Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Roll on 2009

As you may have noticed, I haven't been blogging for a week.

This is because I'm injured, and I didn't know what to say. I've been struggling to overcome my knee injury for some weeks now, and every time it seems to be getting better, another bit gets worse.

After my 33 mile bike ride last weekend, I felt tired. But then 2½ hours of exercise does that, doesn't it?
On Monday I ached, but that was to be expected too. I skipped swimming as I still felt bunged up and headachey.
On Tuesday my knee hurt again, mostly walking downstairs, but also if I bent it too quickly, or if I'd been sitting in the same position too long and tried to move it.
By Wednesday I'd resorted to using the lift at work to avoid the pain brought on by the stairs. Back to the physio. With only a few weeks to go, and it seeming like the only way to resolve my knee problem is to completely rest it from all exercise, I discussed pulling out of the marathon and my physio agreed. There was a lot of spasm in a muscle behind the knee called piriformis, which was causing a clicking sound when I bent my knee.

On Thursday I contacted the VRH charity to find out if it's possible to defer my place to next year. Having already raised £519 online, I'm keen as ever to go ahead and run the marathon, even if I won't be able to do it this year. Anyone who has a ballot entry to the marathon can automatically defer their place until the following year (as long as they haven't already carried it over from the previous year). Places such as mine on a Golden Bond entry for a charity, however, are at the discretion of the charity. They said they'd find out and let me know.

So I had a weekend of uncertainty. My knee was (and still is) hurting a bit, though less so than last week. I'd decided that it wouldn't matter if I couldn't do the London Marathon this year, or even next. I would enter myself, or enter another marathon in order to earn the money I've already raised for VRH. I've come this far in training, so I'm not giving up now. Well not for good anyway. I'll have to give up for a short time to give my knee a chance to get better.

So the upshot of this is that the bad news is that I won't be running the 2008 London Marathon. The good news is that VRH have agreed that I can run for them next year! I can now stop worrying, and start getting fit again, and now have 12 months to get prepared for this challenge!

The long term solution for my knee problem is to alter the way that I run, so as not to put too much stress on the muscles. This will require a bespoke insole for my running shoes, to prevent my feet from over-pronating. If this doesn't work out, and it transpires that I'll never make it as a long distance runner, then I will find another challenge instead. Something like cycling from home to London (71 miles avoiding the M4).

I'll post again here in a week or two when I know when I'll be back in training, so please keep visiting to find out how I'm getting on.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

33.33 LP (long peddle)

Having given up running this week as my knee is still playing up, and having given up all exercise since Wednesday as I've been in bed with a sinus infection, I ventured out today to get a much needed cardiovascular workout. The weather was good, a bit windy but not as bad as last week. Having rolled my leg for a bit, I headed off out, just after the time I would have been leaving the Start/Finish line at Silverstone. (Next year maybe). I'd planned 2 cycle routes, 14 miles and 16 miles, and set off on the longer one to get it out of the way first. Then back home for a drink and out again after a few minutes to do the other route. The first 16 miles was great, not too hard at all so towards the end I decided to do the same 16 mile route again in reverse.

Stanford in the Vale - Gainfield - Charney Bassett - Southmoor - West Hanney - Denchworth - Park Lane - Stanford in the Vale (short break) - Park Lane - Denchworth - West Hanney - Southmoor - Charney Bassett - Gainfield - Stanford in the Vale

The downside was that the easy bits on the way out were hard, but some of the hard bits on the way out were also hard on the way back. For example I hit a gust of wind against me then I first reached West Hanney (heading south); and also hit a gust of wind against me when I left West Hanney again (heading north). The last two miles home from Gainfield were really hard work...

Still over all I managed 33.33 miles in just under 2½ hours. Not bad when it's the longest exercise I've had in a couple of weeks, and the longest I've ever cycled in a day (the longest previously would have been 15 miles to Swindon or Oxford and then back again a few hours later).

Mile 1 - 4m50s
Mile 2 - 4m22s
Mile 3 - 3m23s
Mile 4 - 3m39s
Mile 5 - 4m04s
Mile 6 - 4m43s
Mile 7 - 3m34s
Mile 8 - 3m48s
Mile 9 - 4m05s
Mile 10 - 3m56s
Mile 11 - 4m41s
Mile 12 - 4m34s
Mile 13 - 4m43s
Mile 14 - 4m31s
Mile 15 - 4m26s
Mile 16 - 5m09s
.66 Mile - 2m29s
Mile 1 - 4m34s
Mile 2 - 3m42s
Mile 3 - 5m09s
Mile 4 - 3m31s
Mile 5 - 3m54s
Mile 6 - 3m35s
Mile 7 - 4m08s
Mile 8 - 4m06s
Mile 9 - 5m14s
Mile 10 - 4m36s
Mile 11 - 5m15s
Mile 12 - 3m58s
Mile 13 - 4m46s
Mile 14 - 5m13s
Mile 15 - 5m54s
Mile 16 - 4m45s
.67 Mile - 4m06s
distance - 16.66m
time - 1h11m36s
average - 13.9mph
max speed - 27.5mph
distance - 16.67m
time - 1h16m33s
average - 13.0mph
max speed - 22.3mph

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Good news ... and bad

The bad news first. I won't be able to run the Silverstone Half marathon this Sunday. I've had a sinus infection since yesterday, and although I'm on antibiotics now and it should start to clear up in a couple of days, I still won't really be well enough to run 13 miles on Sunday. I shall find another event to run for The PSC Trust later in the year.

