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.

7 thoughts on “From the sublime to the ridiculous

  1. Adele says:

    Blimey, ten miles, go girl! It’s a good idea to have a go with the foam rollers, they are meant to be really good. I hope your body gives you a break soon, you deserve it!

  2. fortnightflo says:

    OMG 10 miles AND up at 5.30 to do 5 miles – that is impressive. I hope you can fix your legs without having to take too much rest, I find the foam roller has helped enormously, combined with a fortnightly sports massage which is not fun and certainly not relaxing but seems to keep my legs in good working order!

  3. K, like in caKe says:

    That sounds a big week for mileage – impressive stuff!

    I had a nasty bout of ITB a few years ago, it brought my running to a total standstill (largely because I ploughed on at first and ignored the niggle for too long) – I saw an osteopath/sports therapist who identified all sorts of weaknesses and imbalances elsewhere and helped me with exercises, mostly for my bum! Not necessarily the solution in your case, but it did teach me 1) that apparently foam rollers, whilst really useful, treat the symptoms, not the cause (@GlasgoOsteo may disagree and I’m no expert); 2) when you feel a niggle, it’s worth listening to it (upping the mileage and hoping it goes away might not be the immediate answer, as was my downfall).

    Fingers crossed this is a temporary blip and that you’re back to gamboling next week!

  4. Nicky Siddall-Collier says:

    Give yourself a massive break. Look back at how much you have achieved and remember that boys are always better at this stuff (very begrudgingly because it’s annoying that it’s not a level playing field) because they were meant to be chasing down sabre toothed tigers to bring back to the cave. You’ve had an amazing week mileage wise. Be proud

  5. plustenner says:

    not surprised you are feeling it, you have done an amazing amount! definitely take a well deserved rest 🙂

  6. abradypus says:

    Bl**dy training plans. They take all the fun out of running. Next time you get to a clump, chuck it out and put in a session that appeals to you there and then.

  7. Rachel B says:

    How is the knee now? Recovered or What’s your next step? I am also comming to the conclusion that to do this sort of mileage a regular sports massage is kind of essential maintainence.

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