A right pain in the backside, well the left actually (Week 19 review)

Weekly total 60km

Total completed 1088km

Total remaining 1912km

Total raised £1650

The week started really nicely with an 8km morning run in the sunshine, the perfect way to follow such a great bank holiday weekend. I backed this up with 2 6km runs in prep for my weekly 18km run home

I had woken up on the Friday morning with a dull ache across the base of my back as I had not done anything obvious to have caused an injury I put it down to sleeping funny, so I packed my kit and headed off to work. As the day progressed my back got worse and worse to the point where I had the water bottle off my bike full of hot water and strapped to my back this alongside some stretching in an empty office and a couple of hits of Ibuprofen did help to ease it off and so probably against every single shred of advice out there I headed off on my run home. I made sure that I had cash on me so I could jump on a bus or call a cab home should my back get too bad to run (see not completely stupid). The weirdest thing though as I started the run I grimaced like the way you do when you know that something is going to hurt but you can’t do anything about it, but there was no pain, nothing. As I progressed further and further into the run my back freed up completely and I ran a pretty easy 18km. As soon as I stopped and sat down though the ache came back so I ran a hot bath and soaked until the water cooled hoping that that would be an end to it

sciaticabodyUnfortunately the following morning the pain was still there so I made the decision to drop my runs down to 5km for the next couple and see how my back held up. But yet again as soon as I started running the pain just disappeared and then when I stopped it started to return. Over the next couple of days the pain started to be 90% focused on my left side running from the base of my back through my left buttock and down my leg giving me sharp twinges in my knee and calf and as soon as the pain reached my foot I realized that what I had done was inflame my sciatic nerve. I decided to start on some more focused stretching on that area and run through a course of Ibuprofen in an attempt to help bring the inflammation down. I found a great stretch online which I thought I would share with you as it really has had very quick results for me in easing the pain, so check out the link below:

The one really disappointing thing caused by this back pain was that I was due to go out on a really nice brick session with Karl Glendenning on the Saturday. A 30-40 Miles bike ride up to Southwell taking in Oxton Bank (a real leg burner of a climb) and then a 10km run up to either Mill Lakes or Bestwood park. But due to the fact that I have quite an aggressive setup on my bike meaning the ride had the potential to tear my back to pieces so I had to postpone that for another day 😦  gutted especially as it was set to be the maiden voyage for my new bike (this pic is before being setup btw).

Merida Race Lite 904

Merida Race Lite 904

One thing that I did see in regards to helping my back pain, which came as a massive relief was that one of the best things that I could do was to stay active. So while I was not going to do any long runs (18km/21km) until the pain had gone all together, it looked as though as long as I was running pain free the 6km/8km/10km runs were still ok to do … Phew massive relief. So I cut my Monday run form 18km down to 9km and headed into a new week optimistic that another potential injury banana skin has been successfully avoided and if not Carl Dunstan at A therapy will have to weave his magic and fix me …… Again!!

Oh and before I forget in my race to 275km this month with nachthawk I am sitting at 118km an avg of 9.07km per day putting me a tad ahead of target. If you want to know how Nachthawk is doing, well you will have to check out his blog 😉

Keep healthy and happy guys and speak again next week

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Spring running in a foot of snow (week 12 review)

Total completed 671km

Total remaining 2329km

Total raised £1385

I have started to feel over the last couple of weeks that I am getting a little bored with my runs, pounding km after km of pavement alongside a main road is not the best for inspiring me to get out of my nice warm bed at 5am is it. The problem with this is that it has started to affect my run schedule, as on a couple of occasions I have just not had the desire to get up and get out on my morning runs, and so have had to do them in the evening thus impacting on my following morning run.

