Saturday, 20 February 2010

Still on edge

Man my knee is bumming me out. It feels 100% fine first thing in the morning and gets worse throughout the day. I think I have become obsessed with it.

It has definitely gotten better since the initial injury, but I still can't help but worry that with just 3 weeks and 1 day to go for my first half marathon, the idea of having to pull out is still lingering on my mind.

I think I have been following all the recommended treatments - RICE of course was first and foremost. I swear the rest part is the hardest - the number of times I have just wanted to get up and dart off...seriously!

I saw a physio during the week as well, which I think was more painful than the knee itself. He was bending my legs in all sorts of directions I didn't even know were physically possible.

It is also a sign of what you have let yourself in for when at one point he says 'Your leg is probably going to feel like it's about to break, but I promise you it's not'! Charming or what.

Of course all that pain was nothing compared to the elbows (with his body weight behind it) being dug into my poor hip. Just to rub it in, he was trying to have a normal conversation at the same time while I was squirming and struggling to breathe, let alone speak.

It did really help though and my legs returned to normal walking ability almost instantly. It also emerged that my stretching was generally inadequate and my leg muscles were all stupidly tight. So I have been given a heck of a lot of stretching to do. I was also advised to get a foam roller, which I have now got.

That is probably even worse and I keep wussing out on stretching on it at the most tender part of my leg, which is the part I really need to work on. Wonder if I should hire someone to hold me down and make me do it.

Running is still off for the time being, but at least that has let me catch up on some rare Sunday morning lie-ins. Like I will be having tomorrow. Small ray of sunshine though in the mist that is the next 3 weeks.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

What a week

It has been a while since my last update. My new shoes are still glowing, and I still can't help but to keep staring at them.

I took some rest Monday through to Wednesday. Given the way my ankle had been before that, I thought it seemed like a wise course of action. Went out for a run again on Thursday with my running club.

7.4km - a distance over which my previous best time was something like 42:00. I did it in 38:30. Improvement? Hell yeah! Did it feel good? Well if you exclude the fact that I could barely walk later on, then yes I actually felt invincible.

Not a good feeling to have - Friday evening, leaving work, planted foot awkwardly on the stairs and my left leg tightened up badly. If there ever was a clear sign of someone having caught the running bug, it is at this sort of moment when you get that feeling in your leg and your first thought is whether you will be able to compete in your upcoming race.

I could not believe it. 30 days to go to Silverstone, and I went and injured myself doing something stupid on a staircase I have been going up and down for over 2 years without a hint of a problem on any other occasion. I would have been livid if I hadn't started panicking about my run.

I drove home in a state of complete panic, dragged myself to the freezer and got me some frozen peas and immediately stuck it on my knee. I still couldn't think of anything but my run. Spent the evening frantically googling any information I could find.

Once the hysteria died down, I came to the conclusion that it is likely that I got myself a sudden case of ITBS....I don't go into the medical mumbo jumbo, but if you want to see what it is, the Wikipedia (they have a link for everything, seriously!) page is here.

Long story short, I read on a couple of sites that average recovery time is 4-6 weeks. It was about here that depression started to kick in. 4-6 weeks???? F*%&*%$. I don't have that kind of time. I felt absolutely gutted. This was meant to be my goal, my big day, a huge landmark for me. And I was making awesome progress. The feeling that all that hard work, all that build up, all that anticipation could go to waste because a split second slip up, I can't think of the words to describe it.

I went for my boot camp this morning and took it really easy. I suppose complete rest would have been the wiser option but I didn't sleep at all, still felt low and just needed to get out.

It's better than it was yesterday and I have read accounts of other runners recovering within a few days. I've calmed down and am going to go see a physio early next week...and rest...and ice....and hope.

Monday, 8 February 2010

My new weaponry

I went into Runners Need ( at Victoria yesterday and had my gait analysis and all that done by an extremely helpful chappy. He pulled out 3-4 different pairs for me to try and when he opened the box to these bad boys I think sparks were flying pretty much instantly! Loved the look of them and I was absolutely delighted with how they run. Brooks Defyance 3.

