It’s been an awful long time since my last post (in fact almost a year)
Reason being that it’s a bit of a farce to write a blog on running when you haven’t run for about a year (18th of May 2015 was when my injury presented itself, even writing that is painful, a whole bloody year). Originally it was thought to be an IT problem, the pain certainly had the symptoms but many Physio sessions later it looked like it was actually a problem with the Vastus Laseralis and my quads in general (solid was the word used)
More Physio and a near return to running was stalled by a Meniscus problem on the same leg, more Physio and some improvement but now I have what appears to be Patella tendon problems on both knees.
On the positive side I have been able to continue to cycle, completing a charity ride from Lynwood to Paris in June so I am not totally incapacitated (I think I would have gone mad if I couldn’t do anything) but all in all a pretty sad state of affairs.
So why post now?
Well for one, I am paying for a URL so it seems a waste to not use it. Secondly I figure if I do ever sort my knees out and run again maybe my experience may offer some help, I know that I have spent A LOT of time searching the internet for any titbit of information that may aid my recovery.
One thing I have added to my arsenal of rehabbing tools is an Ultrasound machine. I had this used on me when I had the Meniscus problem and placebo or not, it seemed to work and was enough to get me to Paris.
I have started using this as directed on my knees and while I have nothing really to report yet, I am hopeful this will show some benefits soon.
Secondly, I am adding weighted eccentric loading onto my routine. I have been using the leg press, pushing with both legs and lowering slowly (4-5 seconds) with one leg and it may just be in my head but I swear the tension/ache in my knees seems to go for a few hours after.
I do have a goal to aim for as well. I have entry to the North Downs at 50 next year and it would be great to mark my return to running with that event.
Time to move forward and fix myself (and try and blog again)
This is my first week of proper barefoot running with the majority of my runs all totally barefoot. First run was on Monday around 1.5 miles and the second on Wednesday I managed to increase that to 2 miles.
Feet are still hyper sensitive and the discomfort limits how far I can go, I guess this is a good thing forcing me to work on my form. Running on the muddy trails is no problem at all, still have to be mindful of whats under my feet but it’s generally ok. The route I have been running has a gravel section on it and that’s a different matter, I have to practically pigeon step my way along it and will divert to the grass occasionally if it all gets too much.
Friday I went for a run in my Xeros just so I could get a reasonable distance in, however I still made sure my technique was correct and kept the pace easy so I didn’t get sloppy.
I (along with my wife) are both a week into the Paleo diet and that has been having an impact on my energy levels, going cold turkey off coffee, Haribo and Relentless and any other caffeine/high sugar product made me feel for the first few days like my head was going to explode but I am getting there and am now feeling much better. I am looking forward to see how this benefits my running along with the barefooting.
My last post was ages ago, I think May following the NDW50/Richmond Park Marathon effort.
Suffice to say I need to start posting more and actually write some of the gear reviews that I had planned as well as race reviews. The good news is my training has really picked up over the last few weeks as well as me loosing about 2 kilos of weight, meaning that running and cycling is getting easier meaning I can run and cycle more!
The last two weeks is where it has really slotted into place, with 35 mile week of running and 62 miles of cycling followed by a 43 mile week of running and 51 miles of cycling.
The next events planned is the Snowdonia Marathon followed by the Winter Fandance (Clean Fatigue) so I will focus on writing about my build-up to these as well as the longer term plan for the (in hushed tone) North Downs Way 100 in 2015
Well I am still not running, my ankle although improved doesn’t feel up to the task of running yet. I am hoping that another week and I will be able to go out for a short run, I don’t want to risk anything with the TMW so close so if I have to leave it right to the last-minute then so be it.
Fortunately I am still cycling and as the running has reduced I have ramped up the intensity a bit. Monday being a bank holiday I decided to go out a short 9.92 mile ride (this was a recovery ride from the 2 sessions I had over the weekend, a 14 mile and 8 mile). Tuesday I wasn’t actually going to ride but a friend at work convinced me to join in on a TT in the local area.
This was my first competitive road cycle and I was a little apprehensive as I know I am not the quickest rider out there. It was organised by BEC cycling club (http://www.beccyclingclub.co.uk/) and had a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. After everyone arrived at the meeting point we headed to the start and I had the pleasure of being released second. The start of the route was an uphill which immediately sapped the strength in my legs, my thoughts at that point being “If I am hurting now………”. Fortunately the gradient became more forgiving and a downhill followed. Pushing myself as best I could I maintained a fairly good pace (for me) and the I continued along the course pushing on the uphill and trying to maximise the downhills.
Despite my efforts I did get overtaken by three riders who set off after me, but came in at a reasonable 37:05 (which wasn’t last place)
The rest of the week consisted of my commutes to and from work and another training ride at a quicker pace on the Saturday.
Despite all the cycling, I still don’t think it is something I would take up seriously, I love running too much. Cycling you can’t let your mind wander, just letting yourself get in the zone and I miss that, that’s the aspect of running I love the most. But it is serving its purpose, I am keeping my fitness up and hopefully will be able to complete the marathon in 20 days time.
So those who read my last post will know that training hasn’t bein going that well and I am quite significantly off my running plan. I could list the runs that I have done (it wouldn’t be long) but I think it is easier to give a visual comparison of where I was at last year and where I am at now.
I have generated a report from Good Run Guide showing the June and July 2012 (NDW50 was August) and February and March this year (NDW50 is in May), so the same comparative timeframe in relation to the race.
It’s quite stark seeing the difference in distance and number of runs and the reality has hit home, mentally I am not in the same place that I was last time. Prior to the previous run, although the weather was a hell of a lot better, I was also more mentally focused that I am right now.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, although the runs have been shorter and less frequent, I haven’t just been sitting around doing nothing. Looking at my cycling from the same time frame as Period 2 this is the mileage so my legs are getting some work, although I appreciate it’s not quite the same.
I am not going to dwell on the lack of runs though, I need to get my head back in the game. I ran today following the disaster yesterday and it felt really, really good. I was running at a good pace, felt exhilarated as I travelled over the trails and felt some of the magic again.
While I was running I was thinking (as most people probably do) and have decided that the NDW50 will be an experiment to answer a question, “can you run an ultra with extensive cross training?”. I don’t expect to beat my 11:19 of last year, but I want to finish and finish within the cut off.
An attitude shift, that’s what I need, half the battle is in the head so get that in the right place and I am in with a fighting chance.