Archive for April, 2009

28
Apr
09

the carrot or the stick?

Moody Running Avoidance – How Much Worse Can It Be – Threat Or Incentive

Firstly, a massive well done to everyone who took part in the Flora London Marathon on Sunday. Particularly as, contrary to all the weather forecasts, it was so very warm which must have made it even harder than usual. A special mention should also go to iliketocount who was putting in plenty of miles of training only to be struck down with an injury a couple of weeks before the event and was unable to run.

I decided to avoid watching the race as I was sulking… I have had a couple of attempts at my 10km training runs since my last blog and have performed so poorly I didn’t feel like sharing it with any of you. They could hardly be called training “runs” either really as they consisted of approximately 50% walking so I tried to avoid anything running related for a couple of days to try and get my head straight. Today, I’d decided it was time to give myself a bit of a kick up the arse and see if I could complete the distance, without stopping to walk, no matter how sore my neck and shoulder felt or how much pins and needles I had in my hand….

And here I digress slightly… I gave up smoking 3 years ago after I realised that, if I split up my life to that point, I had been smoking for longer than I hadn’t been smoking. At the time, my main fear (and reason for not stopping) was “If I go without a cigarette for 8 hours, I crave them really badly, so imagine how much worse that craving will be if it is 80 hours without smoking – obviously 10 times worse!!!”. Which I now know is a complete myth. So, I decided I can apply the same thing to the discomfort whilst I am running… If I carry on running, it is unlikely that the pins and needles in my arm will become so unbearable that something terrible will happen, it will probably just reach a point and then get no worse… which is (obviously) exactly what happened.

To further compound my decision to ignore any pain and just run, I’d decided on issuing myself an ultimatum. Next week, I have a ticket to go and see the mighty Killing Joke at Heaven. Many of my friends will be there, Killing Joke live are never less than brutally intense, and it will be as close a thing to a guaranteed great night out as I can imagine. So I told myself that if I stopped to walk, I would forfeit my ticket and not go to the gig. And it worked as I did 10.25km in 1:02:41 which I don’t think is too bad as I noticed I still have a weird, stooping, tippy-toey running style whilst I try and not jar anything in the neck region.

Tomorrow, I go to the doctors to see if he can get me an x-ray or MRI scan on my shoulder. Hopefully, it’ll just show up to be a disc problem and relatively easily solved. We’ll soon find out.

So, unusually, I have hand picked todays soundtrack to the post – ordinarilly, I sit myself down at the laptop, hit “shuffle” on the Media Player and see what is playing when I finish the post. Today, as I used them as such an effective training tool…

Soundtrack to this post: Wardance – Killing Joke

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22
Apr
09

today I started slogging again

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

12
Apr
09

disappearing act

AWOL – The Proposed Bizarre Route – I’m Not In Love

The idea was to return from Prague, a gentle run or two and then off to EuroDisney for 4 days with Son 1. And it went to plan… kind of.

After returning from the Czech Republic having posted a fairly slow and unimpressive time for the half marathon, I decided that I need to work on getting some strength / stamina back so came up with a few variations to my normal runs which would incorporate Fartlek and a bit of hill training as well as varying the distances that I run. I had one hill training session that made my legs burn and my lungs ache and then packed my running gear into my luggage for my EuroDisney trip – whilst there, I wanted to do an early morning run around the perimeter of EuroDisney as the thought of taking a run with the Disney Castle as a backdrop seemed absurd and appealed to my sense of the surreal. Unfortunately, it was not to be as on the second day I woke up and found myself unable to get out of bed as the shoulder injury I thought I had got rid of a few weeks ago had flared up again. Whether it was the hauling of luggage or having my son on my shoulders for the duration of the Disney Parade or the ill advised roller coaster rides that I took and then felt queasy after, I have no idea, but it was painful.

And so, on returning to the UK, I’ve once again started the osteopath / acupuncture / anti-inflammatory combination as I apparently have tendonitis in my shoulder and inflammation around the vertebrae. Boo!!!! So, the dilemma is… How do  write a running blog when I’ve not done any running??? And all around me, I keep seeing people out running. It’s like when a relationship comes to an end and every sad song on the radio is telling YOUR story and all you notice is all the happy couples in the world, it appears that I cannot go anywhere at the moment without coming across people out running or adverts for running shoes . Literally everywhere I go… GRRRRRRRRRRR!!

Still, the last few days have seen an improvement (at least I can now sit hunched over my laptop and type – hence this post) and a few more days and I may even be back out tentatively pounding the streets. So, the lack of running and blogging is a temporary condition and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Promise.

Soundtrack to this post: The Hunt – Niyaz




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