Tag Archive for sports massage

Now with added shin splints

So I feared the worst when I went to see Lillian, the sports masseuse at Virgin Active in Streatham yesterday and she confirmed it within seconds of touching my legs. ‘You’re starting to get shin splints.’

It’s the two words most runners dread and, having suffered before, I knew the telltale signs were there all week: a slight burning soreness  on the inside of my calves and aching shins, to the point where I’ve done most of the week’s runs at snail pace and, at times, even hobbled.

She went to work on them for 45 minutes, pummeling and rubbing away, stretching my legs one way and then the other… but I still went home slightly dejected. It’s a feeling that was compounded this morning when I woke up and could still feel the pain… Anyone who has read about Lillian before will know that she’s performed magic when I thought my streak might come to an end, but even her expert help had not done its job.

As I hobbled down London Road and back this morning, I made a decision on the Brighton Marathon. I have three weeks and four long runs to go according to my programme, but I am going to forsake tomorrow’s long run that was to be a 22 miler. I will then just do gentle three milers all week and monitor the progress. I’m hoping the ‘rest’ from the long run may help things calm down a little.

Miles today: 3
Target: 567
Miles to date: 744.07

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

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Reaching the 700mile mark

Another day, another landmark and just before making it home this morning, I clocked up my 700th mile since I started this challenge towards the end of September last year.

Once again, the second day after the long run was the most painful… the legs frightfully stiff and me limping around Streatham on one of my least strenuous routes.

Luckily, I had half an hour booked in with Lillian the sports massage therapist at the Virgin Active in Streatham who gave my legs another good going over. She warned I’d be stiffer this evening – and I am – but I’m hoping that will have gone by the morning.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 534
Miles to date: 700.56

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Back to the gym and more massage

Not much to report today really…

At around 10 this morning I went to my local gym, the Virgin Active in Streatham and had a sports massage with Lillian before a rather boring treadmill run followed by a weights sessions.

The legs are feeling less tight than at any time over the last two weeks… a good sign I hope.

Click here for details of the run

Miles today: 3.14
Target: 522
Miles to date: 672.36

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Trying to gee myself up

Four days of taking it really easy, a ton of Ibuprofen, ice packs and an hour’s sports massage and I’m still feeling the wrong side of sore on my left shin.

This morning’s run wasn’t that bad but I’ve stiffened right up since so I’ve spent much of the day trying to find things to gee myself (not to mention cheer myself) up for the next few weeks before the Brighton Marathon and, indeed, for the next six months until the challenge is over.

One of the things I’ve been thinking of for a while is introducing a charity element to my running –  if I’m suffering, then someone else might as well gain – and I’m thinking of splitting the proceeds between two different charities. I should, hopefully, be able to launch that next week.

I’ve also decided to try and promote the site more so I’ve had some running shirts printed with 1095miles.com related information on them.

I’ll be wearing them most days when they come in – especially on my longer runs – but I’m also running the Water of Life half marathon in three Sunday’s time at Bisham Abbey and I’m hoping wearing one of the shirts might get some of the other runners to have a look at what I’m up to.

Finally, I’ve also dropped the editor of Runner’s World a little note – just to see if he wants to do anything on the site.

I’m hoping it will all help me keep focussed through the current injury laden blip.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 498
Miles to date: 631.36

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Can a body only do so much?

Another day waking up to a sharp ache in my left calf this morning. It’s right at the bottom where the muscle joins the bone, an inch or so above the ankle. It’s not unbearable, but it’s noticeable when I walk, despite the sterling efforts of the sports masseuse Lillian yesterday.

I was reading an issue of Runners World from a month or so ago this morning and there was an article that seemed to suggest some people’s body shape and size predetermines what their maximum racing capability should be. In other words, some people should just stick to running 10ks or half marathons, rather than going for the big ones.

It’s something I’ve had suggested to me before, by the gym instructor who used to run the exercise room when I worked at Associated Newspapers. We’d been looking at ways to sooth my constantly sore shins and after resting, getting support trainers to stop pronation and trying every stretch in the book to find they only provided periodic relief, he suggested I could possibly only ever work my way up to a half marathon.

It was playing on my mind this morning and so I ran Tooting Common. which I’d found relatively easy on the leg when I was running with my pal Ben yesterday. This morning though, I did the exact same route in six minutes longer… a significant difference over a short distance like three miles.

