Posts Tagged ‘Injury


grim original 2011 – wetter and better

Saturday marked my now annual participation in Grim Original. This was the third time I have taken part – you can read the previous years experiences here and here.
Grim is always fun – attracting, as it does, reasonably serious runners who don’t take themselves too seriously. On the start line this year were, in addition to the scores of slightly nervous looking runners in normal running attire, a number of men in dresses, a few in just speedos, one in the MOST HORRIFIC MANKINI and another in the best cardboard and gaffer tape approximation of Optimus Prime I have ever seen. All this effort to run, wade and crawl through puddles and mud and over obstacles.
This year the organisers had tweaked the course slightly to abbreviate what has become known as “the boring bit” and included some additional obstacles such as logs, railway tracks and some concrete blocks. This does actually make the course beter, if a little tougher, as they all come in the last half of the race when you are soaked and muddy and begin to get tired.
This years race was an odd one for me for a couple of reasons – Firstly, it was surprisingly mild. Last years event was postponed until January as there was snow on the ground, puddles were frozen solid and roads were impassable. Not so this year which was a positively balmy 11 degrees and had me wondering weather my combination of long sleeve top and wooly hat were perhaps a little pessimistic. Secondly, this was the first Grim at which I managed to slightly injure myself, going over on my right ankle within the first couple of miles and then subsequently as it was weakened, about another 4 times before the run was complete. Not enough to stop me from completing but enough to temper my usual child like glee that I have squelching through mud and jumping in puddles. And besides, the ankle now, 4 days after the event is a quite fetching mixture of blues and mauves and purples.
It is a great race, made much better by the loss of “the boring bit”, the addition of the extra obstacles and the increased amounts of rain in the days prior to the event making the puddles that little bit deeper and the mud that little bit squelchier. I’ll be back next December but before that I am already signed up for Grim Night Terror in February – more of the same but at night. With just headtorches. I can’t wait.

Soundtrack to this post: Rocket Juice And The Moon – Here We Go (Live)


twigs and bathtubs

Not much running accomplished this week as not only has the work front been unexpectedly busy, but I have also been trying to get as much stuff as possible organised for my impending trip to Edinburgh this weekend. My little sister, I say “little” but she is 40 years old, is getting married there so I’ve been busy getting my suit cleaned and rummaging around for a bag of specific dimensions that I can take on as hand luggage that will contain everything I need for 3 days away and a wedding. Once the bag was packed, there was the smallest of spaces left – just big enough for some shorts, a top and my Vibrams. Come Sunday morning, Edingbronians(?) will have the dubious pleasure of seeing me running around a bit in their city.
Before I set off North Of The Border, I shall leave you with this little gem. For the impatient amongst you, the technique is on the 5th page but it’s well worth reading all the way through.

Soundtrack to this post: Mix Up – The Gladiators


disobedient legs

I’ve now run 4 times since returning from holiday and am finding it difficult. Over 2 months of non-running has allowed my legs to become lazy and disobedient. When asked to perform, they reluctantly go through the motions like a moody teenager and then, as soon as I’m not looking, begin to slack off. And they feel TIGHT. The calves, the quads and hamstrings seem to have siezed up. During Juneathon, the running came comparitively easy, the movement fluid… At the moment I’m sure that if I removed my headphones whilst running I’d hear the joints in my hips and knees creaking like rusty hinges. None of this is helped by running 5kms virtually daily whilst on holiday and then, once home and with the Ashtead 10k on the horizon, I have halved the frequency of my runs but doubled the distance because in my little brain, I’m not actually working any harder (3 x 10km are the same as 6 x 5km, right. Right?), although my legs beg to differ. And I know deep down that 3 x 10kms are obviously not the same as 6 x 5kms but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when, after 5km, I’m grabbing my ankles and stretching at the side of the path when I should still be running.
So, the Ashtead 10k this Sunday should be, ahem, interesting. I’m looking forward to it very much as it is Hauling My Carcass’s hometown race and I have heard and read lots of good things about it. I am hoping that the sense of occasion and anticipation allow me to run it easily and enjoyably. And apparently there are no hornets to avoid this year.

