Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Soft Tissue

I stopped playing football around 8 years ago. That makes it sound like a big deal, it wasn't, I was a social player. I played 11-a-side for some low division team in Plymouth before I left then 5-a-side in Cheltenham at Bentham Country Club. I did work for BG-Group for a time and played in their 11-a-side team but that was as far as it went.

I was always more fitter than I was a player.

One of the reasons I stopped was due to my knees. A cartilage operation in each knee and an ACL reconstruction in my right meant that I lost my confidence in lateral movement. The time out from these injuries was also too long - going from months into years that were lost time.

When I used to play football and in particular 5-a-side I used to twist my ankles a lot. So much so that I used to wear ankle supports and shin pads with ankle protectors in every game.

The last time I twisted my ankle must be 8-10 years ago.

It's not meant to happen when you run!

Sunday after Christmas I was up on Leckhampton Hill running with Frankie. The weather was pretty grim, wet and windy. As we were coming down off the top into the woods there's a stretch that's really runnable. We have run it loads of times, it's predominantly groomed path with some gnarly bits where there are roots and rocks. It's a short stretch. As we were coming down this pathway I was picking up a little speed with Frankie behind me.

She came past me on my right, four legs definitely better than two, then in front of me. As she did so my gaze was taken from the trail in front of me to her and in that split second I lost my footing and my ankle turned.

It was an aggressive turn, I did manage to remain upright and stopped pretty much instantly where my stomach heaved such was the immediate pain. For a split second I thought I'd broken it. As I calmed down the pain eased and i was able to walk on it. I walked/jogged the last stretch down to the car and home.

Once home and after i had cooled down it really started to hurt and was pretty swollen. A compression strap helped as did ice. Over the last couple of days the bruise has come out, dark along the bottom outside edge of the foot and then softer all the way up to the sock line. 

Some quick internet research and it looks like i won't be running for around a week maybe even two. I'm actually pretty OK with that as maybe an end of year rest is a good thing. I have been doing some weight training and yoga stretches in my basement instead. It's a nice change and something i should do anyway.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015


It's pointless me answering the why do you run question... 

You need to go and run, then run again, and again. It's never done. Finish one and plan the next. 

When you have been consumed by your love of running for every reason and for no reason then you'll understand the answer to the question. 

But when you're asked why you run you won't be able to answer either.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

You never regret the runs you do?

....only the ones you don't. Right?

Normally I'd agree, heck even more than that I have tweeted this and posted it on other social networks. A slogan for a t-shirt, a soundbite for the generation that loves a quote and the more motivational the better.

I would normally endorse that position and however reluctant i have been to get out the door once I'm out and with things flowing it does feel good. No regrets.

Today wasn't like that.

I don't normally write about training runs; they are normally all positive for one reason or other. The performance, the view, the mood, the flow, the distance, a new route, an experience... whether they be a 2.5 mile commute, 20 mile long run or self supported marathon or ultra distance i just love to run.

Today was different. I headed out the door around 2:30, it was cold and blowing a gale, it wasn't raining but there was wet in the air. I had a route of sorts in mind, planning a hilly route of around 15-18 miles. It would be hard and in the conditions even harder.

Running the first mile was into a head wind. Hard work. A couple of times i pretty much stopped. My Garmin vibrated after a kilometre and i was on 7:30 pace - hard work maybe but still running strong. I turned a corner and the wind was no longer in my face, my pace picked up a little.

I really wasn't feeling it though and at around 4 miles did think that the best option might be to bale and run the 2.5 home from there. I checked my watch and despite not feeling it i was running well. I decided to continue as running through town there were a number of places i could easily abandon the run and be home pretty quick.

Continuing i ran to Harp Hill, short and sharp i have run this a few times of late. It's a fantastic leg and lung test. Half way up i had to walk. That was it i knew i had to go home. I had been fighting it all the way around. I slowed my pace significantly, managing my effort to just get home. I didn't feel like i wouldn't make it but neither did i feel i could knock out anything quick.

When i got in i tested my blood sugar and i was slightly hypo at 3.6mmol. When i left i was high. I think i felt sluggish at the start as high blood sugar will do that. The weather was also a major factor. The wind was sapping, with proper blood sugar levels though that wouldn't bother me.

My heart rate was more elevated than normal for a run of that type and average pace. It would normally be around 120bpm but was at 130bpm today. That would be the impact of the weather but also indicative of perhaps a deeper fatigue or malaise? Higher heart rates indicating a body working harder.

All of this would not have mattered except that now a few hours on and i feel a bit rubbish. Depleted, empty and cold to my bones. I had Domino's tonight, something i rarely if ever do and only did as they have an option to order a cheeseless pizza (#vegan).

I'm sure it won't come to anything and that after a day or two i will be raring to go again but i wish i had listened to my body at mile 4 and just headed home.

It's not often i regret a run but today was one of those days...