I think you should lay off the running for a while.....

I should be running 100 mile weeks now. 

This was my first ever trip to the physio and apparently it was long overdue. I was fooling myself into thinking that he may just be able to click something into place and I could just run out of there, I didn't really know what to expect as I was sitting in the reception ticking boxes to say that I don't take steroids or have hepatitis C. 

I went to see an Aussie guy called Greg who was immediately concerned about the distances I run. I insisted that it was good for me and I mocked him for believing the story about the ancient guy running the marathon then dying at the end. Surely everyone knows this is untrue?

There were a few questions about when I feel the pain and what I generally do and then it was straight into mocking me for my abysmal flexibility. I was asked to do a series of stretches that I was woeful at and he was trying to contain laughter. It was an important wake up call to something that I knew all along, I am not looking after my body enough to run the distances I want to run.

I went in there with a complaint about my knee and was pretty much told it's not your knee its your whole body. When trying to move my legs around as per his instructions I was told that my arse does not work and my hamstrings don't really help out much either. I do most of my running powering my legs with my lower back and this is causing lots of tightness in my quads and ITBs and that has finally manifested itself in a sore knee.

I was relieved that there was nothing wrong with the knee as such and that he seemed to think I could get up to 100 mile weeks within a month but did suggest I took 2 weeks off running and did a silly amount of stretching. I even got a nice picture of all the exercises to do.

Leaving the place a little dejected and worrying about how fast that Badwater is approaching (8 weeks) I discussed with a few more people what I should do. I was told that stopping running might actually be counter-productive and so long as I did all that stretching I should still be able to run. I liked this though I did think it was just selecting the evidence I liked the sound of, does it make me any different from those loons who spot patterns and think that it proves that Jesus exists

Well anyway, I have decided to carry on the running and work on the stretches that I hope will make my body last longer. It is going to be risky as I step up the mileage but I have no time left to waste. At least I have 2 things going for me according to the Physio, the race is mostly uphill and it is very hot, which means I won't suffer the impact as much and that my muscles will be warm. Phew. Just don't mention the UTMB.


Stupid Question Number 1

All runners get the same questions. Nowadays I just give the same one word answer as I'm bored of the explanation. Along with "Don't you ever get bored?" and "Have you run "THE MARATHON"?" this is one in a series of questions that just make me wish I didn't know people who don't run.

The offending idiot usually believes he has won the argument by saying something like "Well, my mate Dave used to do running and now his knees are knackered, so therefore running is bad for you". You'll not normally here about all the football Dave played, his weight and his tendancy to run with injuries on roads.

Studies cited here suggest that runners do not suffer athritis more than average and that running can help protect the knee rather than destroy the cartilage.

The studies are here. I don't really care, I just wished people would stop asking..




The worst things about being injured

Having not run for about 4 weeks now I've built up a catalogue of things that currently make me miserable. I forget sometimes that the amount of running I do is not so much a hobby but a lifestyle choice. So when I am not running my life is changed.

There are silver linings to be enjoyed by having more spare time, however these are drenched by the rain of misery of being inactive.

I have now "enjoyed" a few weekends of not having a race to travel to and run. All this free time would seem like a good opportunity to catch up on things (such as writing). However I just can't get off my arse and do anything. My Moose story is still only half done and others have not even started.

I had a bit more time to tidy up today and one of the things I tidied was my race inbox. I have a box for all my upcoming race numbers and maps etc. The most depressing thing I've had to do for a while was throw away running numbers that I am not going to use, such as the Nottingham and New Forest Marathons. I get quite excited by the running correspondance I get through the post, it is gutting to have to throw in in the bin rather than wear the number and then put it in my "out-box". I hate that my out-box right now is a black plastic bag.

Aside from that there are the usual woes that go with inactivity. I am putting on weight again. I probably eat more when I'm not running and most of it is shit. I've been drinking so much more as well. I feel so lethargic at work (well more than usual) because my journey involves a sweaty train rather than a run.

It's not only missing the races that hurts or even the money spent. I miss the social aspects of running, seeing friends and meeting new people as I always do in races. I was supposed to see my Dad and family last week but didn't as the thought of watching other people run makes me sad.

On the plus side I have found a few things to do in my time off. I've met friends and had many more hangovers. I've been reading about Austrian school economics, quantum physics and evolution. I've done at least some writing. 

The 2 things I am going to try and do differently in the future are;

1-   Remember how painful this experience was the next time I decided that stretching is a waste of time

2-   Ensure i have lots of stuff to be doing in the time I am injured so that I don't end up wasting the days as I have been.