Spanners in the Works

Being able to do what we usually do is something we probably all take for granted until we’re unable to do it. I’ve been running for six years now, and in all that time I’ve never had any problems doing it. But recently a couple of things have happened to interrupt my running. Nothing major, but enough to disturb my training, making me frustrated and annoyed.

After the Calderdale Ultra I went on holiday to Cyprus and didn’t run for about two weeks. I thought a rest would be good for recovery and I’d just pick things back up afterwards. When I got back it was 16 weeks until the Yorkshire Marathon, so I decided to restart the Asics Sub 4 plan that had served me so well at Manchester. But on my first post-holiday run I felt a tweaking in my right buttock. It didn’t get any better as the run went on, and I could feel it with every step. I thought I was just a bit rusty, massaged it and carried on as normal, but it didn’t go away. I saw my sports therapist, Colin at Muscle Management, and he suggested it could be either a hamstring insertion or piriformis problem. Frankly I didn’t like the sound of either of those, especially when someone at my yoga class told me it had taken her a year to get over a hamstring insertion problem!

In the meantime I’d been called up by York Hospital to go and have a wisdom tooth removed. I’d been on the waiting list for a while, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it was quite short notice when the appointment came. Anyway, I thought it would be good to go and get it over with. I was a bit apprehensive about the general anaesthetic and had no real idea how it would affect me, but it had to be done! In the end it wasn’t bad at all. A couple of days later I attempted to go for a gentle trot, but felt a bit dizzy after about a minute, so thought I’d better return home rather than risk faceplanting on the pavement! About a week after I’d had my tooth out I found I’d picked up an ear infection somewhere, for which I was prescribed antibiotics – another setback! Because of all this I had to miss the Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon last week, which I’d really been looking forward to. I was gutted when I saw the souvenir mug, which was turquoise – my favourite colour!

So my marathon training has been pretty much derailed for the last couple of weeks, and I feel like I’m losing a little bit of fitness every day. It’s missing the speed work that’s bugging me the most, as the York 10K is coming up on 2nd August, and I always like to have a good crack at that, even though it isn’t a great course for a PB. I certainly won’t be breaking any records this year! I hope that if I’m sensible about recovery I can get back to proper marathon training soon, but I’m also thinking of the bigger picture – I have Paris and London marathons to look forward to next spring, and I certainly don’t want to jeopardise those. I’d also really love to do a longer ultra next summer – perhaps 100K – and a couple of shorter ones along the way. I’ve been inspired by reading people’s accounts of the Race to the Stones this month, and am thinking of entering – all being well. And I do fancy the Hardmoors Princess Challenge in September! I think I’ll possibly just be doing the York Marathon for fun in October, but don’t feel too bad about that now I have my Good For Age qualification.

So that’s where I am for now. If anyone has any tips for dealing with the frustration of not being able to run properly I’d love to hear them. Me, I’m off to stretch my piriformis – again!