This is a question I seem to keep asking myself.
46 days ago I was on top of the world and had completed my first ever Half Marathon.
During a trip to Luxembourg I picked up a bug and was out of action for a little while…
Now I am laid up with a bruised disc in my back 😔 What happened?
It’s damn painful and seems to be very persistent.
I saw the Physio last week who told me I should rest up but could work from home if possible, as long as I took it easy. Seems I did not take it easy enough, that coupled with several hours in the car this weekend and I am not much better than I was when my back went 😔 I had another assessment at the beginning of the week and he confirmed the swelling around my disc is just as bad.
The doctor confirmed this and as much as I was hoping to return to the office, I am off work, on painkillers and anti inflammatory drugs and feeling pretty crap. It hurts to sit. It hurts to walk and it hurts to lay down. Hopefully this will be sorted soon but of course it means I am not up to much at the moment and there won’t be any running for some time
Oh and I have had to miss two concerts (Woodkid and Fenech Soler) which I am really pissed off about. I do understand not attending is for the best as there is no way I could stand (or dance!) for a couple of hours on end. At the moment I can just about walk!
How can I go from being so fighting fit to this – what happened?
I was determined to get another run in this weekend as I didn’t run during the week due to work and headed out to do an easy paced 5K.
I decided nearly mid way through the run not to turn around but to head into the country trail, across the farmland, through the wood and then home. This was a great idea as it really did shield me from the wind.
It didn’t however shield me from the ploughed up fields or the manure that was being cultivated into the ground which I very nearly slid on mid run.
I was going to stop to snap the scene as some of the fields have been bailed and it looks very picturesque but I decided to keep going.
It was a bit tough and boggy in places and now I understand why parts of the meadow have boardwalks as it was completely boggy today.
I also noticed a lot of activity from the squirrels in the wood this morning and spotted that the Oaks had started to drop their acorns due to the high wind. I had to be very careful as the squirrels were dashing about the place collecting and burying their nutty stash for the winter.
I feel ok considering I just rain two days in a row but they were easy 5K’s and I have had a quiet weekend at home.
Richard and I are both packed and now have to do final checks before we head off on our Canadian adventure tomorrow.
Don’t worry, the lumo Lunarglides have been packed and I plan to try to get in at least one run in Vancouver (maybe Stanley Park) and another when we are in Tofino on Vancouver Island.
I hope to keep the blog up to date when I am away but I am not promising it as we are both looking forward to very relaxing break.
Whilst I am away why not sponsor me? Just after we return from Canada I will be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London (my first half marathon) in aid if the British Heart Foundation. I would be so very grateful if you were able to sponsor me and all my running efforts. Thank you.
A wet run but a good run.
I was a little worried about running given the twinges I have had in my ankle/calf/knee but I have been doing some foam roller exercises and my physio said that my ham strings are very tight so he has given me some more intensive exercises. This has seemed to have worked and I also think the quick spins around the block on the bike have helped to get things moving.
The weather report looked awful tonight with the prospect of possible thunderstorms. There was a lot of cloud when I got off the train and by the time I got home and headed out to run it was spitting. I am actually glad it was as it was very humid this evening and the rain helped cool down the temperature and brought with it a nice breeze.
I tried to ensure I didn’t go too mad as I was mindful of the twinges but I had nothing to worry about. I found a very comfortable pace early on and as I was due to complete a conversational run I knew that I wasn’t heading out to break any records.
I also appeared to leave the house in a very positive mental state and was coaxing myself through the run in an easy and encouraging fashion.
The rain was actually refreshing and given the high temperatures we have had through the summer this was a welcome change (I won’t be saying that in autumn!).
I did my usual run out to the Avenue of Remembrance and back and felt quite smug as I over took all the drivers who were caught up in a snarl up of people trying to get into Colchester.
I did notice the Conkers are already in their shells ready to drop – autumn is definitely on the way. I will no doubt be dodging those soon.
A good run and a reminder I can do this and I can be confident in my ability to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon on the 6th (45 days away!).
I had a rush of sponsorship yesterday and I think that has mentally helped with my training too. As you know I am running in aid of the British Heart Foundation and this is my first half marathon. I’d really appreciate anything you are able to donate to my cause as it’s such a worthwhile charity and all those emails notifications and kind notes that come with the donations remind me how kind and charitable people can be.
If you’d like to share my sponsorship page please use this link: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/keithtomlinson - anything you can do to help me raise more money would be absolutely brilliant.
Thank you to all those who have sponsored me recently – it really does mean a lot.
I am not running now until Sunday and that will be the longest run of my training as it is scheduled for 10 miles… I have a lesson on the bike on Saturday and we are decorating so it’s going to be a fairly active weekend.
Thankfully its a public holiday here so we get Monday off too. :)
…well kind of.
I’ve not run since Sunday. I was planning a run tonight but I ran up Ludgate Hill for the bus tonight and noticed my left ankle is still a bit tender (as is my knee).
