On Saturday I got up bright and early to try and head out for a run. To be honest, I haven’t been running as much as I should because of the heat so it’d been a week since my last run. The physio had given me some stretches to try before my run, so I did these and headed out to do my prescribed 1.5 miles.
I decided when I headed out to stick to my neighbourhood streets as that way I could follow the shade whereas on the beach front there is absolutely no shade. I weaved in and out of different streets, crossing over the road lots to keep in the shade. It was actually cool in the shade but where there was no shade, it was absolutely boiling!
My run was pain free but by the end of the 1.5 miles I was glad it’s over. My running fitness has definitely declined somewhat, which is frustrating.
However, for the remainder of Saturday, although I did experience a little tightness in my calf, it was barely noticeable and certainly nowhere near as bad as it has been! Hurrah!
I’m back at the physio on Friday so I’ll see what she says then. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
On Friday morning I went out for another short run to test my calf. My calf has been feeling a lot better after doing the exercises and stretches given to me by the physio.
I headed out super early again to try and avoid the heat. I was going to do 2 miles but the heat was getting to me by 1.5 miles so I turned off and headed home at that point. Again my run was pain free, no niggles or pain. However, once home and settled, my calf tightened right up again. It’s actually pretty uncomfortable when it gets that tight.
Tried another timer selfie!
I went to my physio appointment late morning and told her how the last two times I’d run it had been pain free but was really tight afterwards. She was pretty pleased I’d been for a run that morning as she could see where it was aggravated and see if she could feel anything. First she tested the strength in my left leg to see if the imbalance had improved and she seemed suitably impressed with how much it had.
She then gave me a lovely massage on my left calf. Oh my word I nearly fell asleep! It was so warm in the room from the good weather we’re having and my eyes were getting so heavy! I just about managed to stay awake though.
Afterwards she gave me some more exercises to do, which are an extension of what I was doing before. She’s also given me some stretches to try before a run. However, she limited me to running no further than 1.5 miles, as at the moment that seems enough to aggravate it. As it eases up I’m allowed to go up by .1 of a mile. It’s going to be a pretty slow process but I’m willing to take the time and running 1.5 miles is better than not running at all.
On Friday I went to see a physio following the weird feeling I had in my calves. (Read about it here)
It was a different physio from the last time I went with my previous injury. However this lady was equally as lovely. By the Friday my calves felt probably 90% better but there was just that 10% where I could feel whatever it was in both calves.
I explained to her how it might be a bit of something and nothing. I told her runners say about how tight they feel. I don’t feel like I do enough running to know what all these things mean but my calves definitely felt a bit tight.
I wish I could remember everything she checked. She was so incredibly thorough. It turns out I do have tight calves, particularly the left which is where the uncomfortable feeling started last Saturday.
She did a couple of tests where she’d put my leg in a certain position and then push on it, asking me not to let her push my leg down. I then had to tell her where I could feel it. It turns out my left side is weaker than my right.
To try and fix the imbalance she has given me some exercises to do. The clam if you’re a Pilates buff. She’s also given me some stretches to do to try and improve the tightness in my calves. She also asked me not to run or Zumba for a week “Booooo hiss” but on Friday I’m to try a little run and if it feels ok I can run on either Saturday at parkrun or Breakfast Club on Sunday but not both. Sad face. I’ll probably do parkrun as that’s the shorter of the two.
So, fingers crossed it improves by next Friday.
Do you visit a physio regularly or just when injured?
Do you incorporate strengthening exercises in to your routine?
On Saturday I headed down to parkrun as usual. I’ve had a terrible week and hadn’t done any exercise since last Sunday when I ran at Breakfast Club.
When I got there I had a good natter with Maria whilst we waited for the off. I was also volunteering to token sort afterwards and hoping to speak to two new potential Event Directors for an up and coming parkrun in my local area.
We set off and everything felt absolutely fine but as we got to the first turnaround point my left leg felt “weird” I don’t really know how else to describe it. It wasn’t painful but was starting to feel uncomfortable as we went further on. I slowed it down a bit, then told Maria I needed to walk. As we got back to where we started I said to Maria I thought it best I stop. It wasn’t massively painful but it definitely didn’t feel right.
