Friday, July 31, 2015

Cautious Optimism

18 years ago Niamh dragged me all the way to the altar.
It's the same news as for the last few weeks: things are getting better, but very, very slowly. I saw Derek again on Tuesday; he reminded me that 3 weeks ago he predicted 4-6 weeks of healing time and so far it looks like he was right. He also thinks that the Spartathlon won't be happening for me. I, on the other hand, haven't completely given up hope yet. Someone who is daft enough to sign up for a 153 miles race in the first place might be stupid enough to try and run it even without the necessary training done, and I might even treat it as a recce for next year. I've signed up and paid the full price for the race and the flights already, so I'll definitely head for Greece, assuming the country is still around in September (signs for that are encouraging at least). As Anto pointed out, the worst case scenario is one extra night in a 3-star hotel on the beach. If you look at it like that ...

With Derek's permission I have slowly, very very slowly, started to increase the mileage again but I'm still only running every second day. I did 4 miles on Wednesday, which is less than I would even consider getting out of bed for under normal circumstances but still longer than all the previous runs. I felt reasonably good on the run, similar to Monday though it's hard to be sure. The hip injury is still very clearly noticeable. I was perfectly fine immediately afterwards but the hip felt rather stiff once again after lunch time.

That evening I dug out my little bike trainer that had been gathering dust for almost five years in the attic and set it up. Derek wants me to start doing hard intervals on the bike, which would be too dangerous to do on the road, and I wanted to set it up and test it out first. I also figured 30 minutes on the bike would loosen up the hip again. Things worked on both fronts; it's a very basic, simple ans sturdy trainer, which meant the previous 5 years did no harm to it and the hip did indeed feel better again afterwards. The one downside is that I noticed how quickly the tyre gets worn down on the trainer - now I'm paranoid to take the bike back out on the road in case the tyre is worn thorough and will fail me when I'm miles away from home.

I have some little tests for the hip. Balancing on one leg while putting on a sock on the other one would have been utterly impossible 2 weeks ago, still required something to lean against until last Sunday and is now perfectly doable. It might sound silly but if I can manage that then I feel I can manage to run a few miles as well. Getting up from a chair and walking around for a minute is still a very good indicator; the only problem I have is to figure out if the stiffness is better or worse than the previous day. Changes are small and therefore rather subtle.

Anyway, after that successful test on Wednesday evening I did an interval session on Thursday, a short one because you have to build up slowly - after all, building up too quickly was what got me into this situation in the first place. I do hope it will get my system going again so that I can reap some benefits once I am able to return to running properly again. Who knows, I might even come back stronger eventually - you have to live in hope!

The 5 miles I did on Friday morning were the longest run I've done for several weeks. The hip felt good first thing in the morning so I more or less knew that this would go reasonably well. Indeed. it was probably the best run I've had since getting injured. I'm not sure why the HR was so high, maybe it's because of the fitness I've lost over the last few weeks, but that's a very minor concern right now. As long as the hip behaves I can extend it to 6 miles on Sunday and if that goes well I can start running every day again. Hallelujah!

The Tralee 100k will be on tomorrow (Saturday). My heart is bleeding. Good luck to all the lucky runners; I'll be at the Brandon this evening for a short talk unfortunately but I won't be joining you on the course.

29 Jul
4 miles, 33:36, 8:24 pace, HR 149
31 Jul
5 miles, 41:25, 8:17 pace, HR 153


  1. It really seems like you are following orders and getting improvements. Very good news indeed!

  2. Looks like you are going through a tough old time there not just in terms of being unable to run but in terms of being able to do anything at all. You are right to head over to Greece (with the family I presume). It's a holiday at least and you might be able to fit in a few miles of it at least. If not sure no harm. There is always next year.The main thing is getting the hip sorted and getting some sort of quality of life back.

  3. Happy anniversary. I'm cautiously optimistic that you'll get out on good behaviour after another 18 years.