Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Oh bugger

The whole groin/lower abdominal area felt ok yesterday even with day 2 of my new stretching routine and I managed to get a same day appointment at the physio, pleased to be able to get treatment underway immediately.

The news though wasn't too good. Looks like a psoas injury should have responded to stretching and also to rest and as this has been around for 3 months the physio suspects something else is the culprit.

She did a series of tests, most of which caused no pain whatsoever, and asked some questions about when and where pain kicks in. Net result is that she can't be certain what it is but suspects a condition called 'Gilmore's Groin', and has given me a letter to take to the doctors later this week asking that I'm referred to a specialist. If her suspiscions are confirmed I'd need surgery followed by 6 weeks rehabilitation before running properly again.

On the basis that it could take 6/7 weeks before I see the specialist and another couple of months after that before an operation she's given me a series of resistance band strengthening exercises to do in the meantime. If she's wrong then they may help treatment and if she's right they'll help strengthen things ahead of the op.

If its surgery Paris is definitely out. If its not then hopefully the exercises and stretching will help resolve things ahead of training but starting training itself will be a severe test.

Oh, well. Who said these things were meant to be easy?

Sunday, 22 November 2009

These DIY temporary fillings are good...

...its amazing how much you can eat with them :-s

Managed to get in at the dentists on Wednesday but they can't fix the tooth (which is painless) until 7th December. Oh well.

Another mixed week for me.

Didn't manage to get out on Monday or Tuesday but did manage to fit in a short run on Wednesday. A very short one. A very, very short one. The Ronnie Corbett of courses in fact.

I set off along the same route as I've been doing lately - along the river Aire - but the recent heavy rain meant the trail was very muddy and slippy and often hidden beneath long puddles. In itself that was fine but for much of it I was one slip from the fast flowing, swollen, debris filled river and whilst I'm not a bad swimmer I didn't fancy putting my skills to the test. That put me on edge a bit and even had my imagination going into overdrive when one 'lump' of debris looked to me like a bloated corpse. Nice.

What shortened the run though was that at just under 1.5 miles the trail and river merged where the latter had burst it's banks. It wasn't over by much - not much above ankle depth on the trail - but I knew that even if I picked my way through that the path further ahead would probably be worse as its virtually at river level already. I turned and headed back to the car.

No run on Thursday - work again - but I did get out in the torrential rain on Friday. That was an opportunity to test my new Gore Running jacket - it passed. I took a cross country route across fields to the canal, along the canal for half a mile or so then a mile and a half through the woods before heading for home. About 5 and a half miles and (I counted) 24 stiles and/or fences and lots, and lots of mud.

Yesterday I decided to try a long slow one so did a little over 12 miles along the canal from the edge of Leeds to Shipley. Like the week, it was mixed. I'm pleased I did it and pleased that the pace was as quick as many of the shorter runs of recent weeks but the downside was that I started getting groin pain from before 2 miles. This got imperceptibly stronger until about 9 and a half when it then became really difficult just to keep my left leg lifting and moving.

That's a worry as I've had quite alot of disruption of late and I'm only 4 weeks from marathon training kicking in. Didn't seem too bad through the day yesterday but this morning, as I waited to carry out my marshaling and t-shirt distribution duties at the Leeds Abbey Dash, it was horrendous. I've kept 800mg of ibuprofen on the go since and done quite a long stretching session this afternoon.

Will get off to the physio asap this week and book a few sessions. Really want this right before the mileage and LSRs go up dramatically.

Oh, and I'm toying with the idea of doing Windermere marathon 5 weeks after Paris...

Monday, 16 November 2009

Minor trials & tribulations

Its funny how just as you feel you're back in control life can throw some unexpected obstacles in your direction.

Things were going well last week. By Friday morning I'd had a good week dieting and the heavy, morale boosting weight loss of the first week was very much in evidence. After a rest day I was due to run again too.

Then along comes obstacle number one. My youngest daughter was absolutely full of cold, hadn't slept well at all and had a slight temperature so wasn't fit for school. That meant she was home with me all day so no opportunity to nip out for a run during my lunch break. Not to worry though - I could simply run Saturday & Sunday instead.

Time for obstacle number two. Late morning there is a knock at the door and there's a lad selling dish cloths, fridge fresheners and the like. Thanks but no thanks. Then as I run back upstairs I somehow catch my little toe on a door frame. As I do so there's an audible 'snap' and I fear the worst, but as I brace myself for a wave of pain I actually find it doesn't seem too bad. Within minutes though it doesn't look good as the toe swells to be 50% bigger than it's neighbour. It throbs the rest of the day and Friday night and its difficult to walk on. Still swollen and now largely blue, I cancel Saturday's run and don't feel too optimistic for Sunday either.

Saturday dinner and time for obstacle 3 to join the party, as a tooth breaks. That's slightly painful and certainly irritating but a trip to the chemists for some temporary filling mixture limits the damage.

