Over the last couple of weeks I’ve read a few Facebook comments and spoken to several people about the Eagle’s London Marathon blogs. As the Eagles are the best and friendliest UK club (I’m assuming that’s now the UKA’s official line) it will come as no surprise to you to learn that all comments were encouraging and very supportive.
There is a however a re-occurring theme. Whilst the good and the inspirational blogs are welcome, people also want to read about when things are not going so well. Put bluntly, if us ballot winners have a crap week, you want to know about it.
I understand this. It is not born out of some sadistic, voyeuristic streak, if anything the corollary holds true and it comes from somewhere altogether more humanitarian. We all have bad weeks, difficulties and setbacks and sometimes it is easy to think we’re the only ones that do. So sharing these problems serves two purposes: it provides an opportunity for empathy, understanding and support and it reassures others facing similar issues that they’re not alone.
So with this in mind I selflessly decided to knacker my hamstring. OK, so I didn’t actually decide to do it. Whilst I’ll admit finding blog material can be a challenge I draw the line at self-harming. It happened spontaneously very near the end of an eight mile run. Odd timing but there you go.
“Oh dear,” I said. “This is not ideal.” Actually I swore like a trooper, an act that is ill-advised outside the local primary school, but I digress.
So what to do? Rest, ice, compress, elevate and try not to panic. I hoped it was not too bad and would improve with a few days’ rest. And improve it did, to the point where a gentle ‘test jog’ was thought agreeable. Alas things were still not quite right (though much improved) and further rest and a trip to the physio was now deemed advisable.
My physio – the wonderful Michelle Tanner – confirmed what I had only hoped; it did not appear to be a muscle tear but just a minor pull. It should be fine with a little more rest and few gentle exercises at home.
Fortunately this happened very early on in training which means there’s both time to rest and still train sufficiently. I actually sustained this annoying little injury at the very end of December, but thought I’d save it for blog number two. (Blog number three is already in pre-production and by April you’ll have the blog equivalent of a really crap box set.)
As I write this it would appear things are better and I have resumed training. However, both Michelle and my coach – the equally wonderful Jesal Thakker – have advised laying-off the track and the hills for two more weeks just to be on the safe side. Some alternative, hamstring-friendly sessions are planned instead. So there we have it, my second blog and already an injury to report, but fortunately only a minor one.
Whilst I’m certainly not qualified to advise anyone on injury prevention, this did remind that many of us spend much of our time on avoiding injuries. Why else would anyone choose to use a foam roller? I have come to the conclusion that that foam rollers, along with trigger balls should be classed as instruments of torture under the Geneva Convention. In my book they’re up there with waterboarding and Justin Bieber as things no one should really have to endure. However, over the next 13 weeks I shall be utilising them all. (I am of course referring to foam rollers and trigger balls; it’s very doubtful that endless repeats of ‘One Less Lonely Girl’ will lead to any bio-mechanical improvements.)
This week’s training finished with the Eagles’ Sunday morning club run. An enjoyable ten miles in the winter sunshine, spent in the splendid company of Lucy, Elizabeth and John (pictured).
Anyway, that’s enough rambling from me. So until blog number three, I wish you all plenty of injury-free running.
Oh, and I had to Google the Justin Bieber song. Honestly.