I can’t but help think ahead though… I’m determined that by running easy for the next four days, icing as much as possible and taking industrial strength Ibuprofen, I’ll manage to do my long run this Sunday and get my training for the Brighton Marathon back on track… It’s a 17miler and should really sort the man from the boy…

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 495
Miles to date: 628.36

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Some company on the road

For Lillian, the sports masseuse

I woke up this morning with the calf still sore and was just about to go out for a slow one when an email popped into my box: ‘You sound sore, fancy some company?’ It was my pal, Ben Maher, who is training for the London Marathon and was working from home today.

About 30 minutes later, we were out around Tooting Common, chatting away and catching up as we ran in the bright sunlight… having someone to run with and something to talk about took my mind off the injury and we went around at a decentish pace of about 9.5 minutes a mile and I didn’t feel too bad at the end of it.

Later in the afternoon, I had a full hour session with Lillian, the sports masseuse at the Reaqua Spa at Streatham’s Virgin Active. It costs £52 an hour but I cannot recommend her enough… she gave my legs a thorough going over that had be squealing in pain at times and warned me to expect to be a little sorer for the rest of the day (which I have been) but said I should be feeling better tomorrow.

The best thing about it is she confirmed a comment from Steve Swift on yesterday’s post: she could find no specific injury, just some tight soft tissue from overuse. Hopefully, she’ll have loosened it all up a bit.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 492
Miles to date: 625.36

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Seriously concerned about an injury

I was supposed to do a long run today as part of my training for the Brighton Marathon, but it would have been impossible.

I’ve still not really recovered from last week’s Portsmouth Coastal half marathon and Friday’s 20-mile cycle into the peaks, three-mile run yesterday morning and 12-mile hike yesterday afternoon haven’t helped – my left calf has started to give me some seriously worrying gip.

I’m not too bothered about not doing the long run… they’re mainly about getting time on your feet as much as distance and the fact that the hike took us more than five hours is good enough for one week – but on the face of this morning’s run, I might have to drop Brighton.

David and I set off around 8am while the other boys were still in bed. The wind war swirling sprinkles of snow around and we headed downhill into the village. Less than half a mile in, the heavier force of running down hill kicked in and I felt the calf tweak tighten right up.

We continued on but I was hobbling behind David with gritted teeth until we completed the circuit.

I’ve iced and taken lots of Ibuprofen but it’s not really helped much. Tomorrow will have to be very light and I’ve an hour of sports massage on Tuesday that I am finger crossing for… having to drop out now would be a real pain. Especially as I have another half marathon coming up in three weeks and have also signed up for the Leeds half marathon on May 9.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.17
Target: 486
Miles to date: 624.36

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

My first half-marathon race in 25 years

Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon

For Laura (for getting up early to come with me) for David B, David W, Michael G, Steve S, Johan O, Kate P, Alice L, Andy J and Ben M for suggesting the tunes and for the men and women of the RNLI for whom the race raised cash.

So I was like those kids from the Disney advert this morning: ‘Muuum, I can’t sleep’ and was bright eyed at 6am – even though we didn’t have to set off for the race until 8am. I spent part of that time reading the excellent Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire in bed and another part of it reading it in the bath, which I thought would relax me.

All laid out and ready to go

Last night I’d laid out most of the things I needed to take: kit, new trainers, Jelly Beans, carb gel, water, Lucazade Sport, iPhone and arm band, Garmin Forerunner 405 and associated heart rate monitor, Vaseline, race number, safety pins… so there wasn’t much to do except take a picture and load it into my kit bag. I also took a clean tee shirt, hoody, underpants, socks and another pair of trainers as I fancied a change of clothes might make the two-hour drive back to London more pleasant for both Laura and myself.

I finally managed to get the missus out of bed around 7.15 and she dashed in the shower as I wolfed down a banana and a bowl of porridge with honey. I also made sure I went to the loo for number 2s – twice… there was no way I wanted to be caught short on the race.

The trip to Portsmouth was mercifully traffic free – who else is on the road at 8am right? But it pissed it down all the way making me think the race wasn’t going to be much fun… and I was nervous enough as it was. This was my first official race since I did the Athens half, back when I was a skinny little 17-year-old who still bought size 28 Levis…

We made it down to the race start in good time, around 35 minutes before the off but were faced with queues about 20 minutes long for the portaloos. I still managed to go, collect my chip and smother myself in Vaseline with about five minutes to spare though.

As we waited to go, I chatted to a mother and son who have both signed up for London, this was his second half and her first, both really lovely people… I had a look around the starting line up, I was about 3/4 of the way down the 800 people who were running and noticed a couple of things about runners.

And he's off...

