Tuesday 10th September 2013

Workout Soundtrack: Sonic Youth – ‘Daydream Nation’

AM: 6.26km 28:43 (Pisa Marathon, Session 14, Easy)

PM: 00.0km 00:00 (Pisa Marathon, Session 15, Easy)

As you will see above I had planned for a double day today – I wanted to split my 5 mile easy run over two runs to reduce my chance of flaring up the back/ITB/knee problem that has been plaguing me for the past week or so. I was very much looking forward to both runs but particularly the second one as it would have been a night time trail run by head torch…alas, it just was not meant to be.

I did my easy paced run this morning without too much hassle. In fact, I woke up feeling miraculously better and I now think that was a mind over matter kind of moment! I set off on the trail, in my nice 10mm drop Asics Gel Fuji Attack shoes, with no trouble from any of the aforementioned trouble spots and was feeling great – so much so that I had to battle with myself not to increase the pace to marathon goal pace (4:45 per KM). Almost as soon as my Garmin beeped at the first kilometre I got a little twinge in my lower back, I did my best to brush it off and to focus on the beautiful sky and my breathing but after about 600m the discomfort had progressed down through my left glute, down the ITB and felt like it was pulling at my knee. For the next few kilometres, from 1.5km to about 4.5km, I thought to myself there is no way I can even run 10 klicks like this let alone a marathon – mind over matter I kept repeating in my head, mind over matter! As I mentioned yesterday this relentless sort of positivism does not come easily to me but I persevered and then (maybe stupidly, I’m not sure) decided to run the last 2 klicks at tempo pace, so that’s exactly what I did. Almost immediately after picking up the pace I noticed the discomfort and pain sort of lifting from my left leg and lower back! I was totally amazed and I ran happy for 2 klicks feeling like I had somehow turned a corner, I even finished the run with a smile instead of a grimace as has been the case for the past week or more.

I showered, ate a little breakfast, drank some coffee and packed up my work bag. At this point I was still smiling and not feeling much in the way of pain or discomfort at all. However, unfortunately this did not last long at all. About 500m down the road from my house I felt a huge sharp pain shoot from my lower back down to my left knee (or maybe it was the other way around, I can’t be sure) and this made me actually shout out in pain. I thought I might vomit briefly and I had a few beads of sweat appear on my forehead – not good signs at all!!! During the rest of my day I have battled with the shooting pains and have had to keep my left leg as straight as I can whilst limping around – for some reason it is fine when I sit down and bend it but it just does not like the walking, and thus running, motion. I have found it very difficult to go about my job today as it can involve a lot of going up and down stairs which my knee/back/ITB really does not like! Right now, I’m sitting here typing this having to come to terms with the fact that this discomfort has now become pain which therefore indicates my worst nightmare – I’m injured.

Anyway, relentless positivism must rule the day and it must rule this post and my mindset! One of the first things I did when I arrived at work this afternoon was to send a text message to my sports masseuse and explain how my run went today and also how uncomfortable I still felt yesterday. I let him know that I had now decided that this not a largely muscular problem and asked him to put me in touch with his physio colleague – thankfully Matt got back to me pretty quickly and has passed on my details. Matt said his colleague may not be around for a while and in that case I should check out other physios who might see me sooner – the guy definitely picked up on the fact that I need running in my life! I asked Matt if he thought I should stop running altogether until I’d been seen by a physio, I knew the answer right away as I’m sure you all do too – yes. Stop running. For now anyway. As it stands then, I will not be running for at least four or five days whilst I arrange a physio session and the sooner I can get that in the better because, yes, I want to run but I would love to be able to walk properly too!

In the interim I’ll be working on my upper body strength and will do the stretches I can manage without feeling pain and obviously I’ll also be going to the pool, sauna and steam room. I’m not entirely confident at this point that I’ll make it to the start line of the Pisa Marathon with enough training in my legs to reach my A-Goal (2:55) but I know that one way or another I will at least be there! I’ll run as fast as I can on the day and if it turns out I can’t run at all by that point I’m still going to fly out and volunteer at a water station or the finish line – it’s all about staying connected to our unique running community in whatever way we can when we’re kept off the roads or trails for whatever reason. With all that said, at this stage I have no idea how extensive or how bad this injury might be! It could turn out to be something relatively minor and I could be back up to fully training capacity before the end of the month – I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!

With that dear reader, I bid you good night! I’ll return with a post on the ‘morrow and I’ll also be adding a ‘Links/Blogs’ page to the blog as well.

Peace & Blessings x

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