Monday 9th September 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Talk Ultra interview with Killian Journet about his Matterhorn Summit record (on the way to the pool)

0x25m (yup, zero laps!)

15 minutes pacing (steam room)/5 minutes cold shower/15 minutes sitting (sauna)/5 minutes cold shower/5 minutes fast pacing (steam room)/5 minutes cold shower

I have a love/hate relationship with my local pool. Today it was characterised by hate. The timetable said one thing yet the lane configuration said another! One lane, ONE LANE, for actual swimmers and the rest of the lanes set aside for children’s swimming lessons (no problem there) and ‘splashers’/paddlers/chatters (not cool!). I didn’t even bother to dip a toe in today – the single lane set aside for ‘fast’ swimmers had about 6 people swimming at various speeds (none of which could be misconstrued as fast) and stop-starting the whole time. I turned my back on the pool and headed for the health suite which houses a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.

I thought I would have a good go at some hot/cold therapy as suggested by my sports massage therapist yesterday. It worked too! Well, for the most part until I left the leisure centre and started to get the pain and discomfort returning in my lower back. Before I get onto that though I must say that I really enjoyed my sauna and steam room session. Again, the place was empty, devoid of humanity – not a person in sight for the majority of my time in there. As I mentioned yesterday, the steam room is one of my favourite places to be when nobody else is in there. Today is the first time I’ve found the sauna empty too which was a really nice surprise after the kind of day I’ve had – just what I needed, some time and space to relax and reflect! That said, when this back problem clears up I hope to find the sauna empty more often than not as I will be doing some Marathon des Sables acclimatisation in there by doing some core workouts and more than likely a bit of running on the spot – if it worked for this year’s women’s winner (Meghan Hicks) it can work for me too!

I guess now would be the time to write a little about the pain and discomfort I’ve been feeling lately. It has been a massively frustrating day for me to be honest. I woke up after yesterday’s massage with my back and legs feeling a little tender but not sore or at all painful, however, as the morning wore on and I made my way to the train station for the journey to work the discomfort increased exponentially. At times it felt like each step could result in me crumpling to the floor and giving up on the day completely! Then again, at other times I felt absolutely fine which has been perplexing to say the least. I’m trying to figure out if it’s an IT band problem, a knee problem (God forbid, please don’t let it be my knees) or if it’s just a bruised bone/trapped nerve kind of configuration in my lower back – if it’s the latter then it would explain why I’m getting odd and at times painful sensations in my left ITB and knee. It also means it will be fairly easy to rectify and I can get back to running normally quite quickly. If, on the other hand, it turns out to be a knee problem (cartiledge, tear, etc.) then I have no idea how I will handle that – I cannot stand to think that I might not be able to run for a long time or that when I do get back I might have to tone down my aspirations/speed/effort. Finally, if it is predominantly an ITB problem then, much like a bruise or trapped nerve it can be sorted out relatively swiftly with a foam roller, more intense massaging and stretching. Right now I’m really, really, really hoping it’s the back or ITB. My attempt at relentless positivism, however, is draining me! I just cannot get my head around how I can go from running great workouts one day, to hobbling through one the next, to having to seek treatment the next! This is the first time in my running life I’ve ever had such discomfort around my ITB/knee but it’s not the first time I’ve had a problem with this side of my lower back. Last time, although I got similar pains in the leg they just weren’t so severe and I pushed on through the worst of it. This time though, hm, I’m just worried.

So dear reader, I’m going to bring this post to a close and I’m going to ask that you send some positive and good thoughts my way to help me through this blip! Who knows, I may wake up tomorrow to find I’ve just been suffering the after effects of my first deep tissue sports massage and I’ll run smoothly on my scheduled 5 mile easy paced trail route.

Until the ‘morrow I send you all peace and blessings. Thanks for reading 🙂

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