The good news is that the physio is happy with the improvements that my knee injury has made over the last few weeks, and there's just a bit if inflammation (albeit quite a painful bit) to sort out, and another week of treating and I should be fine to get back to running over distance. So in the meantime, more heat, more massaging, more cross training, ibuprofen gel to alleviate the (barely visible) swelling to my itb and then back next week.

No swimming this evening as I'm too ill. I should be back in some form of training by Friday. I'll be planning a long bike ride for Sunday instead of the run, hoping to stay out on the road for about the 2½ - 3 hours that I would have spent running.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Slow short gentle run

I nipped out at lunchtime today for a run to see how my knee is getting on. I managed a couple of laps (about a mile and a half), and my knee did hurt a bit on the 2nd lap, so I called it a day then. I don't want to make things worse before Sunday, so I think I'll do some more cross training this evening and then see what the physio says tomorrow. I forgot to bring my watch to work today, so I didn't time myself, but it was something approaching the 20 minute mark. I'll be more than happy if I can run at 13 minutes a mile on Sunday to get round Silverstone in under 3 hours. If I want to register an official time I need to complete it in under 3h30m.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Another 550m in half an hour

I swam 22 lengths today (still a bit tired from last nights rowing!). On Wednesday I'll aim to do more.

2 breaststroke
8 crawl
2 breaststroke
8 crawl
2 breaststroke

My crawl is really coming on - the breathing is coming much more naturally now. Soon I'll be able to concentrate more on my stroke, getting those hands to spear the water and getting my legs to kick vigorously...

I still think I might need a nose clip though, as I'm still taking water up my nose!

Perhaps a run tomorrow, perhaps rest, perhaps more rowing. I shall have to see how my knee is improving.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

24miles cross training in 2 hours

This morning I went for a 12 mile bike ride. I was planning a 12 mile ride, followed by a 14 mile one afterwards (after a short break for a drink), but it was very windy! Instead of averaging the 15mph I'd hoped for, I didn't even make 14mph. Given that we were going out to lunch, I didn't feel like fighting the wind on the way back and being late. I also got a huge cramp in the back of my leg as I had to stop on the way back to give way to about 15 cars before I could pull out of the junction onto the A417. A bit busy for a Sunday!

12.27m - distance
53m15s - time
13.8mph - average speed
25.0mph - maximum speed

Mile 1 - 4m35s
Mile 2 - 3m28s
Mile 3 - 3m08s
Mile 4 - 3m16s
Mile 5 - 3m19s
Mile 6 - 3m47s
Mile 7 - 3m56s
Mile 8 - 4m40s
Mile 9 - 4m36s
Mile 10 - 5m25s
Mile 11 - 6m48s
Mile 12 - 5m53s

It started off really well, with the wind behind me from Gainfield to Charney, and even out to Lyford. I was cycling at 18-20mph and even hit 25mph at one point. But then turning to Hanney and coming back via Park Lane it was hard to keep it above 9mph into the wind.

So on to plan B. An hour or so cross training in the garage instead this evening.
I rowed 20k (about 12½ miles). I did it in 3 sections:
Section 1 - 30 minutes - 693 strokes - 105 cal - 8.8k
Then I took a 5 minute break to have a drink
Section 2 - 30 minutes - 741 strokes - 111 cal - 8.9k
I took a 2 minute breather for another drink
Section 3 - 8 minutes - 194 strokes - 28 cal - 2.3k

So I nearly covered 2 half marathons today, but without aggravating my knee injury.
Back to the swimming tomorrow.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Having overcome the Iliotibial Band Syndrome with regular massaging of my quads to make them nice and supple so as to prevent over-tightening of my iliotibial band alongside my left knee, I've now developed a tendency for sharp pain below the left knee, caused by the section of the itb that splits off under the patella (kneecap) becoming too stiff. This means a few days off running, and a few more days on cross training. And I need to get my fingers in deep into the knot of fatty muscle tissue under my kneecap to get this bit of my knee to loosen up too. My physio didn't give it a name and although it's linked to my previous knee problem (it's all part of the itb), this time the pain is from a quite different bit. It's not a pain that is easy to run through either, as I could cause this bit of tissue to become inflamed and then it can get pinched under my kneecap and then hurt even more. So it's more heat, more massaging and more of something other than running to keep me fit. I should be back running in a few days. In the meantime, here's a picture of a knee (albeit a right one)...

Running 13.1 miles in memory of Carl

I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon on 15th March 2009. I managed the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Not a bad effort for my first Half Marathon! I returned in 2010 to run it in 1 hour 54 minutes, and plan to do it again in 2011. I decided to run this in aid of The PSC Trust and PSC Support in memory of my brother Carl, who died from liver failure in November 1997. If you'd like to sponsor me for this - please email me at pscrun@ulen.me.uk PSC Trust
PSC Support Or visit my Justgiving page for PSC Support at PSC Support - Justgiving
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