What struck me was the average age of people who were there… I’d say around 30+. Sure there were some younger people, mainly students but most were of an age. The other thing is that the older people were all perfectly kitted out in brand name running gear, while the studenty types were all wearing bits and bobs kit. One particularly young bloke near me was running in board shorts!

A nervous five minutes followed until we were off. I decided to pace myself depending on what was going on around me but by about half a mile, you could see some of the fun runners in my personal space were beginning to drop back and by a mile, I was slowly working my way through some of the field.

At three miles, I looked at my watch – 25 minutes – and I realised I was running at a relatively decent pace for me; on training runs I normally do 27mins tops for three miles.

About four miles in, there was a huge loop around a park and I was quite surprised to find people passing me – on their way back! When I looped it, at around five miles, I started to count the people I was passing that still had to do the loop – 85 with a huge number still looping behind me… I reckoned I had to be somewhere around half way down the 800.

I was running with a bottle of Lucazade Sport in hand, had already munched on some Jelly Babies that were laid at some of the stations and started to take on liquid just past half way. And at this point, I regretted running in trainers that only had 6miles on the clock from my previous two days training – my arches were rubbing raw and I could feel the pain of new blisters.

Somewhere around 8 miles we went around some sports fields… the grass muddy from the constant rain, the trainers were well and truly Christened but the cold puddles at least gave the arches some relief.

The final four miles or so were awesome, yet tough – along a shingle beach with the tide out, the sun had started to shine and I could see right across the Solent as my feet squelched in and out of the sand making my aching calves feel even heavier.

... and he's done

Despite this, I was still picking up places… I reckon I was only passed by about 10 people once past the three mile mark, while I probably gained and overtook at least 50 or so during the whole race.

At around 12 miles and back on pavement, I got a text message that somehow conspired to send my iPhone all over the place, so I ripped the headphones out and took my gloves off as it was starting to get seriously warm.

A marshall shouting ‘Just half a mile more’ gave me a last five-minute boost to the finish line where a disbelieving Laura couldn’t believe I got in so quick – and  I even passed the young chap in board shorts just before the finish.

My Garmin said 12.87 miles and 1hr 49, the race organisers said 13.1 miles and 1hr 48mins and 40secs… I wasn’t going to argue but I didn’t bother checking what position I came in – it didn’t matter, I’d completed the race, funnily enough, only a minute slower than that Athens race 25 years ago!

The post-race rub down

Great post-race camerarderie – I bumped into the chap from the start, he finished a minute ahead of me, his mum was still going round, bless. The RNLI staff at Portsmouth were awesome… post race sports massages for £5, which I took advantage of and making sure all racers were warm, watered and fed. Excellent organisational skills and a huge thanks are in order.

Finish line video

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s race

Miles today: 12.87
Target: 465
Miles to date: 603.19

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Day 150 and thank heaven for sports massage

For Natalie Onions – as mad as me

Crickey, day 150 and still feeling very tender after Sunday’s 15miler… this training for the Brighton marathon is taking its toll.

I felt even more tender when I visited my sports massage therapist Lillian this morning. When I told her where it hurt, she started sucking her teeth like a plumber who’s found a blocked u-bend… ‘Don’t say shin splints,’ I said as she went to work and continued to suck on her teeth.

She eventually, after half an hour, said my legs aren’t in too bad shape for someone who’s been running continually for six months and just told me to look after my legs over the coming weeks.

‘This is the time when you are more prone to injury in your training, luckily you’re seeing me early enough for me to help,’ she said.

And so I did a very very gentle run in the gym to celebrate and you know what, it didn’t feel too bad.

If you’re wondering who Natalie Onions is, she’s a woman who is also doing a year long challenge… but not with a run every day, but a thusfar entertaining blog. She even runs dressed like a pirate. Check it out at www.run1000miles.com

Click here for full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.11
Target: 450
Miles to date: 576.05

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Signed up for the disney Marathon

Very excited yesterday to find out Disney actually hosts a marathon around Walt Disney World in Orlando every January that runs through the four parks – I’ve already put my name down to come back next year and run it.

This morning’s run was another dark one as we have another early start but I managed to just run a straight and back instead of going around the lakes as I have done the other days I’ve been here.

It’s something I’d not done previously as I had no idea where the road that goes right from our hotel goes, but we drove it yesterday (it heads to Epcot park) and so, even though I knew it was dark, I kind of knew where I was going…

I’m not sure if I ended up somewhere in one of the back lots at one point, but I did pass a building called Disney University – I’m sure they give Mickey Mouse degrees.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.00
Target: 435
Miles to date: 548.78

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here