From the sublime to the ridiculous

Do you remember, back in June, I had a week or so when my running felt fantastic? I was fleet of foot and light of tread, I bounded, cantered and gamboled through the streets without a care in the world. I remember it, but unfortunately my legs have completely forgotten and now seem to think that they are made of lead. Very achy lead.

On Sunday, I did 6 miles with Ginge. It wasn’t pleasant (except the company) and I needed all of his best cajoling and encouragement to get home. I put this down to a training phenomenon I like to call ‘clumping’. Clumping occurs when you skive/weasel/postpone a planned session, but then end up with all your sessions clumping into a short space of time. Last week I ran on Tuesday, slept through Thursday morning’s allocated slot, chose to ignore Thursday evening’s replacement slot and ended up running Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I know that I do this during the Athons, but I like to think that I’m trying to work harder at the moment.

On Monday I rested. It was nice.

On Tuesday, I gulped and hacked out 10 miles with Ginge. Poor Ginge has no inclination to run a half, but still accompanies me – he’s great. He’s also bloody annoying, because he does it with a lot less effort than I do. It was grumpy, painful and bloody hard work. I struggled to find a rhythm, pausing after a mile because it felt as if someone had fused my ankle bones together, then my legs felt heavy, then my dodgy knee made me trot in an awkward fashion, then I was too hot, then it started raining and I was too cold, then my legs went heavy again, then my feet hurt… This continued for, oooh, seven miles before I actually found myself settling into it.

I suspect that some of this was all in my head – the route contained two hills that I have failed in the past, I was nervous about hitting double figures and it was Tuesday bloody night. Some of it was in my legs though – the niggles that have lurked during Juneathon seem to have all starting shouting for attention at the same time. I’ve thought for a while that my knee was flaring up (anterior pain around my patella) but have been ignoring it because deep down I know that the inevitable solution will be rest and I don’t want to rest (I realise the incredible stupidity of this approach).

On Wednesday, I went to yoga. I was apprehensive about going because I don’t trust my knee in flexed weightbearing positions. I also fancied a night on the sofa. I sought advice from twitter, followed the wise words of @GlasgowOsteo and tried some massage, which seemed to do the trick for a bit (I ran up and downstairs without wincing) and survived yoga.

This morning, I was out of the door at the obscenely early time of 5.30. I am both proud and ashamed of this. I ran 5 miles. I felt as if someone had swapped my legs for someone else’s and they just wouldn’t work properly. I am frustrated.

Tonight, I have ordered a foam roller and continue to apply copious amounts of Deep Freeze to a vast acreage of my upper legs. I am fighting the urge to go out tomorrow morning just to see how it feels. I have also entered Jog Blog’s competition to win a set of Cram Alerts just in case I can’t make it home one day…

Here is a picture of a man guarding some cows at Jodrell Bank. Hopefully this offsets my pitiful whinging.