I did however manage to take the bike around the block a couple of times last night and plan to do the same today. It’s nothing serious, just acquainting myself with riding etc. Cycling is lower impact than running so I hope this won’t make the niggle longer to heal.
I’m very proud of my bike too and gave it a wash last night.
I won’t be running tomorrow as I am out so will pick it up again on Thursday as planned (hopefully). This should mean all I’ve missed is one scheduled run, I’ve been a bit active on the bike but sensible enough not to over do it and bugger up my ankle.
So there not completely off my feet just not running for a day or two.
I went for a spin on the bike as I aimed too – a few stops for traffic but I am feeling more and more confident. I went further than I have before and picked up some speed whilst concentrating on proficient braking…
I decided to wear the Garmin and was surprised how quickly I clocked up the KMs!
The timing was a little off and the wobble at the end is cause I spoke to my neighbour and forgot to stop the watch! Still I wasn’t tracking this for speed etc I was simply curious what I would cover on the bike verses on foot.
Not sure I am quite up to cycling to the lesson on Saturday but I can at least try to walk the bits I am not confident doing on Saturday. The main thing is I am enjoying it, it’s giving me more avenues to exercise and unwind and it doesn’t seem to be affected my ankle pain (which after I spent a while on the foam roller I realise it’s my calf!).
I had some pain in my left ankle today – nothing more than a niggle but I was not sure I would get out and run. It nearly put me off but I decided to head out and stop if I thought it was too much.
A little way into the run and I was uncomfortable and it felt that my right calf was compensating for my left ankle. I stopped short of 1k to walk to see how I would get on.
I decided it wasn’t that bad and carried on. My left knee and ankle were sore for the first half of the run and the right calf was really tight. I took it easy and ensured that I stopped when I had enough.
It was another hot one and we haven’t been sleeping very well due to the high temperature and the storms. It wasn’t as hot tonight as it has been but I did switch back to loops on the road rather than the wood so I was back on solid ground and in full sun.
Mercifully there was some breeze tonight which did help but it was still hard going.
I got past the 30 minute mark and decided I could carry on until the full 45 minutes and managed to run home ok. I ache a bit now but some calf exercises on the foam roller really do seem to have helped.
I have walked a lot the last couple of days and I think this is contributing to the pain in my legs. I may even have tied my work shoes too tightly – who knows!
It might have something to do with the threshold work I did on Monday…
Anyway despite all of this I got out there and completed nearly 6K this evening. Again not one of my fastest routes but tonight’s run was all about the time and not the distance.
If you have not done so already please be so kind as to reward all this effort and sponsor me British Heart Foundation. I will be running ing the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October. Thank you.
It appears that Wednesdays Nike Flyknit run has spurred me on and has given me the encouragement I needed to get back into my stride.
I decided to keep iSmoothRun on free run and just kept going until I felt like I couldn't go any more.
I got out, put my LunarGlides on a took a decent route, no loops just a straight run…
It was windy out but I didn't let that deter me and I just kept going.
I headed out pass the station and along the Avenue of Remembrance. It's still lined with bare trees but the daffodils are trying to poke through.
As I started my run I startled some pigeons in a tree and as they took off a branch snapped and hit me in the chest.
Not wanting to let it slow me down (or to look like a fool in front of the many cars that lined the road), I kept going and shrugged it off.
I think the open countryside to my right and the cars pouring into Colchester gave me some incentive to keep going and to focus on my running.
I had a few stops so that I could catch my breath, have a quick drink and to skip to some faster/better music but held a good distance and pace throughout the run.
The fastest track (again) was I Love You by Woodkid (can't wait for the new album) and my cadence is back at 80.
I did download Cruise Control which is an app which tailors the music on your iPhone to your run. I thought it picked tracks with certain bum and played them to suit your pace. I stopped mid way through the run to start it up and I continued my run. I hadn't realised the app actually slows the music when you are running too slow (against its original bpm), and speeds it up to the right pace when you speed up.
It's very clever at adjusting the music to suit your running speed but I don't want my music to sound warped which is what it did do.
It's like running with a record player and if you slow your pace the music is moved from 45 rpm to 33 (that makes me sound old).
I honestly didn't like it at all and stopped again to switch back to the iPod and my normal playlist.
That's £2.99 I'm going to try and get back from the developer as I think the app isn't very good. Not my kind of thing at all.
I added some new tracks to my playlist today which was good as it gave me something new to run against – although as already mentioned Woodkid came out on top again.
I'm going to continue with this routine of free runs with the mentality that I run as far as I think I can rather than just run for a set period of time. Seems to be working out.
I enjoyed running in my LunarGlides again, although not as light as the Flyknits I ran in on Wednesday night they are definitely better for my running style.
My Asics simply seem too heavy and lumpy which is a shame as I loved my first pair. Looks like I'll be replacing my old LunarGlides and continuing my running with them (the soles are wearing on my current pair which is why I switched back to the Asics).
The limp on my heel wasn't apparent when I finished which sadly it had been with the GT-2170's. looks like my feet have completely adjusted to Lunarlon soles and Nike has come out on top!