We sat and had a natter whilst we waited for everyone else to finish. Despite me telling Maria she could go on without me she kindly stayed with me. As we were sat there chatting I noticed a large lump on my outer calf about 3 inches above my ankle bone! Once everyone had finished Maria left and I collected up the tokens. I met up with the other lady I was token sorting with, she had been marshalling at a part of the course I never reached. We walked up to the café together and my leg felt absolutely fine. Her husband met us at the café and we did the token sorting, along with a couple of others who came over to help, one being my lovely friend Mike. This was my 175th time volunteering at parkrun!
Obligatory token sorting picture of me holding token number one!
Once we’d finished I went over to chat to the core team. Two of them are hoping to set up another very local parkrun but are having some difficulties with one particular aspect. We chatted about the route they’ve found which sounds fantastic. They said they needed a winter route too and I offered them a 5K route I’ve run in the past that is a suitable winter course.
When I left the café my leg felt absolutely fine so I did a gentle jog home. It’s only 5 minutes from home when running. When I got back I had a bath with muscle soak and when I got out, both my legs had the same weird feeling. I *think* it’s tight muscles, although obviously I don’t definitely know. I took ibuprofen for the remainder of the day, iced it and wore my compression sleeves. I’m writing this on Sunday morning and again they both feel tight, although less so than yesterday. I’ll take ibuprofen again and then try some gentle stretches again. Fingers crossed this doesn’t develop in to anything.
Have you ever had to pull out of a parkrun?
Do you ever volunteer at parkrun? What’s your favourite role?
I’m about a month behind on updates about how my running is going! Oops! Hopefully over the Christmas break I’ll manage to get caught up.
On 27th November Maria and I went back to the spin class we used to attend at the gym. We haven’t been to a spin class since I got my injury on 9th June. We were looking forward to getting back to it. I’d left it so long after my return to running because I wanted to be so so sure that everything was ok.
Obviously we take our class very seriously, and before it began, we took selfies with filters. We were pretty pumped to find out the class was our favourite one. We do Virtual Spin, which basically means they play a video. It’s a bit like doing a DVD at home, except you’re in a spin studio.
We really enjoyed the class and both left absolutely buzzing. Completing a spin class gives me that high feeling. I’ve yet to experience that from running! To quote one of my favourite movie characters, Elle Woods…
However, the next couple of days, as well as the saddle soreness you experience from a spin class I could also feel my injury. Don’t get me wrong, it was nothing like as painful as it had been. In fact it wasn’t so much painful, but really uncomfortable. Which makes me wonder, was it a running injury after all? Perhaps it actually came from a spin class and running the parkrun that morning just upset it further? Perhaps that’s why when the physio asked me what I did to cause it, I didn’t know the answer. I didn’t do anything, I was just plodding along.
That uncomfortable feeling lasted a good couple of days. As a result, I haven’t been back to a spin class again. My running is going so well at the minute I just don’t want to risk aggravating the injury again by continuing to spin. I’m pretty disappointed though because I do love the spin classes.
Have you had to give up something you enjoy for health reasons?
I was the Run Director at parkrun this week. I’d like to say it went off without event but that wouldn’t be true. I won’t go in to too much detail but I had to handle a volatile situation and that kinda thing is pretty scary! Other than that though it was a great experience yet again being an RD. We had a whopper turn out – 470 runners! I meant to try a run Saturday afternoon but chose to nap instead.
Thanks to Peter Stoddard for snapping this picture
Sunday morning I was off to volunteer at junior parkrun. I decided I’d get there a little early and go for a trial run. I say trial because I needed too test my knee that had been really sore (more here) I took my kindle in the car just in case I needed to stop and then would have time to kill. Anyway I got to Stokes Bay just before 8am. My plan being a 2 mile run if my knee was ok and that takes me about half an hour so I’d be back in time to volunteer.
So I get myself ready, opened the Strava app on my watch…and it didn’t work. It said I needed to open the app on my phone. I opened the app on my phone…and nothing happened. My app on my watch still wouldn’t work. No worries I thought I’ll just start Strava on my phone when I’ve completed my warm up. Once I’d done that I opened Strava on my phone and set it going. But then I wasn’t sure what to do, do I wait for the screen to lock itself or should I just lock it? Will the app still work if I just lock it? I decided to chance it and lock the phone thinking I’d check on it after a short while.
I set off running up the prom but as I got towards the end instead of turning round I decided to head on the grassy/gravel paths towards Fort Gilkicker as a couple of people had told me this would help strengthen my knees and ankles. Jeez, no one told me how hard it is to run on grass. It was hard going but I got to Gilkicker (approx half a mile) and thought I’d turn here as they’re doing some work and I wasn’t sure if you could get all the way around it. As I turned I took a walk break so thought I’d check how Strava was going on my phone. My phone was dead. It showed the lock screen but wouldn’t let me swipe up to unlock it. I tried switching it off but it wouldn’t even let me do that. So instead I started the apple fitness app on my watch.
