Sunday, 22 April 2012

Let's Get Physical

First of all, apologies for the lack of posts - I have really struggled to find inspiration when I've been stuck at home wrestling with this injury.

I was referred for physio at the BMI Hospital in Harrogate and my therapist, Vicky has been incredible. Not only is she a very lovely lady, she seems to have worked miracles on my hip. The problem lies in the piriformis - a pear-shaped muscle responsible for the flexibility of the hip joint. Apparently it's quite common for runners (still don't think I can call myself that) to have issues with the piriformis - mainly due to a lack of adequate stretching both before and after a run. 

Anyway, after two sessions of physio, a little more rest and a week of gritted teeth, I was finally able to set out on a run on Friday morning. I won't lie, it was tough - I lacked a huge amount of confidence and as such picked a route which was more focused on avoiding the general public than tailored to a first run out in three weeks.

I hurt afterwards - my hip was throbbing and my time was disappointing. I took five minutes to lie down (in all honesty, I had no choice) and wanted to slap myself around the chops. I thought about how far I had come - despite my run of bad luck injury-wise I was still able to run a 9.38 mile - a good two minutes faster than when I had first started, and I'm not even fully fit.

To many people, this will seem like a terrible time but for me it is a sign of determination. Getting out there and pounding the pathways of Harrogate is not easy at the moment - I want to go further, faster and be much closer to my goal. But I am where I am, and pushing myself too far too soon will only make things worse (the story of my training life so far!)

I'm planning on heading out tomorrow morning and will force myself to take a better route - the one I ran on Friday did me no favours as over half of it was on an incline. Proper planning and all that malarkey!

In other news, I just realised that I won't be able to run the Harrogate 10k as I'll be at a wedding that weekend, which is a real shame. I'll also miss out on the BUPA Great Yorkshire Run - even more gutting as it passes past the South Stand at Hillsborough - my home every other Saturday next season - I can't imagine getting a better lift than that at halfway. I fly to Ibiza that day for my beautiful friend, Jessica's wedding where I am Maid of Honour - so that takes the sting out of it slightly!

Lastly, a huge amount of respect and biggedy-ups go out to Andy Broomhead - my Twitter friend who is, as I speak, running the London Marathon. I've been watching it since the beginning and boo-hoo-ing at some of the amazing fundraising stories. It's inspired me to run, run, run - maybe even a marathon next year, even though I said I never would... So well done, Andy - great effort and all your Twitter buddies are incredibly proud of you.

Sam x

Monday, 9 April 2012

Rainy Day Games

I love running in the rain - there's something about getting drenched as you splash around the streets; it makes me run faster and I always feel amazing when I get home. Maybe that's why Tough Mudder is so appealing. Pounding hot tarmac around a flat marathon route is just not for me, but that's not to say I don't have a huge amount of respect for those who can - crikey, anyone who can run almost 30 miles is a superhero in my eyes.
Anyway, I headed out this morning before I had chance to talk myself out of it and it felt amazing just to be outside and running. I took it really steady, petrified I would not only aggravate my existing injury, but maybe jolt something else and be out for even longer.
Dr Lucy told me that progesterone, which you produce when you're breastfeeding, makes your joints looser, especially around your pelvic region and that recovery takes much longer. The hip injury I picked up a month ago is still painful and although it isn't as bad as it was, it's still the reason I stopped just short of two miles today. I have a physio appointment tomorrow which I am really looking forward to - I'm hoping they're going to be able to fix me, and offer advice on how I can warm up properly to prevent any future injuries. That said, we've now introduced solid food into Ruby's diet so I'll be giving up feeding her myself shortly - hopefully that will also make a difference.
I think that if I'd thought my route through a little better this morning I would've been able to push on a little further - unfortunately I was too busy concentrating on breathing and putting one foot in front of the other to notice where I was going, and ended up finishing on a nasty incline. That said, I was pretty proud of myself for running the last half km uphill - it was touch and go, and I nearly vommed at the end of the road, but I was so determined I actually ran it faster than the previous half km. My hip started to feel very twinge-y by that point, so I walked the remainder of the way home - it's still hurting a little but I was so happy I'd finally managed to get out there I couldn't care less.
This week, I'm going to let Jillian Michaels beast me around my living room every day and we have a group training session on The Stray. I'm really looking forward to seeing how Team Raw has progressed, although I will secretly hate them all for being amazing when I haven't been able to train. Apparently we'll be focusing on lifting, pulling and core strength so hopefully I won't have fallen too far behind.
Lastly, all my hard work seems to be paying off - I have now lost all my baby weight and am half a stone lighter than before I was pregnant - maybe there's something to be said for all this clean living malarkey... I might have a little glass of vin rouge to celebrate.

Sam x

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Rabid Dog

I haven't posted in a couple of weeks because, to be brutally honest, I have been a bit pissed off.
I started this ridiculous challenge to get fit, healthy and to achieve something I could be truly proud of. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but my determination and sparkly* personality would shine through and I would strut muddily over the finish line with abs of steel, thrusting my well-deserved beer skyward. I was ready for it. I put in the first gruelling weeks - I was getting there, I had the bug.

Unfortunately, I was then hit with knee-gate, hip-gate and now gastroenteritis, erm, gate. Since deciding on running Tough Mudder I haven't had such a terrible run of injury/illness. Yesterday, I felt as sick as a rabid dog (and probably looked worse - I was sick in my hair). I had to change my physio appointment to next week for fear of unleashing the sickness bug to a waiting room full of people and am now holed up in bed waiting for it to pass.

Seriously, I don't ask for a lot. I just want to run without damaging my knee or putting my hip out. Apparently, this won't be possible for a little while though and it's all down to the amount of progesterone my body is producing post-baby. This makes everything 'looser' (crikey, Dr Lucy, tactful), meaning it's much easier to injure yourself and your recovery time doubles. This is not ideal. I am very aware that I have only notched up 12 miles to date and am going to have to seriously motor if I'm going to even complete the course.

My hip is actually feeling much better, so tomorrow morning (tummy troubles aside) I'm going to attempt a steady couple of kilometres. I know I'm just one good run away from getting my mojo back.

Wish me luck.

Sam x

*I can be sparkly.