Category Archives: Injury Recovery

I might be in the hunt for a new nickname

I think ‘Turtle’ would be appropriate…
run-slower-than-turtles-eBibs
It was another adventure in slow running last night. Due to a physio appointment yesterday afternoon my muscles were still sore from the deep tissue massage. That, coupled with only just getting returning to back-to-back running days, left my legs feeling really tired before I’d even laced up. I tried to push on in the middle of the run and managed to get close to half-marathon pace, but I could tell I was pushing so I wound it back in. Maybe ‘Tortoise’ sounds better?

Speaking of physiotherapy…
Bizarrely, I currently have two physiotherapists who share my treatment. The senior physiotherapist is pretty used to dealing with crazy keen runners, with many marathoners on his books, however due to his busy schedule I can’t get in to see him twice a week. His treatments are pretty aggressive and he trusts what I’m telling him about my response to the treatment. This means he treats me at the edge of what I can handle (yes, I curse and grunt, and even came close to a tear in one particularly heavy session), however the flip-side is that he was happy for me to get back into running when I could do 25 calf raises without pain. Herein lies the problem. The junior physiotherapist had different ideas and wanted me to have another two weeks of treatment before starting calf exercises. Six weeks off exercise for a Grade 1 calf strain? You can see where this is going…

Anyway, long story short – after seeing the senior physio last week I went straight back to running, and when I saw my other physio yesterday, she was obviously put out when she asked if I could walk down stairs without pain and I replied that I had no problems during the four runs I had completed since last seeing her. Sure, she was happy to see my improvement, and did note that my flexibility and strength were much improved since she first saw me, but I couldn’t help feeling that I had somehow hurt her feelings or snubbed her in some way. She was also quite non-committal about me running the Benfleet 15 on Sunday. The response I was hoping for was “You’ve done 5 runs and 40km this week, just take it slow and for the love of God, warm up properly!”. Instead I got “Hmmm. You know your body best…”.

Hmmm, that’s true, but I also know my mind, and it has been prone to gross over-exaggeration of levels of fitness and preparedness in the past. I was hoping for at least some level of objective critique on my actual state of readiness.

So. Tally time:
5 good runs and no pain. Good.
Both physiotherapists have different options. Bad.
But both agree that my recovery is going very well. Good.
And I feel strong. Not fast, but strong. Good.

That’s three out of four – 75/25 for running.

Hmmm.

Oh, who am I kidding! Let’s face it, 75/25 means 100% I’m going to run this race. Peanut butter or not…

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

p.s. I think I’ll go with ‘Turtle’. Rolls off the tongue better…

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Good signs

Last night I completed the longest run since my injury – 12km – and the signs were all good. I ran along the canal towpath near my house, and the courtesy markings were a timely reminder for me and my running.
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Bernie returns…

Well I’m back. I think. I’ve had a long break from the blog, a winter vacation after Christmas, and I’ve also returned from injury!

runninginjury

On the weekend I did two runs. First off was a 5k easy jog to test the calf as part of my run/swim combo. It all went well, with no soreness at the strain site. Everywhere else though – rubbish! As my first run since being injured (and recovering from a bout of bronchitis) it was quite slow, however I really noticed how much of my conditioning I have lost in 4 weeks. Even with some bike riding, swimming and a week’s hard skiing in the Alps to try and keep up the fitness it’s just not the same as running…

On Sunday I had bit of soreness but nothing too bad, so after some stretching and calf raises to test the injury I decided I could do my planned 10k. I took it easy and ran it like a LSD run. I’ve had to learn the hard way over the years how important it is to come back slowly, so I’m making sure to take it easy this time around. Re-injuring my calf by trying to eke out a few seconds of pace would be to repeat previous mistakes stupid. I have a race on Sunday, the Benfleet 15, however I’m only 51/49 for running at this point. I always planned to take this race pretty easy, but even going easy it’ll be a serious test. I need to get a couple more runs under the belt this week before deciding if I’ll race on Sunday. Here’s hoping the calf is good to go!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Not LMFAO

A Party Rock Anthem induced setback

Well if LFMAO can interpolate Rick Ross’s “Hustlin’” for their hit track then I guess I can interpolate LMFAO’s lyrics to “Everyday I’m hobblin’” – seeing as it was their hit track that has put my recovery back by another week or so…

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The (hopefully short) road to recovery

road-to-recovery

Well the good news is that the calf responded really well to the RICE treatment and it’s definitely only a grade 1 strain. I’m hoping my decision to stop my run when I felt the strain developing will mean I have limited the damage. The bad news, if you could call it that, is the swelling around the area seems to have impinged on my nerve, leaving my foot numb around the outside of my ankle and along the outer edge of my foot, but this has improved during the day.

Today I kept my calf-guard on all day to provide some compression and support and keep the blood flow up, which seems to have helped. I mean, I couldn’t exactly walk around the office with an ice pack strapped on, could I!

