Sunday, 11 September 2011

A long summer

It's been a while since I last wrote here. Mainly because I finally did the sensible thing and stopped running for long enough to let my injury have a chance at healing. Which it now finally is, I think, fingers crossed and all that.

I went to see an osteopath who diagnosed a groin strain. Over the summer I saw him many more times. The treatment involved rest, lots of painful prodding/poking/massaging, some dry needle therapy, spinal manipulation, lots of exercises (squats and lunges in every direction) and stretches, hot baths in Epsom salts and taking flax seed oil. There was about a month of no running at all (!!!) then gentle jogs of increasing length were gradually reintroduced.

I was surprised at quite how disproportionately I was affected by not being able to run. I had joked before about how I'd go mental if I couldn't run, but hadn't realised that actually it would expose a major personality defect in that my mood is governed so thoroughly by my ability to go for a jog in the morning. Feeling unfit is not good for me. And yet stupidly I kept eating as normal for too long, resulting in weight gain that means I'm fatter so have extra weight making the return to fitness all the more hard work.

But it felt very good when I finally got to run again, albeit very slow and only a 3 miler at first. My first 10 miler was lovely and I eventually got to do a marathon on 20th August. It was fantastic to see all my running mates again, who'd been wondering where I'd been.
The event was the Thames Meander: a great route through Richmond Park, along the Thames to Putney Bridge, then turn around and run back again. It was very well organised by Dave and Mel Ross. I did my patented returning-from-injury walk:run and managed 4:34, which seemed pretty respectable.
The joy was short lived as my knee became really painful the following day and I had to have another week of no running. But then I quickly got back into it and managed a 32 miler (run:walk again) along the Thames from Moulsford to Marlow. My first event organised by Xnrg, whom I now rate very highly. There were more folk there that I hadn't seen for weeks and it was a small event with a real feel-good factor.

After a full-on week at college, I was happy to spend Saturday running the One-to-go marathon along the canal from Hackney Marshes up to the Lee Valley Water Sports Centre (we got to see some great kayaking and white-water rafting) and back again past the Olympic Stadium. And there were yet more people I hadn't seen all summer. It was far too hot (a really muggy, oppressive sort of heat) but I was happy to be there. I was much slower than at the previous couple of runs, but really enjoyed the day. My hip felt a bit dodgy - not painful but it didn't feel quite right. I'm hoping everything's okay, but will go back to get checked out by the osteo before doing too much more I think.

So, annoyingly, I haven't been able to return to fitness enough to be able to do the Spartathlon. That's extremely disappointing, but I suppose it will be there in future years.

The summer did have some very good bits of course - a brilliant trip to Paris with Jim and lots of other days out here and there. Plus I got to meet my new nephew, Rory, and see the rest of my family too.

And I'm running now and mentally feeling like myself again. :-)