Bring on the next run (although I have a mad week ahead and a forecast of snow and cold temperatures to look forward to but what can you do!).
I haven’t gone out on a run all week and today was very busy so I was a little apprehensive about getting my trainers on. It’s milder than it has been and dry with some sun so todays weather is a definite improvement.
Prior to the run we decorated our first floor hall, I ironed the weeks clothes for work, made lunch, helped Richard hand the new fire in the study and cleaned the house. I wasn’t sure I had any energy left for a run!
I had a brief pause at the beginning of the run as some neighbours said hello but once I got going I as enjoying myself.
My right calf was really tight and I dig drag my foot once or twice – I was convinced this was my Asics again but am not 100% sure. I haven’t run all week and these are nearly new shoes so I am bound to feel some pain and discomfort.
I did well through my run and just as I entered my 5 minute cool down my iPhone played Woodkids Run Boy Run. I smiled to myself and agreed that whenever Woodkid came on I would run my fastest and furthest regardless of what I was supposed to be doing. And you know what? I did! I put my foot down and didn’t let my pace falter for the duration of the track. I thoroughly enjoyed this energetic spurt in the run and decided to give it another go.
Woodkids I Love You came on next and I sprinted through half of that too. I was tired by this stage and thought it best not too push myself too far so I slowed my paced and completed my cool down walk.
Not surprisingly this was my fastest song!
I used to do these sprinting sessions when I was deep in to my training last year and I am glad to see I can pick this pace up again.
I admit I have been plodding along a bit and these speed sections help to remind me that I can find more energy in my legs when I try, regardless of my chest, my breathing, the weather, the shoes or any pain. I now need to harness this new-found drive and continue it through my other runs.
I can tell I have been pushing myself as I was tearing up due to the sweat running in my eyes – this and the fact it’s the first run in ages I have not needed my hat or gloves! I did run past the allotments twice and on the way back had to immediately stop as some gardeners were burning garden waste and the smoke immediately got to my chest. I think it was wise to walk through this, a cause it was painful to breath and b cause the combination of smoke, sweat and tears meant I could not see where I was going! Once I was clear of the pollution I was on my way though… must remember this new hazard, particularly now the weather is improving and the gardeners are getting busy again.
And yes for the eagle-eyed I have reverted back to kilometers, it’s a much friendlier unit to run with and one I am familiar with. Regardless of if I am running a half marathon at some point, running K’s means I know where I am (and I can always aim to run 21 k). Thanks for the advice Paul.
I am sure after all this I deserve a rest (and I bet my Fuelband count will be through the roof!).
I have had a very busy day and haven't really been on top of things today… i.e. my routine is out of kilter, I've not eaten as well or as regularly as I normally do nor have I had as much to drink as I do normally. I've been sat at my desk for LLOONNGG periods etc.
I was determined to get home and go for a run, planning to run away the lethargy.
It was very cold and windy walking home but I was determined to get out there. I got home, fed Brandy and got dressed and hit the road.
It seemed to go well at the beginning, I was trying out my new RunBreeze cushioning socks. I had created a new Janelle Monae playlist (which I cleverly titled Run for the Monae). None of this however was enough to motivate me.
I was cold although I am sure I have run in colder conditions.
I was tired.
My playlist wasn't as great as I expected – and the tracks shuffled which I specifically switched that off so I had no idea what was coming next – this was too much of a distraction so I opted for Princes new tracks from Screwdriver. Even that couldn't motivate me.
I was worried about the chores that had to be done at home and cooking dinner.
My news socks felt very different to my old ones and my trainers seemed to slip a little. This annoyed me and for the first time ever my toes appeared to be cold. I cannot say if this is the RunBreeze socks fault or if it was the cold weather but something was amiss.
I am disappointed with the socks though as my RunBreeze running kit is top notch and has not disappointed me so far. When I got in and took my trainers off it already looked like I had owned the socks for years and they were loose and out of place on my feet – not great (why did I buy two pairs!). I'm going back to my comfy, well padded Bridgedales next run.
All of this distracted me and demotivated me. I ran well for about a mile then I lost interest and focus. I tried to pick up the pace several times but I just didn't seem to have the energy and I couldn't find my get up and go.
Daz made a comment on twitter when I started my run to pick up my knees and rather ironically this is the first run since I started that I simply couldn't muster the energy or the will.
I really think it's a combination of the weather and the dark nights that's having the negative affect. I find out if I have my place in the Royal Parks Half tomorrow… Maybe this will motivate me a bit more. I think I need to find some 5 or 10Ks soon as this will give me new targets to work towards.
I don't know it just wasn't my night but at least I have been out for a run and at least I have added some mileage regardless of how poor I think it went this evening.
So this is how it goes…
Went out for a run, came home, shot video. Mentioned forecasted bad weather. Asked (nay prayed) for it not to snow. Finished video. Did exercises and shower. Came out of shower, it’s snowing!
This is why I don’t pray! LOL
I should be grateful I got out and completed my run whilst I had the chance.