Monday, 6 July 2015

Some Pain, No Running

Well it’s been four weeks since my last blog and I suppose that’s mainly due to me having nothing much to say, certainly from a running point of view. The winner of the free entry, mentioned in the previous blog, for The Spartan Race was Paul Simons. Not only did he win the free entry but he won the race he was put into. Well done Paul. I’d mentioned that I also had an entry should I choose to enter. I’ll admit I wasn’t that bothered but in the end I picked up some injuries that meant it would have been a particularly stupid thing for me to take part.

This year’s injury woe goes back to May, just when I was starting to find some form I got a niggle in my groin. I thought it was manageable and I was able to represent Salford in the BMAF Road Relays, where we picked up silver medals. A couple of weeks after that it started to get worse so I rested it, not easy when you spend your life showing people how to get fit.

I had an entry for the Hollins Green 5k, I’d entered after the BMAF relays, confident of a sub 17 clocking, but I didn’t think I’d be able to take part as I was resting and losing fitness right up to the day. On the morning of, I decided to try a short run, groin was ok, but it had only been slow. However we were going to be in the Hollins Green area that afternoon so I might as well turn up and, if nothing else, I could have a pleasant run around the new circuit. So I did.

But, running’s one thing, racing’s another, after a bit of discomfort in the first 200m, I settled down and realised I was running ok and was also not doing too badly. Being around a few of my regular competitors was like a red rag to a bull so naturally the competitive instinct kicked in and I started to push the pace. I still felt good, and I felt surprisingly fit, considering the lay off I’d had. Coming up towards the finish I realised I was actually on for a time not that far off my season’s best, so I pushed harder, and that was the mistake. Clearly the groin issue had caused my other muscles to tighten up and I felt my hamstring go, thankfully only 10m before the finish line. I hobbled over and still managed a 17:21 clocking.

At first I thought it was just a minor strain but I was unable to run on it for over a week. The following weekend we were booked to go to Spain, my intention, when we booked it, was to fine tune my training before the BMAF 5000m, but now I was just hoping I’d be able to run whilst out there.

Spain was hot, but I don’t mind that, and I was keen to start running. So I did, on the day after we arrived I went for a 5 minute spin. Well it was actually a shuffle and a very uncomfortable one at that, but no reaction on the hamstring, so later that day I did 10 minutes, this time with Carole. I felt much better and much looser, such that, although I wasn’t actually going that fast, Carole was struggling to keep up with me. The next day was 15 minutes, much quicker again and I was starting to feel like I was going to be ok. A gradual build up over the week saw me get close to the hour and feeling good, I even threw in a speed session. Just one little annoyance, a niggle in my left knee, the same one I get occasionally. It wasn’t stopping me doing anything so I thought I’d just monitor it.
there was even a 10k on while we were there but I wasn't ready for that, shame I enjoy racing when conditions are hot

Arriving home my first session was a speed session, but this time the knee started to hurt more. I decided to lay off the pace and just run for a few days, then by Friday it started really hurting. So I’ve made the decision to stop again and see if a rest will serve as a cure all, again, not ideal when you’re working in the fitness industry.

I’ve got a scan booked on my groin, it’s still niggling, but come the day, I might see if I can get them to scan my knee too, I’m not hopeful but if I smile nicely you never know.

Effectively that closes the book on 2015, the re-ignition of my enthusiasm for racing, following the BMAF Road Relays, has been dampened down. I no longer have any interest in racing, I know this will change once I’m clear of injuries but I suspect it’ll take me a while to get back any decent level of fitness, in the mean time I’m trying to do anything that I can to keep fit and healthy, without causing any further grief, but it isn’t easy.

Written by Roger Alsop

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