Day 55–Rock Bottom

Things are not looking good for Project Sub 2:45. I’d go as far as to say if the marathon were held this weekend not only would I not have finished, I would have struggled massively to make it to halfway. the frustrating thing is I’m still not totally sure what the injury is or what is causing it. I need to find a Physio in Grantham and fast!

After two days off to let the injury rest a bit – plenty of massage, but, in hindsight, probably not enough stretching – I decided to head out this Sunday morning with the intention of running long. I’d decided though to stay local in case the injury became unbearable – a move that proved to be prophetic.

As with Thursday the opening mile or two were trouble free, running reasonably swiftly despite the gale force winds battering me or pushing me along depending on the direction I was running in. Then the little worrying signs began to kick in: the slight ache in the groin; a heavy feeling in the quad; then discomfort that began to radiate down the inner thigh before settling just above the knee, moving from the side to the back; a sharp pain in the lower hamstring which sporadically came to affect the calf.

The difference between today’s run and Thursday’s was that it took around 8 miles for the pain to kick in on Thursday and only became a big problem in the final couple of miles; today between it being a niggle at five miles I could cope with, by the time I’d navigated a steep climb and descent at six miles, I was stopping every couple of hundred meters and could barely shuffle along.

I decided to abandon the run and head home. I was a couple of miles away – at 7.6 miles I had to stop and walk for around 10 minutes as the pain was too much to run. I was then able to run slowly home with some considerable discomfort, any thoughts of running further dismissed without hesitation.

Once home and the post mortem began. I’ve working on the idea of it hopefully being Piraformis Sydrome but I’ve quietly resigned to it probably being something which will take longer to fix. Time to dust off the bike or find a gym…

Day 52–The Wheels Begin To Fall Off

The right leg felt sufficiently better during the day to see me out for the Thursday night club run – it included five or so minutes of running with the buggy as I was late collecting my daughter from school. I didn’t go into the run with any great confidence of a positive outcome however – a feeling that I had a cold brewing didn’t help matters.

I ran 4.5 miles before joining up with the club – keeping close to home in case things went very wrong. The weather was miserable – wet and cold, only a degree or so above the point when snow would turn to sleet and then snow. My legs felt heavy and I struggled to enthuse myself. Things picked up a touch when I ran to the club – there was still very little pain in the right leg aside from a niggle near the knee.

We ran the same route as last week – to Belton House, then Londonthorpe before heading back to Grantham. We checked out our potential new meeting place – a cycle storage and changing facility behind the Tolle. It met with my approval as I acquired a sudden need to test the facilities with an emergency pit stop.

That inconvenience over and I felt a little more lively – something in the stomach clearly hadn’t agreed with me. Splashing along in the puddles I took a slightly longer route than my club mates so spent a mile or so making my way back to the front of the pack by the time we reached Belton House.

It was here where the inner thigh near the knee began to get quite sore when running. It was enough to slow me a touch although I couldn’t decide if it was more painful to run slowly or quickly. I settled mostly for something in the middle as I took a wrong turn somewhere in the dark and spent the next half mile heading back to the front of the pack and pushing on – feet by now totally soaked as large swathes of the road resembled streams and tributaries.

We climbed up through Londonthorpe and on the quiet narrow lane that takes us back to Harrowby and Grantham. By now the thigh was constantly quite painful and the discomfort and tightness began to spread to the upper calf. My consternation must have been fairly obvious as a few club mates asked if I was okay. I grumbled something about being injured and having to ease back for the next week or so.

Once into Harrowby and near the Girls’ school, I said my farewells and took the shorter way back home, the internal GPS successfully predicting, almost to the metre, that there would be exactly sixteen miles covered by the time I reached home.

A stretch in the rain then a long hot shower to warm up, followed by a twenty minute ice session, something I’ve not needed to do for the best part of a year. The following morning and there was no killer pain, thankfully, but enough discomfort for me to decide not to run – hopefully a day or two or more of rest, plus Ibuprofen, stretching and massage will see the problem settle. It’s been a good run without injury, hopefully this one will not set me back too much.

Day 51–A Little DIY

I spent much of yesterday evening working on the right upper leg: massage; stretching; prodding; massaging; stretching…. Come the end of the evening the hamstring felt a little looser but the inner thigh near the knee was really sore to touch.  In desperation I applied a liberal dose of Arnica Cream to try and reduce any inflammation.

The morning brought no unwelcome surprises – little discomfort during the kids’ walking to school. I did a little more massage and stretching and decided I would risk a run – albeit a little less mileage than I’d originally planned. I decided too to keep it as flat as possible, so it was the Wyndham Park out and back route – with a twist.

I was very nervous about the first few steps, unsure of how the right leg would react. Thankfully there was no discomfort in the right hamstring and whilst the inner thigh near the knee was sore, it was well within the margins of pain threshold.

I kept the pace slow and steady – helped by the outbound leg featuring a strong wind. Having tackled Dysart Park I took a brief excursion to B&Q to buy a small item for our new washing machine – a large 12kg affair bought to accommodate my never ending accumulation of running clothing. It felt a little odd shopping in full winter spec running gear (It was nearly 9C but the wind chill made it feel closer to freezing) but needs must and thankfully the item needed fitted snugly in my tights’ pocket.

The return leg was a little quicker because I had a tail wind, but the right thigh being sore slowed me a touch – the knee starting to ache a little too. I made it home in one piece but not sure how the leg is going to fare in the coming days and weeks. I’m hopeful that if I ease back on the quick stuff for a bit things will heal itself without the need for a lengthy spell off, but I guess we’ll just have to see.