Thursday, 5 May 2011

Recurrence of groin injury...

...but hopefully not too badly and not from running but from, I think, sleeping.

Last year, when we camped in Scotland, I ran the Castle Douglas 5 mile road race and after a couple of months of no pain at all from my groin/lower abdomen I suddenly started getting discomfort through the day. I assumed it was to do with the race, took a week off and was advised by the physio it was probably because I had cut back on core exercises. The pain soon went and I've not really had any trouble since.

I started getting twinges again on Saturday but as that was after no long runs and a week largely of easy paced running it seemed less likely to be running related, but camping seemed to be a common factor.

When I slept in the tent I tended to sleep in a narrow 'mummy' sleeping bag on top of a narrow and thin Thermarest sleeping mat. I'm fairly sure that either the hard surface or the restricted movement of my legs cause some problem for my hip flexors.

The soreness was less on Sunday after I made a point of trying to sleep in a more normal position and we bought a thick blow up mattress to help further.

Trouble is that there has been slight soreness since. I'm not unduly concerned at this stage but after Monday's rest day I took the decision to cancel Tuesday evening's run and then yesterday's too.

Unfortunately though, I've responded to this injury lay-off more like Jess than Alison! Injury causes worry and add that to some work and money related stress and I was already a powder keg for potential bingeing. Layer on top of that a lack of running and finally an attempt to restrict diet in response and the results were inevitable (for me).

At the weekend I over ate but that was mindful in the sense that it was allowed because we were away. On Monday evening, feeling worried about injury and low at the end of a nice break I headed to the shop and got lots of chocolate and sweets passing this off as a collective final family treat.

On Tuesday, knowing I'd eaten badly for a few days, I had a half baked plan to fast for the day as a bit of a redress but by early evening as I was making Charlotte's tea I took the decision to cancel the later run and eat instead. After my tea it was another sweetie shop visit.

Yesterday, I'd seemingly learned from that in that I made myself eat breakfast but then got caught up in stuff, decided to cancel the run again and didn't eat my dinner until 2.30 by which time I mindlessly ate whatever came to hand: bread, crisps, crackers, cheese. Later, after tea, I once more went to the shop and got chocolate doughnuts! By this stage Sue was commenting (again) that there's obviously some chemical imbalance in my brain that causes me to do this, and even Bethan was complaining that I needed to stop buying us all sweets.

Not good eh?


Maria said...

Well, just try again today.It is frustrating being injured when you are used to being so active. Is it the actual chocolate or the taste? Because you could get something ready (eg a little pot of custard/ rice pud with some added cocoa powder) which would be chocolate flavoured but more filling than a chocolate bar?
Thanks for the toe thing too!

Running Rob said...

To be honest Maria I think its less about taste and more simply about the fact of having it. i.e. its more psychological than physical. Its not that eating like that makes me feel better, in a sense its because it makes me feel worse that's the attraction. Not an easy one to explain!

Laura said...

When you undereat your body makes you want stuff to make up for the inadequacies in your diet before. Your blood sugar drops and it does affect your brain, your seratonin is lowered which affects your mood and because your body knows it hasn't had enough it tries to get it through your cravings... does this make sense... I don't think I've written down what's in my head very well!!

Alison said...

I think what Laura says makes sense. Especially given that it's sweet stuff that you're bingeing on. I've read several times that sugar mimics serotonin release in the brain. You're especially going to crave that during periods of stress and anxiety.

God, sugar is just like f*cking crack. And I know from personal experience how difficult it is to break out of a cycle of over-eating it. Cadburys chocolate was always my achilles heel.

If it's any help, I find fat really helps stave off the cravings. I just ate scrambled egg with extra olive oil drizzled over the top, and that's stopped me wanting anything sweet, for a while at least. The other thing I would suggest when trying to haul yourself out of a craving/binge cycle like this is to NOT calorie count, and to not be too restrictive about when and what you eat (sugar aside). Otherwise you risk tipping yourself back into the biscuit tin. I think if you're restricting one thing (sweet stuff), then you need to make everything else as easy on yourself as possible.

Oh, and as for dealing well with a lay-off, as Jess remarked to me, I think illness is very different to injury. I did not do so well with the latter, remember!

~Jessica~ said...

I'm so sorry Rob ~ I know I'm a crappy role model for everyone with how to deal with injury and as such I know the heartache you must be going through with it.

It's definitely psychological: almost punishing our bodies for failing us, perhaps. Because doing all of the right things and then having injury smack you in the face tends to perpetuate a cycle of self-doubt, and resent ourselves in some kind of mind/body dissociation which makes us want to inflict harm as a control mechanism. It's also a distraction: feeling worse about overeating as opposed to having to face up to the feelings of sadness over the injury.

It's also soothing though, because such episodes of eating seem to be the only way I have to cope and numb anxiety, which spirals out of control relating to injury. Being that running is a huge stress-reliever, it's a horrible irony really. Being all Zen for a moment, there's something about the rhythmic action of running and the similar action of chewing that calms me down, albeit temporarily, and that combined with the sugar replacing the seratonin lift from running makes such behaviours very difficult to resist.

Don't beat yourself up. Dust yourself off and tomorrow will be a brand new day.