Finally ready for 2014

I realised the other day, that since the New Year I’ve not been feeling myself.

“Who have you been feeling then, eh?” << Thought I’d get the gag in before anyone else did.

I’ve been feeling like an inferior, older, tireder and sadder version of myself. And that’s not been good. Was it the not running? I certainly felt like a different person when I wasn’t a ‘runner’ for four weeks. Maybe it was the lack of daylight and fresh air because I wasn’t running. With the atroctious weather we’ve had, some days I didn’t set foot outside the house. Maybe it was my recent birthday? I’ve never been too bothered about getting older, but this birthday did feel like standing on the platform at the top of a big playground slide, wobbling slightly before sliding down to the next ‘big birthday’. Maybe it was a hormonal thing. Perhaps it was the couple of weeks of bad sleep I seem to have had. Possibly it was because I have no new goals on the horizon, nothing big and scary to motivate me. By contrast, my husband has some big sporting challenges this year and is sickeningly enthused (and scared, truth be told). Actually I haven’t got a single race  to prepare for as I have just been feeling too old and slow. Possibly, just maybe, it’s been a combination of all of these factors. Going down with a cold last weekend seemed like the final straw.

Last week, I was fed up of feeling fed up. I felt bored, boring, tired, unfit and ready to give myself a good talking to (and a kick up the backside). After running too much too quickly a few weeks ago (which didn’t improve my mood) I decided to be sensible this time. I set off and ran just 3 times in the week, with plenty of rest in between and all at a slow easy pace. I bought some long overdue new trainers (which are scarily white, shiny and pink, Ugh!) I tried to get to bed at a better time, and resolved to make sure I was eating better with less sugary rubbish.

New trainers - scarily clean and PINK!
New trainers – scarily clean and PINK!

This week, after shaking off the cold, I feel better. I’ve run on two cold but clear mornings. I’ve had some better sleep. I’ve eaten more fruit and veg, tried to cut out the chocolate, and thought about how much protein I need. I’ve even spent several hours digging on my neglected allotment. It feels like a weight is being lifted from me, and I’m liking it.

Allotment after several sessions of digging
Allotment after several sessions of digging

Right then – where’s the race calendar? 2014, I’m finally ready for you!

Tape Tattoo and a Henna Tattoo

So since the last time I posted, I’ve been very good and doing my homework regularly. Lots of stretching, lots of cycling and lots of aqua plodding. I’m sure this is a really good rehab exercise, but its sooooooooo boooooooooring! Monday last week I cycled to the pool, aqua plodded for 1 hour 50 minutes, then cycled home. Can’t wait to get back out on the roads on my feet!
Was back at the Physio on Tuesday, and all is still healing up nicely. She dithered as to whether she should order me not to run for another week, or whether I could take it carefully.  I did the ol’ puppy dog eyes, so she said she’d tape me up and I could have a go. The result of the taping is shown in the photo. Attractive, no? Most people on seeing the photo thought it was an ill-advised tattoo. I think it looks like a target for a stalker to aim at. Anyway – its supposed to support my leg so I can run without causing damage.
Got home, got changed, and I was OFF! Being very good I just set off on my little 3 mile loop. Took it very slowly, and plodded along. It was feeling slightly sore and stretchy, but the Physio had said I would just have to run through the ‘stretching’ pain. By the end it was feeling quite sore, so I got showered and changed, and immediately took ibuprofen, slapped on an icepack and put my foot up.
By Wednesday, I was limping again. Was so upset I nearly cried.
Thursday I was back on my bike and plodding in the pool, but I was so tired and fed up I only lasted an hour.
Friday was preparing for the weekend and removing my tape (OUCH!), and the weekend was spent at a large family wedding. Hence my second ‘Tattoo’ of the week! This is much prettier, and is a henna tattoo (or Mehndi). This should last a little longer as well!
Back to this week, I set off on Monday for just a 2 mile plod. Leg was feeling sore and ‘stretchy’, but not too bad. Took ibuprofen, iced, and compressed it, and asked many people to cross their fingers to hope it will be okay. By this morning, its still a little sore, but not limping sore, so HOORAY!
Just realised this blog was supposed to be a record of my training for my first ever Marathon. A way of capturing my thoughts, feelings and emotions. However it seems to have descended into a wallow of injury and self pity. Ho hum!

Still cycling, still stretching, still icing

So another week has gone by, I’m another year older, and I’m still not running. Another visit to the Physio put paid to that!

Actually, there was good and bad news from the Physio. The Bad News is that I can’t run the Bath Half. Fair enough, its in just over a week’s time and I’m still in pain. As they put it, my focus is London, not Bath. I can easily run Bath next year (just need to pay another £39 – eek!)

The Good News is that she could tell I’d been doing my stretches, the pain has moved lower down my leg (apparently this is a good thing – but I’ll have to take her word for it), and is less than last week. This was apparent because I didn’t manage a vertical take off from the couch this week when she pressed on the sore bit. She was impressed with the bruises on my legs from where she’d poked me last week – “like a peach!” she remarked. After running on a treadmill with 2 Physios standing behind me, looking at me legs and making comments (a girl can get paranoid, you know!) the conclusion is that my running isn’t as bad as they thought it would be, over pronation isn’t too bad, and my back was stiff.

Back was solved by more pushing & grunting (the grunting was me!). I have to keep up my stretches, and have been given some more to do. I should keep up the cycling and aqua running (as apparently there are still one or two people in North Wiltshire haven’t had a laugh at me yet). Next week I’m going to be taped up – I tell you, these Physios are sadists!*

Anyway – out on the bike yesterday for just an hour, as that’s my bottom-pain-threshold. Past a lovely Victorian school building (I think!) Took a blurry photo, then promptly dropped my phone. Sigh!

Today I should be doing my cycle-aqua run-cycle combo again that I first tried last Friday. However, in a classic spot yesterday of ‘retail-therapy-is-still-therapy’ I am waiting in for a delivery which includes PADDING!!!

Maybe I should do some more stretches whilst I’m waiting …..

* So what does that make me, who pays to go and see them???