The Frankfurt Plan – undertrain and enjoy

I went to see my physio today for some massage, muscle manipulation and acupuncture.

After my run on Sunday I noticed that I was uncomfortable not just in my L3 area which was affecting my knee, thigh and lumbar but I was also experiencing discomfort in my shoulders and higher up my spine. When I woke on Monday I could barely walk on the flat let alone uphill, downhill or on stairs. My discomfort had turned to pain. I still managed to hobble to work and get my Early shift done but it was hell – a real struggle! I often say that with running pain is inevitable but suffering is optional and as much as I tried to laugh it off, grin and bear it and just keep on keeping on by the end of my shift I was suffering with quite a bit of pain.

When I returned home I did my half push-ups and other exercises I’ve been taught to relieve pressure around the nerves, took a nap for an hour or so and then had a very long and hot soak in the bath before resuming my position on my bed. Horizontal, on my stomach and with very little movement I read some poetry, had a little think about what I could do to resolve this and wondered how it was going to affect my preparation for the Frankfurt Marathon on my birthday. After an hour or so of reading and ruminating I decided that I was just going to have to ease off with my ideas of running as close to, or under, 3 hours in Frankfurt and just relax. It’s my birthday, it’s my final race of 2014, Gabrielle will be there and we’re flying to the Canary Islands the next day! I need to just go out there, run as best I can given the circumstances, smile every mile and enjoy the experience of my first big city marathon.

I woke up this morning and the pain had subsided from my L3 area but was very much evident around the shoulders. I had also developed a strain in my right thigh and my gluteal muscles felt pretty tight too – after some discussion with my physio this evening we have come to the conclusion that these aches and pains have come from me overcompensating yesterday when trying to get up and down stairs during the normal course of my day. However, neither of us can quite fathom how my L3 area seems to have loosened up but the muscles underneath my shoulder blades and around that area of my spine seem to have tightened significantly. This is pretty irrelevant though considering the decision I made the previous evening to smile very mile and just relax for Frankfurt.

I discussed this with Anna (my physio) and she agreed that as I’ve had a pretty good year of running and racing this didn’t seem like such a bad idea considering I’m hoping to run at least two 50 milers and a marathon next year! Therefore she has recommended I swim (if I feel like it) for a couple of weeks and then resume running after this period. She added a caveat to the running suggestion and said I should run only on the flat until I felt fully ready to tackle hills – both up and down – because this is where my injury seems to flare up. In addition to the swimming it’s been highly recommended that I take a look at bikram yoga and/or pilates in addition to at least one plank a day and some other core stability and upper body work which, in all honesty, I’ve pretty much neglected since getting back from my holiday to Australia back in March!

So, dear reader, it seems I’ll be heading to Frankfurt with a stronger core than I’ve ever had if all goes to plan! That said I will also be undertrained on the running front but hopefully uninjured, happy and ready to run every mile with a smile! There is very little chance at this point of running close to the the three hour mark but I’m still going to try and improve on my current PR of 3:21:29…I guess we’ll see what happens on the day 🙂

Peace & Blessings

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