As alluded to at the end of the recently written Rockingham Duathlon, two days after the event I was broken to the point that I took a full week off running, then ran two or three times with pain in the left hip, before succumbing to a bad cold that wiped me out for the rest of November.
December was a month spent very much on turbo trainer and with Zwift especially, the odd foray into running was a mostly social exercise with the running club and not particularly satisfactory, suffering during the run with hip pain and long afterwards, affecting my walking and general day to day activities with the back frequently locking up while performing the most trivial of tasks. The GRC Christmas lights run was a highlight, the Christmas Eve run, coming the day after a fairly positive parkrun (first in 17:54) a low point as I was quite clearly a hobbling mess unable to run within a minute per mile of what I am capable of.
If pre Christmas was bad, post Christmas was worse yet. In Minehead on the 28th I managed, just, seven miles which involved both the legs cramping up in a manner I’d not experienced since just after the London Marathon. Two days later I ran Minehead parkrun, something I had been really looking forward to but it turned into something of a disaster, hobbling all the way there, mustering a hard earned slowest time of the year (18:41 – good for third) which saw both legs cramp up again and forced a painful walk back to the caravan. The last run of the year on New Year’s Eve in Stroud was just a shambles – 3 painful slow miles with legs cramping and hip aching. I was at rock bottom.
I didn’t run until January 4th in the New Year – I was back on the turbo and the elliptical trainer. On the third I booked myself into Physio for the bad hip. In finding the physio I saw last time I found my notes for left hip pain (Like I have this time) which was caused by my right glute not firing properly. I thought I may try these exercises as there was nothing to lose, in addition to the exercises I got from a different physio that had eradicated the cramps I was now suffering again with. To my surprise after just two day’s exercises, the eleven mile club run on the 4th was the best I’d had in several months, with barely any discomfort in the hip.
I still saw the physio who declared the glutes as firing but just not doing their job very well and so putting huge strain on the hip flexors and other surrounding muscles. I got some more exercises to do and was told to not run for a week and come back in six days time. After six days on Zwift and another trip to the physio I was ready to run again. She said I could run a maximum of four miles for a week. I ran four miles on the first day and was so enthused by the lack of any discomfort in hips I ran 10k the following day, ten miles (Including parkrun) on the Saturday and a post ride brick 5k run on the Sunday – all pain free.
Happy that the hip was much improved I commenced with full training with the London Marathon in mind. The first set of 10 mile runs were quite hard work, the legs not used to running and more suited to cycling as well as being a fair bit overweight thanks to Christmas celebrations. The third week of January I ran 56 miles, the following week 61, and the next (including four days of February) 68 miles. The long run of 17 miles on January 28th was a fairly tortuous affair, but three days later I ran a good 16 miles on the Fraction Course and then on the Saturday was a most pleasing 20 mile run with 11 miles, a 17:34 parkrun, and 6 miles to finish at a 6:31 per mile average.
I was back in reasonable shape as I took a cut back week after three weeks of progression. I ran 5K after spinning on the Monday, a comfortable 10 mile progressive run with Stephen, who has become my Tuesday run partner of late, and 10 miles easy with the club on the Thursday. This has all been supplemented with regular Zwift sessions which has revitalised my hate affair with the turbo trainer, so much so I found myself racing online two days before the Turkey Trot, probably giving more than I intended to for the real race.
From a position at New Year’s End where I thought my running days were numbered, January and early February has gone really well. I’m quietly hopeful that although my form is a touch down on the same time in 2017, I can use the injury to my advantage and work to a peak right on the London Marathon date rather than perhaps two or three weeks before it. Only time will tell, of course. If there is one thing I know about running, it is that it is a fickle beast and you are only one run away from being totally injured and having to start all over again.