Tonight at home I’ll do so light stretching to assess how it feels. Given that my nerve is still impinged I figure there must still be some swelling so I’m going to continue the RICE treatment until tomorrow at least. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to swap over to heat treatment and start massage and stretching. All things being well I’ll be able to start light exercises on my calf in a few days and hopefully a light jog on the weekend.

Fingers crossed!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Finding a spanner on my long run

I’m currently writing this post sitting on the tube, dressed in enough hi-vis that I should be handing out sunglasses, slightly sweaty, probably smelly and attracting some weird looks from passengers. That could be the limp though…
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I very rarely need to abandon runs but near the 6km mark of my planned 21km run I had to stop running and make for public transport thanks to a developing calf strain. I don’t really know what caused it, all I know is that after stopping to help a cyclist with directions for about 30 seconds I set off and immediately noticed a tightness in my calf. Five minutes later I knew I had a problem and two minutes after that I knew I’d strained it. Luckily for me where I had stopped was only about a half-mile (limping) walk from a tube stop and, being prepared, I’d thankfully brought my travel card.

Time now to get myself home, get the ice and compression going and get my leg elevated. I’ll assess tomorrow how it pulls up, but with my next race being a month away I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok.

Actually, just realised, I’m *definitely* smelly. Maybe a shower first before the RICE…

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Thames Path Challenge 50k: 4 weeks to go

4 weeks to go. Ouch. I’m going to get this over with early in the post – this is the least mentally and physically prepared for ANY race I have ever been. Ever.

keep-calm-only-4-weeks-to-go-PANIC

You can use the quantum of my blogging and interaction with other bloggers a yardstick for how much race preparation I’ve been doing. Very little…

  • This is the part where I open up my little big book of excuses.
  • This race is closer to the end of the football season than my previous fall races, cutting preparation time
  • I’ve recently started a new job and figuring out how to fit training around a 7.30 start has been difficult
  • Over-share warning – I’ve been going through a breakup and that has proven a big distraction from running, not to mention the training time spent reviewing new flats and, sigh, flatmates
  • I’ve been struggling with a football induced glute injury
  • I went to Ibiza the weekend before last and ate too much, drunk way too much, had too little sleep and did even less training. But geez it was a fun time!

Anyway, you know how the saying goes – Read the rest of this entry

Writing a running blog when you’re not running?

I honestly don’t know how Tom from 278toBoston did it. The whole keeping up a running blog when you aren’t running business that is. Despite not really running while getting over an injury, Tom kept up his daily posting, and did it in style. I just seem to have closed my WordPress and left it alone…

I just checked my GarminConnect and the last run I did that wasn’t part of sport was the 30th of April. The 30th of April! I can’t remember the last time I went almost four weeks without a run! That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve been working a big indent into my couch, I have been on the bike, training for football, playing football, along with trying my hand at a new sport – tag rugby – with the team at my new job. But no running…

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I guess if I have to admit it, I’ve lost my mojo a bit at the moment. I’m keeping fit through other activities, but the ‘urge’ to go running just isn’t there. Even if I wasn’t still recovering from an ankle sprain I’d still not be running. The fact I need to heavily strap my ankle to run isn’t really an excuse. I mean, I’m doing it for tag rugby and for footy training, so I could do it to go running…

Anyway, I’ll need to get back on the horse soon. Training for the Thames Path Challenge 50k is due to start (i.e. should have started), so I will need to start lacing up soon. But, in order to prolong the procrastination, I have ordered a new running backpack so I can start to run to/from work and get used to running with a pack for the race. Hopefully a new toy will motivate me to lace up and get back out there, but until then I’m just hoping that my mojo will return soon and my fitness will have kept up thanks to my other sports.

How do you get through a running slump and get back out the other side? Maybe you can give me a hint so I feel like lacing up and crunching some miles?

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

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Shhhh. What’s that sound?

My mind grappled with the tune. Where had I heard it before? Why was it playing? What was the significance to me?
Why is there an elbow nudging me in the side?!?

My eyes snapped open. Alarm! Time to get out for a pre-dawn run, my first for this year. Ok, you got me. The first in two months. What? Sheesh! OK, OK! *Over* two months…

This sums up perfectly what was going on early this morning...

This sums up perfectly what was going on early this morning…

While my mind is obviously not ready for the early wake-ups, I feel like my body is getting there. I still have this glute/core activation issue, but the calf seems to have settled and in the last two weeks I’ve been able to get back into something approaching my normal exercise routine of a mix of running, strength training, cycling and yoga.

I’m still not meant to do long slow distance runs, so my workouts are generally intervals or hills, or a combination of both like this morning’s 7.5km around the park. It’s strange to me to go for a ‘long slow run’ of less than 10km on the weekend, but then do speed work and hills for almost the same distance during the week. It’s counter to my normal training to date of short runs midweek and long run on the weekend, but I’m trusting my rehab trainer who has assured me that I need to avoid long runs until my strength has improved enough to keep good form throughout the entire session.

