe...there might have been a stone in my shoe that I thought I’d just put up with rather than remove? But it wasn’t that painful or anything.

Now I have just got out of bed (early Sunday morning) and I cannot put any weight on that part of my foot without it feeling like I’m stepping on a pin (obviously a standing-up one, like a drawing pin …or a tack… – this is more painful than standing on a pin that is lying flat on the floor. I wouldn’t have mentioned it if it was only that painful).

You see, I’m trying to be light about it because I hope that in a few days it it’ll turn out that it’s just been some sort of bone bruise that goes away, never to return, and I can laugh about how I was getting all melodramatic about it for no reason.

It seems ok when it’s cushioned. I can even run on it, though I’m being sensible and trying not to…

I went for a bike ride on Friday afternoon, to do a spot of geocaching…and fell off for the first time in ages…coming down this very tame (but very slippy/muddy) hill…

The thing is, that hill has a canal at the bottom and although not-braking was necessary for staying-uprightness, there was also a requirement for corner-turning in order to prevent removing-self-from-canal-with-bike-ness.
I stayed upright mostly.
The bike didn’t.
I felt sorry for my bike.
So I promptly joined it on the canal path floor.
In that muddy puddle just there.

I just ‘enjoyed’ wallowing in the mud for a bit before checking my actual, proper ‘I know where this injury is from, I just fell off my bike’ type injuries and then took  the above picture… followed by the one below, to try and show that the hill felt steeper than it looked!

I was able to cycle most of the way home, stopping off to buy some good for the evening meal. But on exiting the shop realised my front true was now totally flat. Unusually having headed out with no puncture repair kit (which of course guarantees getting a puncture that needs repairing!) I had to run and push the bike (and my now full backpack) the remaining 3 miles home in order to still be able to collect little people from school. I was shattered. But the foot felt fine while I was running in my nicely cushioned trainers.

I gave parkrun a miss on Saturday but I’ve got a tennis match today. Could be fun :-/

I hope my next post reports how the foot pain has totally disappeared. If not, it looks like the cycling and swimming might get better.

[Edit. …and of course, for the record… it’s ‘bear‘ with. No stripping off, here!]

On Saturday (err…a little while ago now – not the one just gone – this has taken me far too long to write), I thought, “What I need on my blog is a write up of a race that I enter on a whim having not run for a couple of weeks and while I recover from an injury.”

You see the week before, THIS HAPPENED (<<<blog post link). 

In summary (and this really is the short version),  the Friday was my work’s Christmas do to which I had cycled, eaten perhaps (definitely) too much, drank a very balanced amount (balancing the food out), and danced way too much, finally getting home to bed at about 02:00 on Saturday morning – the same morning that I ran my 50th parkrun and my 9 year old old son ran his 10th. Not to mention (which is a weird thing to say because I’m now about to mention it…) meeting up with parkrun tourism royalty – Louise Ayling (aka abradypus). We headed straight from there to the tennis club where I promptly pulled a muscle in my calf and found even just walking very painful.

Naturally, the obvious next move from this point of limping around for a few days, was to get chatting to some folks running an ‘undulating’ (and we all know what that means!) winter half-marathon the next weekend and express interest in the possibility of getting a transfer place.

Yes. That’s a good idea. Don’t run for a week because you’re injured then enter a hilly undulating half-marathon that next weekend. Nice one.

I only found out I had a transfer place for the Sunday’s Turkey Trot on the previous afternoon (official entries are sold out within a few days in September time). I was at a football match when I got a message from a lovely chap called Alan (a contact of Katie’s over at runyoung50) saying that due to injury, he’d not be running it now, and if I could collect the number, it was mine for no charge (though a £5 charge is made by the organisers on race day to cover admin, and surplus is donated to Rainbows Children’s Hospice). He happened to live only a 5 minute run from the football ground so I figured if I could make it to his without pulling the calf muscle again, I’d be fine. I was fine. And I now had the number.

The Keyworth ‘Turkey Trot’ was the first ever race I properly ran (not including school sports days and carnival fun runs when I was growing up).  I mean, I’m still growing up obviously, but originally I ran this when I was training for the London Marathon in 2000. And now I was going to run the ‘Turkey Trot’ again. 

Pre-race on Sunday morning… It was chilly… But should it be shorts or tights? 
It was shorts… 

 
…but it was also hat and gloves all the way!

I have no idea what time I managed in 2000, but on training runs of this distance nowadays, anything close to two hours lands me in contentedville but I certainly didn’t want to take the place of an injured runner only to end up not-finishing as an injured runner myself.

I think this may have kept me from the usual ‘sprint finish’ that I attempt in the first two miles of any long run. Splits ended up fairly even actually (well, even for me), considering the hilly undulating nature of the course profile. 

   
…and the heart rate showed a good*, steady increase… (*is this good? Or would that suggest it is not sustainable for say a 20 miler or marathon? I don’t actually know)

  

I don’t really do race reports very well. So that’s it.

I got round. I enjoyed it. I was even happy with my time. Yay.

A little stiffness in the legs for a couple of days followed, and as I gave blood on Friday afternoon, I also gave parkrun a miss the following Saturday morning. I hit a few tennis balls with my son later on, though…
…and…

…when running for a drop-shot…
… pulled that calf muscle again!!