Blog 3: PHT Part 2 - 'Virtual Running'! by Dineke Austin

  THE Running Biddy Hamstring

THE Running Biddy Hamstring

Last time, I wrote of my so-called ‘training’ plans in terms of short, medium and long-term. Once the bruising at the back of my leg had subsided (see above 2 weeks after ‘Beginner’s slip’) and I had tried the updated version of RICE – HICE (heat pack); it was time to move on to medium-term goals and try the effects of dietary supplements. One of the URLs provided last time round gave a link to ‘Tendinopathy, diet and gelatin supplementation’ by Fran Taylor, with so much info’ on dietary treatment of tendons that my head hurt (I’d rather run, any day!).

In a nutshell, despite Scott Jurek’s excellent book on endurance running and veganism, I still need to learn to manage a balanced runner’s diet at the best of times, and this wasn’t (‘…the best of times, the worst of times…’). However, what seemed to make most sense for a veggian (veggie vegan), given diet and what helps tendon repair, was to break my self-imposed rules and take gelatin and collagen – neither of which are plant-based! (No time to contact Scott.)  So I did, and still am… I’m waiting for the hand of you-know-who to strike me…but then I’d already had my 3 accident strikes, hadn’t I? (Is it like licence endorsements?)

Actually, Scott does include a delicious non-pharmaceutical treatment/recipe for ‘Strawburst Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie’ (p173 for rationale, p174 for ingredients/method), where the addition of miso (for salt/electrolytes as well as taste) and turmeric, ginger, pineapple and oil (against inflammation) offset the sweetness of the strawberries and mango.  (Q: Why is it that I equate anything yummy with sinful indulgence? Adam & Eve; CoE primary school; Dutch Calvinism meets Quaker background?! Sorry: I digress.)

Medium/long term – along with the ever-glorious volunteering, especially EE Coaching and my new discovery of Junior Parkrun (thanks to Lisa Dumais and Kate for the kids – nothing quite like primary kids for taking your mind off woes!) – was the dreaded REHAB EXERCISES!

Hamstring heel bridge: one heel at a time; supine bridge, resting on elbows; side lying hip abduction and hold; prone single leg hamstring curl; reverse lunge… they read (and most certainly feel) like medieval torture methods! AND ‘as much work on the cross-trainer as you can stand’. DAILY.

This has seriously raised questions about which takes more time commitment: VLM running, or rehab exercises: each gym session has taken at least 1:30 for exercises alone, increasing as either or both physio and PT have added to the list (‘victim of your success’). For me at least, it has proved far more serious a challenge than long running: it has taken more self-control and commitment than I thought I had.

High spot: marshalling at the glorious Osterley National Trust Nightrun!

Low spot (wot, only one!): finding a challenge to meet my ‘12in12’ targets: I had rashly (or so it now felt) signed both Trev and myself up for a 12in12 challenge just after the Amsterdam Marathon last October; my monthly challenge is: a) to run one new guest Parkrun (thanks Ealing Eagles tourist group!); b) to run or walk one serious distance target (in the open air wasn’t specified, but I never dreamed otherwise!).

As you know, I wriggled my way round January with the Action Challenge 20k Winter Walk (NOT quite the same as Marrakech!); but Googling brought no further walks, other than Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, etc: not QUITE meeting the stern injunction – after the tiniest of inclines in central London on the 20k walk – “FLAT!”

‘Stuffed’ comes to mind.

Then: ‘Women’s Running’ advert: Virtual Running? Quick Google. Got it: see below.


No: not me this time, but the germ of a 12in12 idea!

Now I certainly didn’t flatter myself that this is what I would look like (I wish); but checking on details with the organiser, and the 12in12 team, confirmed that I could set myself a treadmill walking challenge for February; and as long as I had evidence (e.g. photos of treadmill readings, and a log) I could actually gain a medal (what a difference!)…

Thus the start of February VLM ‘training’ saw me:

i) Trying to excite myself at the prospect of serious PHT rehab/core strength exercises on alternate days (with my PT’s words “How hard are you working?” ringing in my ears); AND

ii) Virtual walking: target to walk 50 miles on a treadmill by the end of February!

Will I give up?

Still NOPE!

Will I learn further lessons the hard way?

Dear Reader, wait for Blog 4…..