Thursday 20 December 2012

I wanna see the sunshine after the rain

 So an update from the last month.  As you know I’ve been long-term injured with SI joint dysfunction.  Essentially I can run about 10 miles before SI joint pain, and immobility puts so much wear on the rest of the muscles in the area, and my hamstrings that I my stride length shortens to a little wobble and eventually I stop and can’t run any further. 

I probably caused this problem myself by effectively declaring that I would do very little in 2012.  I think the core strength and flexibility I had built up in 2011 gradually faded away and left me all but crippled, in ultra terms.  So, unable to run, I’ve been very miserable.  These two combined meant that my relationship has suffered as I could not do the weeks we like to do together. I always said I would rehab after Dusk til Dawn which I started to do.  Relationship wise, I’m not going into any further details on here, but I’ve had a really bad few weeks.  Unfortunately in that time my rehab has started to bear fruit and I appear to be running well over short distances, and my speed has improved quite a lot even in the last week.  If I would have been better a little sooner, then I may not be in the same lonesome position I am now. 

So anyway, I have been doing Pilates, Yoga and a circuit training class for about 6 weeks.  This combined with a daily routine of SI joint dysfunction exercises and stretches appears to have worked, so far.  Last weekend I went down to see my friends Anne and Vaughan, with whom I met on La Trans Aq in 2007, and have remained friends with ever since.  We ran a 17.5 mile trail circuit in Warwickshire, from Tanworth in Arden.  It was a route they had done on a night race a few weeks previous, where barely anyone was able to reach the start due to flooding, and only 8 people finishes the course anyway.  On the night, half the course has a raging torrent and they were wading up to their thighs in water quite often!

The ground had certainly improved, but as you can imagine with all the recent rain, it was still very wet for the whole course, still flooded in places, and very muddy and slow going throughout.  The run, walk, stumble, wade nature of the course meant that it suited my current rehab as 17.5 miles is the longest I have run for over 6 months.  My SI joint had more or less had enough by the end but I had got through it and it was a big improvement.  We had a lovely pub meal afterwards, and it was great to catch up with both of them.

I have been doing a weekly 10k through the fields and woods by my house for the last 3 weeks.  There is 1000ft of ascent and countless stiles and “rooty” woodland, and a few floods to get through.  Anyway, I did it in 58:37 3 weeks ago, 57:02 2 weeks ago, and 53:04.  A 4 minute improvement in one week over 6 miles in immense, as I am sure you realise.  I have been doing some speedwork intervals, and 3 mile flat out speedwork, which has really made that difference to my fitness.

This weekend I face a longer distance test.  It’s the Wem Winter Wonderland, a Shropshire based event that I do every year.  It’s getting on for 21.5 miles, somewhat longer than the advertised 20.  I figure that it’s a Christmas bonus!  It is relatively flat, but that is more likely to be a curse given all the rain this week, and that it is forecast rain for the rest of the week and on the day.  So, it could very well be a 21 mile wade over muddy fields.  Still a few of my friends are doing the race, so it will be good to catch up with them afterwards.  I’m looking forward to it, despite the weather.  I’ve run in a lot worse!

Over Christmas I will doubtless get a few long distance runs in, and I’d like to do some hill walking too.  In January I plan to do That’s Lyth on the 27th, which I have done twice before, though it was years ago.  I’ve put together a rehab plan which I hope will mean I can participate in La Trans Aq in June.  There should be no reason why not, as long as I stay diligent with the exercise regime.   

I am having the Beyond Marathon website redeveloped at the moment, and that should launch at the end of January.  Look forward to showing that off to you.  Planning on running several ultra events in 2013, those details will be on the website when it launches.  For now I am concentrating on getting my life, and running (which seem symbiotically linked) back on track.  2013 will be a better year, I know it.

Merry Christmas

p.s title is a relatively obscure 90s dance track.  Answers on a postcard, or comments.

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