Marathon training is turning Charlotte into a support stockinged, hobbling, moaning old lady. But she’s trying to turn injury into a positive and come back full of the joys of running.
Name: Charlotte Thomas
Marathon History: Brighton Marathon 2012, 3.46
Goal: sub 3.45
What I learnt this week: When you get a tear in your muscle it bleeds inside, disgusting. And your ITB band is made of gristly stuff that’d be very tough to cut. Not that i’m going to try.
It was while I was sitting on the sofa the other day, watching telly and eating ginger biscuits, that I realised marathon training is turning me into an old woman.
This was on Thursday. The Thursday before Good Friday. The Thursday when most people were finishing up in the office, heading to the pub and celebrating the four-day bank holiday weekend with a sweet sherry and Babycham – or whatever it is the youngsters are drinking nowadays.
It’s not just the nights in that are aged behaviour either. I can barely keep my eyes open after 10pm, I choose clothes for comfort and function rather than aesthetics – I just bought compression socks for f***s sake – I’m always mithering about some illness or ailment, and my aching legs seem to belong to someone 40 years older. Never get old I tell you, never get old.
Talking about the aged legs. They’ve only gone and bloody broke on me.
I’ve been seeing a physio (Gareth from A2Z Elite Health and Perfomance, he’s Tom Daley’s physio you know) about pain in my left hip. It was travelling down to my knee when I ran, meaning I could only manage about 14 miles before having to stop and limp home. Gareth gave me exercises and stretches to do and suggested splitting my long runs and doing two mid-length ones a day instead.
After two weeks I was ready for my first full long run in a while, the Cranleigh 21, a friendly pre-marathon race covering 21 undulating, scenic and snowy miles in Surrey. Great small race by the way, would definitely recommend it. The split runs were starting to pay off – 18 miles before the pain kicked in, definite progress (high five Gareth). The last half a mile though, yep that hurt. If it hadn’t been a race I would have stopped and walked from mile 18. But instead I ran it all through gritted teeth. What a dickhead.
A post-race massage on the finish line was the only way my screaming muscles could walk me to the car. Bloody good massage though. In the week I tried to run the soreness out with a couple of light runs but there was definitely something untoward going on with my right shin.
I went to see Gareth to discuss hip progress and mentioned the small issue with the shin. He it wasn’t actually that small (it’s not massive either though, which is good). Tear in my soleus muscle. Yuck. Then he did some disgustingly painful things to it with his elbows, strapped it up with Kinesio tape so I looked like a pro athlete and told me I couldn’t run until I felt no pain whatsoever. His guestimate 5-7 days.
Six days down, it still hurts and not being able to run is doing my nut in. I’ve been trying to go on the exercise bike and had a PT session doing low-impact circuits using arm strength at the gym but the exercise bike is dull, my arms are as weak as sticks of straw and nothing can burn the energy up that running can.
On Easter Sunday I had so much excess energy from chocolate that, whereas I’d usually go for a run, I had a massive big tantrum and only just stopped myself lopping off my own hair. From OAP to toddler in just a few run-free days, impressive.
Now, obviously, I have loads of things in common with world-record holding marathon runner Paula Radcliffe. Loads. And one of those things is injury – ok, her career-ending foot injury and my niggly one-week-out-of-running shin may not exactly be in the same league – but bear with me. When we interviewed her the other week (lovely lady, read the interview here), one of the things she said is this:
If you’re struggling to find the motivation to go for a run, remember times when you’ve been injured or you want to run and you can’t – think how you felt then and how lucky you are to be able to run now – Paula Radcliffe
Good advice Paula. So I’m trying to turn this into a positive, remember how lucky I am to be running when the going gets tough in the big 26.2 or when it’s snowy and I want to stay in bed longer. And I know a lot of you have been out of action for months with all kinds of horrible sounding problems so rather than feeling sorry for myself I should count myself lucky it’s nothing serious. Little bit of injury makes a tougher runner.
Now if it’d just stop being bloody crisp yet sunny sunny perfect running weather things would be so much easier. Bah humbug or whatever it is the old ladies are saying these days.
Weekly running stats – actually missed a blog over Easter so you get 1.5 weeks. Lucky you! And only 28 miles in those 10 days. Bad times.
Cranleigh 21 – 2.57. Mile splites were averaging around 8.20 till pain kicked in. Last three miles, more around the 9min mile mark.
Energizer night run workshop with Ben Pochee from LGN Wellbeing – took it very easy as sore. Great session though. Lovely chap Ben. Prob around 2/3 miles. Also, sign up for the run, there’s an afterparty.
Easy 5 miler at SRC, trying to run soreness out , 8.18 min miles. Bad idea
Saw Gareth at A2Z Elite Health and Perfomance.
Gym, 40 slow and boring mins on exercise bike
HIIT circuit with Rusty PT at Gymbox Farringdon. This was arm stuff. I was pathetic.
Rest. Should have been doing 20 miles. 🙁
Aerial yoga at Gymbox – except they didn’t have the hammocks so actually very grounded yoga.
Read Charlotte’s earlier blogs here.