These shall be my soul (or should that be sole?) mates for the next few months and I shall cherish the moments we spend together. Me - melodramatic? Never!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Best run ever...

On a MASSIVE high today - possibly definitely my best run EVER.

Only the second time I have gone 10k or more without needing to stop. Beat my previous 10k personal best by 5 minutes and my 5k PB by 3 minutes. First time I have ever run 10k in under an hour. That's right, 56:56.

Slightly hilly route, stopped for traffic a couple of times, banging out the distance on my own. Still did it though.

I think I may have had something of an epiphany the night before. I did 10k in 1:02:12 back in September, and it seemed to be taking me even longer to cover 10k now than it did back then - I always thought training was supposed to work the other way! The amount that p!ssed me off clearly unleashed some potent cocktail of adrenaline and testosterone and pumped me up to hammer it out no matter what today.

The fact that I felt like vomiting from 3k to about 8k didn't put me off. I ended up with my final 1k being my fastest, and my 2nd 5k being about 20s faster than my first 5k!

Been on a MASSIVE high since then. Put my stats into a race time predictor...this one in fact:

Race time predictor

Obviously training is still crucial, but the way today went I could potentially do my half marathon in less than 2:10, and even more pleasing to the eye was a possible marathon time of sub 4:30. I haven't underestimated the task at hand, but that really got me buzzing. 2 weeks ago I was looking at a possible half marathon time of 2:25 and was aiming for 5:30 for a full marathon. What a turnaround.

The following goes without saying really... Woohoo!!!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Be HumanKind

Oxfam it is. Indeed my first half marathon, which will involve me pounding my way around Silverstone like an out of control F1 car...although I suspect my speed might be exaggerated slightly....will be run for Oxfam.

I'm sure some of you are familiar with Oxfam and the work they do, but in case you don't, here is the Wikipedia link:

Ofxam on Wikipedia

And here is their official website:

Oxfam official

So why Oxfam?

Pure and simple, because they do a lot of good work in poverty and development and I really believe in the causes they work towards. Having seen the conditions people in some developing countries are forced to deal with at first hand, it's something that really resonates personally for me.

I have now also set up my fund raising page. If you are feeling generous, please do feel free to donate:

Abhi's half marathon full madness

As you can see I have already raised a grand total (to date) of £0, leaving just £250 to go to my target. Having said that, I still need to tell most people I am doing this run and still need to send out the link so I should...key word there - SHOULD - be able to reach it and in fact get well beyond it!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Dickens wrote at the start of 'A Tale of Two Cities'. Now I'm no Dickens (unless this blog picks up big time and I land some major publishing deal) and my story is somewhat smaller in stature than the French Revolution, but the sentiment can still apply, right? Right?!

I think I did produce one of my best runs ever on Sunday - I covered 20km in about 2:15, which sets me on course for getting to (or beating) my target time for Silverstone of 2:25. With a combination of a flat route, warmer weather and an adrenaline rush to get me pumping, sub-2:20 might not be completely unreachable! I felt like I could go on further and I felt like I still had enough left in the tank, so here's hoping.

My brand new energy gel packs did help the last 3k though. I was really starting to wane, pulled out one of these energy packs and within a matter of seconds I was flying. In fact my final km was my fastest of the day - go figure!

On the down side, my ankle did start to hurt about 11k into my run. So I was 9k from home, early on a Sunday morning, in the middle of nowhere with no phone on me, with a hurting ankle. Unsurprisingly I didn't leave myself much of a choice and had to carry on until I was home.

Anyways after I got home, some handy self-diagnosis and I assumed I had a slightly sprained ankle, meaning lots of RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). It was at this point that fear really struck me - what if I just unleashed some long term injury causing some long term lay off causing long term depression from depriving me of my running????

See this is where that best of times/worst of times stuff pops in. Best run, worst possible position of not being able to run!

As it turns out I was being way melodramatic. I took 2 days of complete rest (which did in itself drive me a bit crazy because I get paranoid about getting into lazy habits) and my foot is 99% there. Taking tomorrow off as well so I should be ready and raring to go again on Thursday. Woohoo. Woohoo indeed.