I put the source of this problem down to three points. Firstly the weather has just been horrible for the last couple of weeks and when you hear rain and wind pounding against the window first thing it is so easy to think sod it I am sure it will be dry this evening (it never is). Secondly I am at the core not a morning person and so if a half decent excuse comes my way to not get out of bed at 5am then I am going to grab with both hands and third and finally I am just bored with the routes I am running. Yes they are nice easy flat routes and they are enabling me to get the mileage done, but they are boring boring runs. So I made the decision to find some new routes that are easily accessible for me and hopefully freshen things up a bit. So these are what I have found:

Mill Lakes

Mill Lakes

Mill Lakes

This is a pretty solid 10km run which I have done many times before and it is always good. I know what you are all saying, “well why don’t you do it more often then”? Well pretty simple really it is not that easy. I am not going to sit here and say it has monster climbs because it hasn’t but it is hardish work and when you are having to get up and do another 5, 8, or 10km the following day anything other than nice easy flat is not very appealing but I am bored and so I would rather work a little harder for some variety and plus it is such a nice run. You can pick the trail or the pavement and it runs all the way to Mill Lakes (there’s a surprise) where I can do a single .75km or multiple laps of the lake depending on how fresh I’m feeling and then head home.

Bestwood Park

Climb to the top of bestwood park

Climb to the top of bestwood park

The Bestwood Park run follows the same route as the Mill Lakes run but splits at 4km and heads through a really nice wood and then up a pretty hefty climb to the park you then head back along the country roads through Bestwood, hooking back up with the Mill Lakes Trail this is a really great run if you are feeling a little more spritely but for that extra 2km there is   killer of a climb at about 6km in.

Highfields / Vernon Park

Highfields and Vernon parks

Highfields and Vernon parks

These are two small parks which are really nice for breaking my runs up Highfields is a boating lake near Nottingham University and is regularly used on the Robin Hood Marathon route, and now regularly used by myself on my run home from work and Vernon Park which was recently visited by the Queen (how posh are we in Notts) is just round the corner from my house and I have added it to my mundane morning ring road run and so far it has done the trick. So these runs have really helped freshen things up, what has also helped to freshen me up is the freezing temperatures and snow.

So I knew it was coming but still when I woke up on the official first day of spring and I was greeted with a blizzard it still came as something of a surprise. Friday was just horrible it snowed all day, the only saving grace is that at least it didn’t settle. Even so I headed out into it and managed to get a lively 5km in at something like a decent pace. As I got ready for bed I looked out of the window and saw no snow on the ground phew we had gotten away with it, how wrong I was. I woke on the Saturday to a good covering of snow (probably a good 3inches) but it was still pelting down and it didn’t stop for the next two days.

Nice 11km snow run

Nice 11km snow run

Now time for an observation/moan/gripe whatever you want to call it, and no it is not really about snow in spring. The snow was a bit of a pain yes but once I was out in it, it was such great fun up on the Mill lakes trail and then up to Bestwood Park on the Sunday ploughing through sometimes nearly a foot of fresh snow it was great fun, and I would recommend everyone getting out in it rather than boring yourself half to death on a ‘Dreadmill’. No my moan is not about running in the snow, my moan is this and yes I know this is going to make me sound really old.

When I was a kid at the first sight of a fleck of snow our parents would pretty much have to chain us down to try and stop us going out to play in it, whether that be sledging, snowball fights, building snowmen and pretty rubbish igloos whatever it was the bottom line was we could not wait to get out and have fun in it. On my Saturday and Sunday runs I saw the sum total of two children with sledges and that was it, I didn’t see a single snowman I didn’t see a single snowball being thrown and I only saw one family out for a walk, and all I could think to myself was are PlayStations and X box’s really that good???

Now I am not ancient I may sound it but I’m not, we had computer games and TV when we were kids but they were cast aside when the opportunity arose to go sledging or bury your little brother in the snow (sorry Gaz). So what has changed?? Yes the weather has been a bit rubbish over the last couple of months but it is not that often you have a good 7-8 inches of snow in Nottingham especially in the city, and it did make me feel a little sad that there was no one out enjoying it. Did anyone else who braved the conditions find this??

So that’s me for another week any feedback on the points raised would be great just really so I don’t feel like the only old fart out there 🙂