I'VE been pioneering a new running style – ‘the flaming flamingo limp’.
It admittedly does sound rather like some kind of vile, Lambrini-based cocktail that Alan Carr might serve up, but it’s a pretty accurate description of me running on Sunday! With one leg pulling up, bright lurid pink face, and head hanging down – it wasn’t a pretty sight.
I had taken four days off from running after last week’s pain, and been resting my knee and popping on the usual pack of frozen peas every evening.
It seemed to recover quickly and on Sunday I decided to go for a test run.
As soon as my foot hit the tarmac when I picked up the pace then the pain began.
Now, those of you who know me also know I am not a wuss like girlie girl whimpering at the first sign of pain.
I played rugby on a men’s team for God’s sake, and have many a gory battle scar to prove it!
So I persevered and decided that whatever happened I would complete two miles – and funnily enough I managed it in a fairly good time (for me – we’re not talking PBs or sub three hour marathon pace here!)
Still, I thought a trip to see the physio would be the most sensible option, if only to rule out any ACL related issues.
I trust my physio – I have been to see him before with other issues and he always seemed to be a nice chap.
So I imagined he would confirm my ‘Google’ diagnosis of Runner’s Knee and give me some exercises to do, maybe apply a little ultrasound therapy and send me on my way. Nope.
He started off with usual stretches, poking, twisting, pulling and pushing – I almost felt like I had done my day’s planned workout when he had finished! Then he dropped the bombshell.
I have an inflamed fat-pad. RUDE!! I mean there was no need to get personal! I resisted the temptation to retaliate with a ‘so what, you’ve got a shiny bald spot’ jibe. But only just!
I mean, come on, how does a ‘fat-pad’ get inflamed and, more to the point, what exactly is a ‘fat-pad’?
Well, let’s get physical for a moment – they are the little chubby bits under and to the inside of the kneecap, and above and to the outside of the kneecap.
It’s the lower one that is causing me the pain and the most likely culprit is my gait and lopsided running style. – my knee twists in when I land, which has caused the pain. And the reason that happens? Yep, back to those flat footed fallen arches!
So even though I spent more than my annual wine budget on special running shoes with inbuilt orthotic supports I still need more. (That sounds like me and wine too, come to think of it – always wanting more!)
So off I went to DW Sports in Derby where they have a special piece of kit that measures and records your footprint so customised orthotics can be made for you.
It’s a nifty service to be honest and within a couple of hours I had my new running shoes sorted.
I feel a bit like Tom Cruise to be honest – with secret inner shoe raises to make me a few inches taller, and it feels weird to walk with a new gait, but I do think my knee feels more stable.
I went out for a run to see how it felt, and I ran the fastest and furthest so far – yay! But the conversation with my physio is still playing on my mind… Now I know for sure that the next Six months are going to be painful, difficult and a proper challenge to get through.
He told me to expect pain, niggles, and discomfort as the mileage gets higher and the speeds get quicker. I knew this was never going to easy, but I hadn’t factored in a high pain threshold too!
Incidentally he also told me that had I checked with him prior to entering the marathon he would have told me not to, that my body type is not right for running and that my previous injuries would make it harder.
Well, nothing like a seemingly impossible challenge to make me want to disprove it.
He said I would have been much better off choosing a sport like biking or swimming.
Hmmmm. Perhaps I should enter an ironman triathlon in 2015?
After a rocky start with my knee I managed to end the week on a high – with a personal best (get me!!) for distance.
27 Sept 7pm couldn't run at all INJURED
29 Sept 4pm 2 miles 26 minutes 17. Pace 13.09 min/mile Warm 60* Knee still playing up
1 Oct 5.30pm 2.21 miles 27 minutes 40. Pace 12.32 min/mile cool 55* knee sore but ok Ave HR 140
2 Oct 6pm 3.33 miles 44 minutes 06. Pace 13.15 min/mile Cool 55* with Bill. Ave HR 149
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NEXT WEEK’S BLOG - …..training for my first ever 10k race!