Sunday, 3 July 2011

Walking in the Saturday sunshine

After nearly a fortnight of no running at all (trying to let the hip injury recover) I could feel a creeping insanity building. After spending a couple of days wandering on the North Downs with some Duke of Edinburgh students, I decided I could safely walk a marathon, hopefully without causing more damage. I'd already entered an Ultra (30 miles) on Saturday afternoon, which was part of the Enigma festival of running, but I switched to the morning Enigma marathon, which meant getting up to Bletchley for an 8 am start.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and an opportunity to hang out with lots of running mates. I could tell the day would be good for my mental health if nothing else. The route included a couple of laps of the lake, plus a trot along the canal towards Leighton Buzzard. This was a section that I had traversed in darkness during the GUCR 5 weeks ago: it looked very different in the sunshine and with lots of cygnets swimming about and a fearless Heron perched regally on the bank.

I walked most of it and put in some jogging here and there, trying to listen out for the uneven footfalls that indicate limping. I expected to be right at the back of the field, but even at nearly 5 and a half hours, there were still half a dozen people behind me. I chatted with lots of people en route, and was happy that there were other folk taking it as easy as I was, providing entertaining company.

At the end, another runner described having had the exact same hip flexor pain (and related foot pain) symptoms I've been suffering from. After several months of enduring this, the cure had come quickly, in the form of a physio's elbow harshly prodded into and rolled around the offending area. Apparently it hurt while being done and was worse the next day, but then after that the hip was cured. Sounded too good to be true. But Trin was there doing massage and she offered her elbow. It certainly hurt while she was doing it. I mean really really owwy ouch! And today it feels as if a small explosion has taken place inside my hip. So I am tentatively hopeful that this is the wizard cure and tomorrow I shall be able to run again. That would be more than shiny.

So, another great day with the Fox, whose Enigma events keep us addicts sated. Looking at my stats, I notice that my 99th, 149th, 159th and 169th marathons have all been Enigmas. (That would be more interesting if there weren't also at least another 3 not ending in ...9th) Huge thanks to Dave and all his merry helpers, who make these such wonderful days to be a part of.

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