Trouble is I haven't run as planned and, feeling sorry for myself, the dieting stops and is replaced by binging of sorts. Fortunately the tooth precludes sweets but an enormous chocolate cake made for the youngest's birthday party on Saturday (that was cancelled due to her illness) provides a capable stand in.

By Sunday morning the swelling has largely gone and, contrary to expectations, I manage a run. Along the muddy bank of the river Aire and back. Slightly slower than last time but with an occasionally painful toe, lots of slipping and sliding and a wait for a family of runners to pass at one point means that's none too surprising. Positively, at least I'm running again and, passing wait aside, its done none stop.

The chocolate cake hasn't completely gone though - a situation I remedy by early evening. Meaning its turned into a mixed weekend. It wasn't the virtuous, lean, athletic break I'd envisaged but then neither had it turned into the complete disaster that looked on the cards by Saturday morning.

Once again, I'm back on the dieting 'horse' today, and a few days of discipline and the weekend's excesses will be just an insignificant blip.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Back on track

So far this week I really have been back on track.

I've logged everything on www.weightlossresources.co.uk and kept comfortably under the target for the week to date.

I've also started running again but its amazing how quickly your fitness goes.

I ran Monday, along the canal to Apperley Bridge and then up onto the road to Woodhouse Grove school and around the fields onto the riverside path back to Rodley: 4.85 miles.

Its a nice route along the river: peaceful, scenic, muddy and quieter than the canal towpath. I did the same route on Wednesday and on neither day did I see another soul along the river. Maybe its the mud that puts people off or maybe they just don't know its there but in certain stretches you feel like you're in the dales rather than between two large industrial cities.

On Monday I stopped twice during the run and felt worn out despite a very modest pace. I was also extremely sore afterwards in the psoas to the point where I struggled to walk the kids back home from school that afternoon. That was worrying as I'd hoped 2 weeks of rest might have cured it.

Wednesday was better. Hardly any quicker but only one stop and it felt slightly easier. Most pleasingly there was no real psoas pain during or after. I'm hoping I can stretch my way through that now.

Marathon training starts in five and a half weeks. If I can finish this week on about 20 miles, then nearer 25 next, then carry on into the upper 20s for the remaining 3 weeks but do that fairly pain free that'll be the best I can hope for.

Neither that nor the likely weight at the start of training will be what I'd planned for but the weight wont be too far out the running won't be too bad as long as the psoas is settled enough to allow a big ramp up in frequency and mileage once training begins.

I guess that all remains to be seen.

The downward spiral continues

My newly invigorated commitment at the end of the last post didn't quite live up to it's billing. It lasted a day and a half.

For the first couple of days of that week I managed to half heartedly stick to the diet and on the Wednesday I forced myself out for a run. Instead of going to the canal I ran from home which meant a long downhill followed by a long uphill back again. The route I took lasted only 3.45 miles and I found it slow and very hard work, even on the downhill. That knocked me a bit and I found solace in more fatty, sugary, sweet foods for the remainder of the week - and no more runs.

The Saturday was the first of 10 days off for me and we headed down to Northamptonshire to see the in laws. That meant having dinner at a local pub (where I had the enjoyable but uncharacteristic choice of a mixed grill followed by treacle sponge pudding) and then an enormous Chinese buffet cum banquet for Sunday dinner.

I did run on the Sunday morning, along the Grand Union Canal from Foxton Locks near Market Harborough. It was a good run even though the towpath was nowhere near as good as that near Leeds. It totalled 15.1 miles - the longest since Paris - but I found it very hard work after the 11 miles point, underlining my feeling that its stamina I'm lacking.

You'd think that would have energised me for the week ahead with its opportunity to run wherever I wanted each day and cook some healthy meals, but it didn't. Instead I spent the week pretty much indoors, cooking meals each day, cooking other meals for the freezer ahead of Christmas, and having lots and lots of sweets along with ensuring Sue made a pudding most days.

I can't point to a single reason for that but I suspect its a combination of factors:

- The time of year made both of us crave 'hearty' foods. The clocks had changed and there was a definite feel of winter being on the way.
- I had the vicious circle of not running because I felt bloated and sluggish then over eating because I didn't have the discipline of running...
- I turned 40 on the final day of my holiday and, daft though it seems, I felt pretty down about it in the lead up and on the day.
- Job insecurity and reduced pay lead to money worries and I guess I comfort ate in response.

That meant that by the 3rd November, the second day in my forties :-( , my weight had leapt further to 12st 7.2lb. That's a stone heavier than I'd been less than 4 weeks earlier.

That was depressing - to have been so close to goal and then so far away again - and that led to a week where I didn't quite stick to plan but I did cut back on my 'bad eating' and had a couple of day's genuine dieting. I still didn't run though. That all led to a modest loss of 0.6lb in the week. Not quite the heavy early loss I'd wanted but enough to break the cycle of weight gain.