No Action Hero – The Big Ball – Countdown To Two Tens and a Two
I cannot remember a time, perhaps in my entire life, where I have been so prone to injury. Perhaps, like Indiana Jones, I really am “getting too old for this” but as I am not rescuing holy relics from the Nazis or saving ancient artefacts from the clutches of ne’er-do-wells, I knew I could start my latest bout of training on Monday night wanting to complete a 10k distance but doing it gently. After last weeks visit to the Osteopath, it is now confirmed that the annoying pain in my shoulder / arm is, in fact, a bulging disc at C6, which is basically a disc out of place in my neck. It pushes on a nerve which causes a constant ache in my arm (like when the school bully gives you a dead arm except that it doesn’t slowly fade after 20 seconds or so) and I have pins and needles in my hand. None of which is a real problem but it is annoying. And I don’t want to do anything to aggrovate it.
After being told that I “shouldn’t lift heavy objects” and being sent on my way by the Osteopath, I did a bit of in(ternet)vestigating myself. It appears that stretching, icing, rest etc. are the keys to sorting the problem and also bouncing gently on one of those ridiculous enormous balls that people buy when they vow to get fit, inflate, then use once and leave in the spare room of their house until it gets sold at the next Car Boot Sale. Allegedly, the stretching and compression of the discs in the spine whilst bouncing, flushes blood through the disc, whisking away toxins and bringing in oxygen thus aiding recovery. So… if bouncing on a silly, oversized ball could do it, why not the stretching and compression of the discs caused by my feet hitting the floor as I bound gracefully through the Hertfordshire countryside?
I was very wary when starting off of not hitting the ground too hard and also aware that I didn’t want to jar my neck and shoulder too much so was keeping my upper body fairly still. Both of these made the running difficult but also, I imagine, I appeared faintly ridiculous to anyone unlucky enough to see me. I would run for a mile or so, walk and stretch my neck for a few hundred yards then run again. And, as I haven’t run properly since Prague combined with my weird gait (top half still, bottom half running but closer to a gentle shuffle), I found it strangely tiring. Still, I’d accomplished what I wanted to accomplish… a 10k training run… no matter how slowly. I have two 10k’s in May and now I know that, even in this sorry, achey, middle aged state, I can complete them even if I have to walk/stretch/run my way through. Although, hopefully, that won’t be the case as I still have over 4 weeks to sort myself out before the Wheathampstead 10km on 17th May.
Soundtrack to this post: I Am The Fly – Wire