I haven’t written much about running for a while – the main reason being I haven’t done much running for a while! Since the Calderdale Ultra in June I’ve been injured and, although I tried to struggle on for a while, it soon became obvious that my body wasn’t going to allow that.
I’ve seen three different physios during the past six months. The general consensus was that I had a problem with my upper hamstring tendon, but they all suggested very different ways of treating it. The first encouraged me to keep running (I was attempting to train for the York Marathon at the time), whilst giving me massage treatment and getting me to do hamstring strengthening exercises. After a particularly miserable 16 mile run I decided that wasn’t working for me. The second physio had me taking a month’s break from running whilst manipulating the injured area, but after several weeks I felt no better. Then I saw Martin Higgins of ProSport Physiotherapy, who has an entirely different approach to things. He specialises in a technique called Postural Restoration, and after testing my range of motion (and thankfully not judging me when I couldn’t touch my toes!) said that the root of the problem was that my pelvis was misaligned, so one side of my body was basically doing all the work. Also, most of my running shoes weren’t giving me enough arch support, which was exacerbating the problem. After stopping running in my Brooks Adrenaline and using only my lighter, more supportive Brooks Pure Cadence, I’ve felt barely any discomfort during runs. I can still sense some tension in my right hamstring, but the difference is amazing. There were times over the last few months when I thought I might never run properly again, but now I can see light at the end of the tunnel.
Not being able to run was miserable and I’m sure that at times I haven’t been much fun to live with! I’ve tried to keep up some aerobic fitness with turbo training on the bike, but it’s not the same. I actually didn’t realise how much I loved running until I couldn’t do it. Plus I’ve had to miss several events I’d hoped to do over the last few months; apart from the York Marathon there was the Yorkshire Wolds Half, the Princess Ultra and the Leeds Abbey Dash. I did take part in the York 10K in August, but was really just jogging round to make up the numbers. I was particularly worried because I’d already entered the Paris Marathon next spring, and had also got my Good For Age place for London, but was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to do them. Now, thanks to Martin, I’ve started to train for them at last, but am being cautious and following a beginner’s programme for now. I’m so happy just to be back running and am now looking forward to the Brass Monkey Half Marathon on 17th January, even if I’ll still be a long way off full fitness. If that goes OK I hope to be able to do the Harewood House trail half marathon in February. I’m being careful not to get too carried away and count my chickens just yet, but am at last feeling cautiously optimistic.
Being able to run again is the best Christmas present I could have hoped for. I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy new year, and hope all your running dreams come true in 2016 xx