From Heaven to Hell and half way back again (week 2 review)

  • 89km completed
  • 2911km remaining
  • £1110 raised so far

So here we are at the end of my second week and to be honest 2 days into it I really did not think it was going to happen. As mentioned in my last weekly report I had been having some discomfort from my Tibialis Anterior muscle this very quickly ramped up to servere pain. I did what I am sure everyone does out there and that is hit the internet. Bad Idea, I don’t know what I was thinking I already knew that clicking that search button on Google would only tell me that

  1. I was going to die
  2. Both my legs will shatter into a million pieces
  3. One more run would mean I would never run again …. Arghhhhhhhhhh


Obviously I ignored pretty much all of it and went in search of some actual advice. I have been very lucky with the people I have met through Absolute Triathlon Club and now through contacts on Twitter offering me advice and support.

One piece of advice was that the constant pounding on the hard surfaces was inflamming the Tibiaslis anterior muscle and that I should ideally rest up for a couple of days or get off the roads and onto grass. This seemed like great advice and it really did make me think why oh why did I say I was running everyday instead of just  I will run 3000km total, because a couple of days off right now sound great. But I didn’t so stop whining and crack on. Right then were’s the nearest grass to me? Now finding a grass route sounds pretty easy right and normally it is, there are plenty of runs local to me that I could do in the daylight, and that’s the catch, every run I have done so far due to work and family commitments has been at night, and because I don’t own a head torch I had to find a lit grass run and quickly.

After plenty of searching I found a recreation ground 1 mile away from me which provided a 1km circuit, boring as hell but it would do the job for the time being. I used the mile up to the rec as a warm up but I knew as I got there this was not going to go well. I had run the The Outlaw Triathlon last year and for those of you who are not aware this comprises a 2.4 mile swim a 115 mile bike ride and then a full marathon. On the final section of the marathon leg of this race I fell apart, blew up, bonked, hit the wall whatever you want to call it I was hurting and hurting bad but I managed to pull myself together and finished.  As I crossed the line I remember thinking to myself that I have now felt pain and there is nothing exercise wise which is going to hurt me more than that.

Outlaw Triathlon finishes medal

Outlaw Triathlon finishes medal

Well this 5km run made that day feel like a trip to the spa. I could barely put my foot down and had to stop after every km at a bench to stretch out my calfs and Tibialis anterior’s. On the final lap rather than thinking “nearly there nearly there” I just had “you can’t do this, it’s not possible” running through my head. I was less than 2 weeks in and my body was falling apart. I stumbled to 5km and limped home. (Run #8 blog) I fell through the front door and mumbled that I was off upstairs to freeze my nuts off in an ice bath brrrrrrrrrr. As the cold water eased the muscles in my legs the reality really started to kick in that I may not be able to complete the 3000km and if I was, it was not going to be by running every day. NO NO NO NO NO Not an option so I decided to have a proper look into what was causing my problem and how, if at all I could resolve the issues while still running.

I had pretty much already worked out the major causes of my pain were due to overuse and landing more on my heel (lazy boy tut tut) One thing that did surprise me though was it appeared that running in my compression calf guards rather than helping me may actually have been making things worse. So this is what I decided to do.

  1. Get the Calf Guards off and use only for recovery
  2. Get up onto that midfoot ( Midfoot strike youtube video )
  3. Keep at 5km and adopt a run walk policy for a couple of runs 1.5km walk for .25km and see if that takes the strain off.
  4. Continue with the post run ice baths and beating by my massage roller, followed by deep heat and compression.

So I did my usually warm up and stretches and started run # 9.  I could feel the difference straight away, losing the calf guards really eased the pressure on my Tibialis anterior’s and moving onto my midfoot moved the striking pressure back into my calf ahhhhhhh bliss. 2 km in and I started to feel tightness again so stopped had a stretch and walked at pace for a couple of hundred meter’s until my legs eased off and ran the last couple of km back home with a rather surprised smile on my face.

So for the remainder of the week I continued in this manner, a gentle run until I started to feel pain and then ease off to a walk stretch and continue. Up until now this has worked really well and I am hoping that by the end of week three my legs will be back up to full strength and I can start picking the distances back up and claw back some of the ground that I have lost.

Thanks again for your support everyone, onwards and upwards.


3 thoughts on “From Heaven to Hell and half way back again (week 2 review)

  1. Well done so far. Given the scale of your challenge make sure you take care of yourself. It might be worth contacting local physios to see if you can convince any of them to offer their services to your challenge for free?

    • How weird was just looking at your plank post. Cheers mate way ahead of you booked in with A therapy on the 23rd for a full check over and probable beating from Carl Dunstan

  2. Pingback: A week of highs and the lowest of lows (week 15 review) | 365 days 3000 km

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