Sunday, 7 October 2012

Chester Blues!

This should have been the pre marathon blog special talking about the joys of the taper, the strange feelings pre marathon and the nervous anticipation before the big day.


The human body (or is that the runners body!) is a strange, fickle thing.   My last blog detailed one of my best blocks of training for some time,  my training just coming right at the right time and almost ready for tapering.  


In an attempt to squeeze one last session in the build up I started an 8 x 800m session with the intention of getting a good session in the bag…not too fast but a nice solid 800m interval session to top up the training I had done so far.   Three intervals down I pulled up with the usual suspect of the left hamstring….not a case of the feeling like I have been shot by a sniper more like someone grabbing hold of my hamstring and squeezing it tight and not letting go…a tightness that also had the effect of sending a numbing feeling into my calf.   With 10 days to go until the marathon timing could not have been much worse.  


With a couple of days of gentle jogging and the feeling that it might not be as bad as I first thought I pushed myself on a steady 6 miler to see what it felt like at marathon pace.   Disaster struck again – same old same old…..At this point the marathon seemed further away than ever.


So it was off to the physio again…..It seems the hamstring is not ruptured but the issue is more of old scar tissue that seems to be laying on the sciatic nerve and causing the hamstring to tighten at random and unpredictable moments.  The pain in my hamstring has been worse after driving for anything over 30 minutes.    The physio session included something new to me which was Myofascial Release.  This is a gentle therapy, consisting of a mixture of light stretching and massage work. 


A typical session consists of  hands-on massage strokes in order to release tension from the fibrous bands of the muscles, bones, nerves and joints, by unblocking any scar tissue or adhesions due to injury in the muscles and surrounding tissues combined with  light to moderate traction and twisting strokes to apply the appropriate tension on the soft tissue.  The treatment is a long slow treatment concentrating on lengthening the muscle to achieve a full reflex range of the muscle.


I have to say that the treatment has worked very well and I am back running.   There is still a little bit of stiffness in the hamstring so I am not fully back to normal and I think given the nature of the injury it may take a bit of time to get back to full speed but it’s a step in the right direction.  Training this week has been good with a decent four mile tempo run at sub 6 minute miling, a very good hill session with 8 long reps completed with over 1000 feet of climbing an 8.5 mile steady run at a decent pace and a park run effort in redcar (18.11) yesterday on my way to a good old 50 mile week with a bit of quality thrown in.



Its good to be back running again and I am sure if pushed I could have completed the marathon but back to the Chimp versus Computer theory….the chimp would be on the start line at Chester today  but the Computer has the Cross Country season on his mind.


I have my eyes on five races over the winter:


Abbey Dash 10km in November

North East Cross Country in December

Northern Cross Country in January

National Cross Country in February

BMAF Vets Cross Country in March

Here’s to a happy and injury free winter!   Back to the foam roller for me!

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