Silver Linings

What a 24 hours I’ve just had.

Yesterday morning, in helping my hubbie to put together our old Citroën van for a huge Citroën gathering this week, I twisted awkwardly and felt my back “pop”. It was a sickening and familar “pop” and I knew it was the start of something sinister, which might make it difficult to understand why I then went out to run 11 miles. Truth is, I honestly thought that running might help loosen the muscles that had already started to go into spasm.

I had decided to split my 11 miles into two runs so that I could fit them into a busy day. I chose to do 6 miles in the morning and 5 later on in the early evening. In doing so, I also managed to get the best of the weather, which was a bit of a bonus. I decided that I would run along the coast road and turn back midway. Yesterday was just about clocking miles, not about time or route or hills or anything else. The coast road is pretty flat and that was fine by me.

However, I almost didn’t start at all. My first few steps were excruciating, there is no other word for it. I felt sick. I was dosed up on co-codamol and had applied ibuprofen gel to my twinging back, but it was hardly working by then. However, I carried on – in the blind hope that things would get better. It did. Whether I have codeine, paracetamol, ibuprofen or natural chemicals to thank for that I don’t know, but I got into an 11 minute mile pace fairly easily. One thing I have noticed though is that Jeff Galloway’s Half Marathon app runs behind actual distance. For all I’m keeping to the 11 minute mile pace, following the beat synced music and taking the prescribed walk breaks, I’m still running faster and covering more distance than Jeff thinks I should be. I don’t, however, use the GPS on the app, worried about using my my phone battery and rely on the Garmin information for distance, time and pace. It might be more reliable if I were to turn the GPS on.

6 miles in 66:43.

The second session came after I had raced across the region to put up an art exhibition. I was tired and my back was really starting to hurt, but I was determined to get my miles in. I ran the same course at the same pace.

5 miles in 55:44.

I was then treated to dinner at the pub with my favourite recovery drink of Guinness, of which I had several pints. I slept well.

The Grey Cloud

When I woke up, however, the cocktail of pills and the Guinness had worn off and I was in a self-imposed straight jacket. I struggled to sit up in bed and couldn’t get out. I was in a lot of pain. Touching the tender area I could feel the protruding lump of a vertebrae. The surrounding muscle was solid, in protection. I managed to get an emergency appointment at my chiropractor’s surgery at 12:30 and before that I had to struggle back to add some items to the art exhibition (including a large table!) I had an interesting morning, to be sure!

The Silver Lining

The chiropractor was a stand in as my usual one was on holiday and, it turned out, she was a God send! After I explained what I’d done, including admitting to the 11 mile run, she revealed that she was a triathlete! Thank you Lord!! Someone who understands!!! Short story is that she fixed the spasms and lumpy bits and then went on to tell me that I was wearing the wrong running shoes. In a short space of time she had established that I was an anti-pronator, who lands on her toes and has a high arch that flattens out. Since I started running I had thought I was a heel-striking over-pronator. What a revelation! She recommended that I ditch my Asics and invest in a pair of Brooks. I’ve got stretches and pelvic rocking to do and I have to not run for a few days, but she says I’ll be fine and wished me luck with my GNR training.

So here I am, in recovery mode. I have the Olympics on the TV and a nice cup of tea to hand. Every now and again I have to get up and stretch and go for a wander – none of this feet up malarky apparently! I have a golf ball under my left foot to help to stretch the plantar fascia muscle which is too tight (also possibly attributable to my shoes) and tomorrow I am allowed to test out the second hand Everlast exercise bike that I bought last week for £30!

My next run will be on Sunday. I am taking this seriously. I have a kick back week with a 4 mile long run to do, one mile of which is meant to be a Magic Mile. If it’s not, I’ll not be worried. I am pleased to be walking without a wince.

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6 thoughts on “Silver Linings

  1. Wow what a trooper!

    What Brooks did your chiro recommend? I bought some Pure Cadences recently and absolutely love them – puts my foot right into a mid-foot strike but feels very secure. I have been only using these shoes for the mid-week runs and the MM/shorter weekend runs so as to not overstress the Achilles as I transition to the lower heel. I’ve put about 25 miles on them so far with no complaints, although I have relatively flat feet.

    I _did_ overdo the fast running last week a bit and had a sore Achilles to show for it when I went to my MM trial Saturday (though the runs themselves felt beautiful!), but nevertheless I was able to match my last MM even though I babied it a bit on the first lap. I’ve been running in a beefier Saucony stability shoe for the long runs but may transition 100% to the Brooks shoes after I’ve put about 100 miles on them.

    Hope your back improves. You’ve got a solid two weeks to get put back in order before the next long one!

    Cheers!

    1. She couldn’t remember the shoe she thought might be best, but I really need to try them out myself anyway. She said we had the same footfall and the thing that alerted her initially was that I commented that I often get hip pain. She thinks I’m being pitched forwards by my shoes, making me run with my backside sticking out!

      It also explains why I go out feeling great and quickly feel like I’m running in mud. I don’t get the same sensation when I’m running off road and I’m wearing my old Nike Alvords! It certainly makes sense to me.

      She thought Saucony might be too much for me, especially as I have a quite wide foot, which is why I’d gone with Asics in the first place.

      My back is feeling much better already! Chiropractors are magicians in my book!

  2. Glad to hear you are better!

    Yes, the one thing I haven’t liked about my Saucony’s is the narrow toe box – the Brooks fit me like a dream in the forefoot.

    Have fun shoe shopping!

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