Soundtrack to this post – Nucleus Roots – Sunrise


the great mope of 2011

Since injuring my foot in an unfortunate tree root / foot interface towards the tail end of Juneathon, I have been experiencing what the experts refer to as “Running Envy”. The symptoms of this cruel affliction are, firstly, the inability to run oneself. This gives rise to feelings of inadequecy, a rejection of anything running related and the involuntary act of muttering “bastard” under ones breath whenever someone else is observed running. Sufferers of this condition often transfer their fixation with running onto other sports. As an example, the “Running Envy” victim may avoid all running related pastimes, including such things as not reading blog posts, and instead focus his obsession on some unrelated sport, for example cycling and the Tour De France, he may read blogs related to cycling like the always excellent Bike Snob and perhaps even take part in silly long-distance overnight bicycling events himself.
Which is all very well, but when said silly long distance overnight bicycling event leaves your bike with an annoying creak and the need for replacement parts, any kind of participation in this surrogate sporting activity becomes difficult in itself. So when my new bottom bracket and cranks arrived, I was keen to get them replaced as soon as possible. When I had first built the bike, I wanted it to be as “original” as possible, keeping and re-using as many of the original parts as I could and retaining the spirit of the original 30+ year old contraption. As I have now done over a thousand kilometres on the bike, wear and tear has begun to take it’s toll and I have realised that a 30 year old cottered crankset may not be the best solution to turning the wheels. So the cranks and bottom bracket were replaced and then the bike taken out for a spin last night. The pedalling feels so much smoother and it is obvious now that the old bottom bracket was literally on it’s last legs. Like an overdue visit to the Opticians, you don’t realise how bad things have got until they are suddenly put right.
And, despite still having pain in my foot, it does at last appear to be getting better. So after flunking out on my “one running race per month for 2011” commitment in July. I hope to be getting back to some tentative running in time for the Bearbrook 10k in a couple of weeks time.
Ohh… look! What’s that over there? Looks like… Looks like my Mojo. I think I’ll go and get it back…

Soundtrack to this post: Augustus Pablo – Tippa Tone Blues


juneathon day 29: tubeless

Today I had the dubious pleasure of attending a trade “show” (the word show always conjures up images beautiful women in glittery costumes high kicking their way across a stage… when coupled with the word “trade” however, nothing could be further from the truth). It was at Olympia and I had to endure a train journey into London (not too bad) and then a couple of tube journeys to Olympia (not too good). The “show” was not especially exciting and I left clutching a bag of leaflets, 1 flash memory stick emblazoned with the logo of a company I will never use and a branded pen. Not much of a haul.
After the “show”, I needed to be in Oxford Circus, then Marble Arch, then Paddington. So I got the Tube to Oxford Circus, did what I had to do and then decided that as it was a nice day and the Tube was way too hot and crowded and Marble Arch was relatively close, that I’d walk to Marble Arch. Once at Marble Arch I again, did what I had to do and then decided that Paddington was now a walkable distance too so I set off for Paddington. By my estimate, roughly three and a half miles walked through the streets of London. I dropped in at the office and then decided that, as I needed to get back to Highbury and Islington, I’d better relent and jump on the tube as that was perhaps a little too far to stroll. And, in addition to that, my right foot was hurting. Like a bastard. So I guzzled some Ibuprofen and set off on my way home.
Arriving home, and reluctant to try and claim a bit of walking in London as my Juneathon effort for the day, I hopped on the singlespeed and knocked out a fairly swift and pain-free 17.3kms. Not sure if I’ll have time for any sort of Grand Finale tomorrow, certainly not a run with the sore foot, but maybe a cycle ride and an hour or so of free-weights to bring this years Juneathon shuddering to a halt.