Now I was going to have to start again with the two miles because I’m a fussy person and didn’t want to leave it at 1.5 miles knowing I’d probably run half a mile already. I struggled again over the grass and gravel but once I got back on to the prom I found my rhythm and ran. I took very few walk breaks which I was pleased about. As I turned around to make my way back to where the volunteers meet I got a couple of beeps from cars which were the volunteers starting to arrive. As I continued my way back I saw them setting up but guess what?! I was only at 1.9 miles! Imagine my embarrassment when I had to run past them shouting “I’ve misjudged! I need to run another 0.1!” Luckily they laughed and told me they’d see me in a minute.
When I finished I popped in to the toilets and then afterwards thought I’d see if I could fix my phone as I walked back to the car to put some warm clothes on. My phone worked straight away this time! And Strava was still running! I wish I’d checked it as soon as I’d finished as I’d have stopped it at the right time but hey ho. At least my phone isn’t completely broken which was a fear on my mind. Anyway it turns out I ran 2 and a half miles after all.
Thanks to Eileen Bartlett who snapped this picture of Penny and I chatting right after my run
Now I’ve had time to recover, everything feels fine. No knee pain, just the usual Achilles niggle, which I always seem to have. So, that means I’m all set to go to the beginners group at my run club again! Fingers crossed I don’t break on week 2 like I did last time.
Since getting back from my holiday to Brazil my running was going really well.
At the weekend, before last, I’d run/walked Lee-on-the-Solent parkrun. I started with run 1 minute and walk 1 minute as there was a pacer (my lovely friend Rachel) but as I got to the first turnaround point I was struggling to keep up. It was perhaps a touch too far from the 30 seconds run/1 minute walk. I dropped back to my usual and completed the course that way in a time of 45:47, only 22 seconds off my PB.
On Tuesday I went to Gosport Road Runners and joined my lovely friend Rachel again who was leading the run/walk group. We did 1 minute run and 1 minute walk at a slightly slower pace than parkrun. I kept up and we completed 2.7 miles. I was really pleased and enjoyed the chatty sociable run. I met a couple of people I’d never met before including a chap named Sid who has been a member of Gosport Road Runners for over 30 years. He was a funny guy who had me laughing all the way round and took my mind off the run. Beforehand I had been apprehensive about going as it was after work. I work long hours, I never seem to drink enough and there isn’t the opportunity to have a snack before heading out. Everything that could make a run disastrous. But I did it, and now I know I can do it again!
On Thursday I went to Virtual Spin at the gym with Maria from work. It was a different video to the ones we had done before and there were a couple of sections that were killer! It was good though. I always leave spin feeling like I’ve had a really good workout.
On Saturday I was the Run Director at parkrun. It all went really smoothly with no real incidents so I enjoyed it a lot. That afternoon I did my run. It had been so cold on the seafront and so windy I decided to do 5K on the treadmill. The run went fine. I did 1 minute run and 1 minute walk and it felt fine and at one point I felt really strong and like running was finally clicking in to place. After my run I stretched and then when I removed my trainers I got the dreaded achilles pain I got in August except this time in my right foot instead of my left.
I’m hoping it doesn’t leave me out of action for 4 weeks like last time! I participated in ukrunchat (@ukrunchat on Twitter) on Sunday night and got some sound advice about how to help it so I’ll be doing those exercises and stretches daily to try and help it. I’m gutted to be honest. How am I ever going to make it to ten miles at the Great South Run if I just keep breaking?!
Yesterday was a busy day. We had junior parkrun in the morning then headed straight back to Lee-on-the-Solent to spectate at the Gosport Half Marathon. We had to go such a topsy turvy way due to the road closures, I’m glad Maggie was driving and not me!
The Gosport Half Marathon is always such a good race put on by Gosport Road Runners. I felt like I didn’t know as many people this year, probably because members of GRR aren’t allowed to run the race and that’s where most of my friends are. The beauty of this race is you can manage to spot people 4 times as they do two loops. I saw friends from parkrun, parents from work and Anna.
I came home feeling disheartened. Usually after watching a race I feel motivated and looking forward to my next run but my achilles has just left me feeling low and wondering if this running lark is actually good for you after all!