The other good thing about getting back to my normal exercise routine is that I’m getting to test out all my new kit I got for Christmas!

This morning I was sporting my new Nike Aeroloft 800 running vest. Super warm thanks to the 800 loft down but not overly sweaty thanks to the laser-cut vent holes and lightweight wicking fabric between the down baffles. With a ‘real-feel’ of 7C/44F it was just right when worn over my 2XU base-layer (also new) and my running shirt (old and in need of replacement – there are rust marks in it from race-bib pins!). During the fast-running intervals the vest warmed up a lot, but cooled well in the walk breaks thanks to the extra ventilation.

Not me running. This guy goes way faster and looks a lot better doing it...

Not me running. This guy goes way faster and looks a lot better doing it…

I also got to use a cool function on my Garmin 620 – the intervals setting. For my workout of 1/1 ratio I simply set the run interval at one minute, the walk interval to the same and it beeps every time to let you know to run or walk. Next time I’ll also turn on vibrate as I missed a couple of the beeps when there was loud traffic about. Used in conjunction with the warm-up and cool-down setting, you simply start the timer, start moving and when you’re warmed up click the lap button and the intervals begin. Once you’re done with your intervals click the lap button again and the cool-down starts and is ended when you hit stop. Simple!

garmin-620

I’ll put up some more in-depth reviews of all of them, particularly the Garmin, when I’ve used them some more and can provide some meaningful feedback.

Also, I’ve decided that I am going to run Paris. I’m reworking a plan at the moment and it’s going to be a bit of an experiment. It will be purely quality over quantity. I don’t have the time to ramp up slowly to a 20mile run, plus I know (through bitter experience) that an overly-rapid increase in volume is the sure-fire way to get injured. Of course, any notion of a PB has been dropped. I’m going to be pushing it just to prepare for the distance, thinking of going fast would be foolish in the extreme!

In the meantime, it feels great to be back training regularly (even if I can’t go on epic runs) and getting myself fit again.

I hope everyone is enjoying their January running, and all the best to the Janathon’ers out there! Half way through, keep on going!

 

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

 

Get Going, Get Running!

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It’s been a long time comin’, but now it’s here…

I’m very late in wishing you all good tidings, however I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I’ve been off blogging for some time but as you can guess from the title (and my shameless use of Springsteen), I’m back! In more ways than one…

 

Back from Beyond

I’m back from holiday. Two weeks in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors and the sublime Cotswolds with Lovely Girlfriend and her wonderful family. Super relaxing and partly the reason for the blog-holiday – I wanted to take time off from the blog and really enjoy the time with my girlfriend in the beautiful places we stayed in. Oh, and I was super lucky and got a bunch of running swag for Christmas which I’ll be doing reviews of soon, so watch out for those.

cotswolds-blockley-trail-running-1

A photo from my early morning trail run in the forest near Blockley, UK

 

The Empire Strikes Back

I’m back at work. This isn’t as good as being on holiday…

A photo from a hike along the coast above Robin Hood's Bay, UK

A photo from a hike along the coast above Robin Hood’s Bay, UK

 

Back from the Dead

I’m back online. Two days before the Christmas break my laptop had a total meltdown, however with some assistance from the Interweb and the backup that I (thankfully) did two days before said meltdown, I was able to restore my laptop on the weekend. It will certainly make blogging easier than relying on the WordPress app on my iPhone!

 

Back in Action

I’m back running. As many of you know I’ve had a calf overuse injury (link to post here)caused by poor running form, the main problem being weak glutes and poor core activation. With some physio, and strength and running training from The Running School, last night I was signed off to return to running three times per week. I am still not allowed to do Long Slow Distance runs, but I can do short fast runs, interval training and hill work, with intervals and hill work being preferred.

A photo from a hilly trail run near Blockley, UK. I did run-walk intervals up this hill

A photo from a hilly trail run near Blockley, UK. I did run-walk intervals up this hill

Overall I’m a happy camper and looking forward to increasing my running volume again. Theoretically I still have the Paris Marathon in April, which I am hopeful about being able to run, but I’ll need to see how the next two weeks go before I make a go/no-go decision in conjunction with my Running Rehab trainer.

 

Back to the Future

Being offline for over two weeks has meant my blog reading is *way* behind! Apologies in advance for any comments I make on ‘old news‘ posts. I’m working in chronological order because I want to keep up with all your stories in the right sequence.

Me personally? I’m looking forward to 2014 and some Happy Running. I’m yet to set my goals out I need to determine if I’m doing Paris or not before planning out the rest of the year.

However, regardless of what I do or do not decide to do this year, I wish YOU all the best for your 2014 goals and look forward to another year of running, blogging and sharing with you!

Happy running everyone!

Bernie

Get Going, Get Running!

On Facebook? ‘Like’ my Facebook page and keep up with my day-to-day happenings, hints, tips and shares
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