juneathon day 26: etiquette dilemma

Oh, how I was itching to get out today after yesterday’s static Juneathon in the gym. I had been consuming Ibuprofen yesterday like sweets and realised that my foot only actually hurts when it bends but, crucially, not when pressed onto something. So… a cycle ride was planned for this morning. Surely pressing down on the pedals would be alright. And I need to keep up the cycling momentum as in 3 weeks I attempt The Dunwich Dynamo and need all the time in the saddle I can get (so, if being all fatalistic, everything happens for a reason, maybe SonNumberTwo was just reacting to some greater universal law that forces me to forego running for cycling???).
I had a route in my head and set off early(ish) as it was forecast to get hot, very hot, later in the day. About halfway through the ride, I embarrassingly got caught up in a cycle race. When the first lycra clad cyclist passed me, I thought nothing of it. But then another and another and for a while, I was caught up in a little “peloton” of about 8 riders… them all serious, lycra clad with carbon fibre machines and me. Me, in a t-shirt and cut down camouflage combats singing along to my iPod and riding a bike bought for £10 off e-bay. I felt a bit out of place.
They left me after a mile or so and I carried on pootling along. Until I met up with another bunch of road racers. And I had a dilemma on my hands… I was about 5km from home. I needed to get home quickly as an item I was bidding on on e-bay was ending and I wanted to be there to slip in a last minute bid. But…if I sat patiently behind them, I would miss my e-bay deadline. But, if I tried to overtake, I would look like a competitive dick.
In the end, the call of e-bay was too strong and I nipped past on the outside, going as fast as possible and hoping I didn’t break any unwritten cycling code of conduct. I got home 30.97kms after leaving the house, just in time to not win the item on e-bay because the reserve had not been met. Typical.


juneathon day 25: unexpected setback and partial fail

Guess who is back from the Urgent Care Clinic at his local hospital? Yep, me. That’s who. I stated before starting Juneathon that I wondered how long it would be before I “crashed and burned” and now I have the answer although the cause came from a surprising source.
Yesterday mornings cycle was trouble free, even enjoyable. And the run from the night before seemed to have had no ill effect on the Juneathonitis of The Second Metatarsal. In fact I was contemplating doing another short run today until…
I was walking around the house yesterday morning and SonNumberTwo walked up to me. He stood facing me and took each of my hands in his. Then, without warning, he jumped in the air and landed with his feet on top of mine. This was obviously supposed to be a precurser to me doing the “walking backwards with his feet on top of mine so I was making him walk forwards” kind of scenario. All it actually succeeded in doing was making me yelp with pain like a shot dog as a stabbing/burning sensation went through my right foot.
The rest of the day was spent tentatively walking around whilst full of ibuprofen. By the time I caught the train home just before midnight, the 2nd and 3rd toes on my right foot were filled with a burning, tingling sensation and painful. Not good.
This morning they were no better so I packed myself off to the “Urgent Care Clinic” at the local hospital – a kind of A&E for minor injuries but without the 3-5 hour wait. The staff were really excellent – seeing me within 5 minutes of my arrival, whisking me off for an x-ray before plonking me back in front of a nurse who discussed the x-ray with me, told me it was not broken or fractured and packed me off with good advice and a leaflet on soft tissue injuries. The whole thing took less than 45 minutes.
The bad news is that I cannot put any pressure on it for 24 hours, ruling out a run or cycle today and effectively ruling out running for the rest of Juneathon. The nurse thinks I damaged the tissues by landing on the sticky-out-tree-root last Saturday, which was almost healed when SonNumberTwo landed on it, damaging it some more.
So I had to content myself with doing some weights, a little bench pressing, crunches, pull-ups – free-weights are something that I enjoy doing but have taken a back seat this month as I have concentrated on running and cycling. I did enjoy it but am still a little unhappy that my vow to run in the Vibrams or cycle each day has been scuppered at this late stage. Still, with 5 days to go, perhaps I can alternate between cycling and free weights…

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