Monday, April 27, 2009


It's hard to write about nothing. At least that's what I feel like I'm doing right now. Almost a month since my last real run and progress is slow but I think I may finally be on the long road to recovery.

Last Thursday I had an early morning physio session which involved the usual massage, acupuncture, ultra sound, recommendation to strengthen my abductors etc. I felt good afterwards so at lunchtime I went for a run. My previous runs were less than 3 miles long (at 8+ min pace) and in truth after 2 miles I was essentially walking. So I limited the run to 3 miles but I thought that I'd push the pace a bit. In all I averaged 7:20+ pace and largely without pain too. I wonder will I end up needing physio before every run - maybe...:)

Last weekend was spent at the beach with the family and despite some walks and stretching there was no running.

Today I was feeling good and the sun came out so as I togged off for my run I thought of going longer than 3 miles if there was no pain (obviously!!). Things went well. The ache that started before the 1 mile mark last week didn't come on until after the 2 mile mark and the soreness didn't start until 3.5miles. That's progress. In all I completed 4.25miles @ 7:25+ pace. No records but progress....

More physio tomorrow and hopefully another run beforehand.

Monday, April 20, 2009

No gain without pain...

...or so they say.

That's what I thought on Friday morning after Thursday's physio session. I had no pain before the visit to the physio but my leg was certainly sore afterwards!! 'That's what sticking needles and an electric current into your leg will do Brendan - serves you right', or so I thought.

I went for my easy run on Friday as planned. A very slow (8:30 pace) 2.86miles. Neither the distance or the pace will set any records but at least I made it to the end, almost in one piece. My knee area was generally OK although pain did begin on the few occasions I ventured into 7:xx pace and when I ran uphill. In particular, the last uphill 200m was particularly painful. :(

Saturday and Sunday were busy at home and to be honest I thought that a bit of recovery after my 'long run' :) on Friday would be good! I did some stretching though.

Today was a lovely sunny day and I felt like a run. Again completion of my almost 3 mile route was the plan but I decided to push the pace into the 7:3x zone just to see if the onset of soreness was a function of distance or speed. Mile 1 was OK - a good start - no pain in my right leg/knee but my left quad, hip, calf and achilles were all sore for some reason (over compensation or maybe I did some damage working in the garden over the weekend??) The pain in my left leg continued for Mile 2 until...... the back of my right knee (top of right calf area) become sore followed by a sudden sharp pain at the top of my knee cap...Ouch - time to slow down. So I hobbled home at 10 minute pace. Walking down stairs later in the afternoon also proved painful.

Right now I've no pain in either leg so I think another 3 miles tomorrow is on the cards.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Physio update

I went to the physio, handed over €45 and got the good news that the problem doesn't appear to be joint related!! But as I feared the fact that it's been two days since my last attempt at a run and nine days since my last half serious run, there was no obvious evidence of injury so the physio had to work for her money to make a diagnosis.

After much pushing and prodding of my legs the working diagnosis is that it's more than likely related to my (very) tight 'vastus lateralis' muscle which has overstressed the area around the knee. I need to do more stretching and yes, mea culpa, I've been neglecting this muscle group probably for the last 18 years or so!!

So after some massage, ultra sound, and acupuncture (including some tens stimulation) I was told to keep running (very easy and not to the point of pain) and come back next Thursday morning for another consultation.
'Keep Running', I repeated in surprise for confirmation!! 'Yes', I was told, apparently there's nothing more to be gained by more rest. Usually after an injury the advice is 'no running and lots of massage etc for at least 4 to 6 weeks' or something similar so being told I could run (even slowly) was a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure how far I'll get but I think I'll start with my 'treatment' tomorrow....
Oh, in case I forget, good luck to all those running the 113th Boston Marathon; relax and enjoy the weekend and race well on Monday. I'm looking forward to those race reports...who'll be the first to get their post up?? My money is on Thomas...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On my knee...

Well after last weeks post I've ground to a halt...literally. Last Tuesday I went for the few easy (7:30+) miles as planned but there it ended!! After about 1 mile my knee was a bit uncomfortable, best described as a stiffness not unlike a twisted ankle feeling (if you know what I mean). By mile 2 with every extension and impact on the knee causing pain I had already turned for home. From the 3 mile mark I was resolved to walking home!! Work related travelling on Wednesday and Thursday and the Easter holiday weekend meant that I decided to defer making any physio appointments until today.

Since last Thursday I've had no pain and at this stage I'd find it difficult to explain the symptoms accurately to a physio so today I attempted another run. My naive optimism hoped that a further weeks rest would be enough to right the problem! Unfortunately rest alone will not solve this one. After about 0.5miles of feeling very good a tightness returned initially on the back outside of my right knee. Quickly, I decided to abandon the run and book a physio appointment. The tightness soon turned to soreness on the side and front of my knee and once again I was walking home.

So, 2 weeks later than I should have I've finally come to my senses and I'm seeing the physio on Thursday PM. More anon....

On the plus side I spent last weekend stuffing my face with chocolate and I've probably gained half a stone!! A good incentive to get back out running sooner rather than later.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Zero running

....that's what I've been doing for the past week!! So I can report

Week 30/03/09 to 05/04/09 - 0 sessions
0 miles - 0:00 mins - 0bpm

Coincidentally looking back through my diary the last Monday to Sunday week when I did absolutely no running was the first week of April 2008. Maybe this is becoming my annual holiday?? Although.... as far as I can recall the reason for my running holiday in 2008 was work related!!

Despite some soreness early on in the week my knee seems to be progressing well and I think I may go for a few very easy miles tomorrow to check - 8 full days recovery should be enough - shouldn't it??

By the way I thought that I'd have a lot of spare time now that I'm not running 4 or 5 hours a week but guess what - I've never been busier. I think I'll need to go for a run just for a rest!!!