Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The importance of being idle

I run an ever increasing amount of mileage, divided into 3 weeknight chunks, and a longer run on Sundays. I cycle to work pretty much everyday, and jam in some cross training whenever I find a spare evening. Ironically, the more you do, the harder it is to say hey, take a day off, let your body recover. Seriously, i know it sounds insane but it really is tough. However, sometimes you've just got to do it.

I ran just over 12 miles on Sunday, and 31 miles in total that week, through some of the worst conditions since training started. Over the last week or so, we have had more snow than I've seen in a long time, and it's made running a little difficult to say the least. But I've managed to struggle through with no real problems, until now....

I woke up yesterday with horrible shooting pain down the outside of the bottom of my left foot. My first reaction was hooray, it's not my knees, and my second was to get on google and commence with some self-diagnosis. I have it narrowed down to pereoneal insertional tendonitis - it's ok when I don't put weight on it, but walking is super painful, and running is out of the question. Internet wisdom prescribes the usual rest-ice-elevation-pray it gets better cycle, which is what I've spent most of today doing, in addition to some hardcore anti-inflammatories. It's caused by overloading of a tendon that runs down the outside of the leg and into the foot, and was probably triggered when I fell over on some ice on Sunday, combined with running on uneven ground. I'm going to stay off it as much as possible, with no running for as long as it takes to feel better - tendons are notoriously hard to heal due to their minimal blood supply - I'm hoping to be back at it by the weekend, fingers crossed.

UPDATE: still no improvement, so I'm booked in with the foot doctor Friday to see what I can do to speed this up. In the meantime I've been trying to keep up some kind of fitness by terrorising the UEA pool through a combination of  high speed frustration laps whilst wearing a badly fitting borrowed bikini. It's not pretty but it makes me feel less useless.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

by Christopher McDougall

This book was recommended to me by a very good friend of mine, who incidentally smashed his way around his first marathon last year (I’m coming for your time Michael...), and I finally got a copy of my very own for Christmas this year. However I have to admit that initially it did not interest me in the slightest. After all, I am a connoisseur of quality literature: essentially if it isn’t by Cormac McCarthy, or it doesn’t have cowboys in it, I'm really not that interested. And as Canucks have dubious taste in most things, I figured why should books be any different (joke, that was a JOKE before you all start). But like a running pimp, he kept pushing it, and eventually I cracked – flicking through a few pages one night whilst he was yakking on the phone. Fast forward three days and one conversation about how occasionally, just occasionally, I might not always be right; and I'd read the whole thing cover to cover, and thoroughly enjoyed it. McDougall manages to convey what it is that got me into running in the first place: how it nice its feels to bound along a pavement, the pleasure of reaching the top of a hill, and the sheer happy exhaustion only achievable (for me) at the end of a good run. So I guess if you want an insight into why I do what I do, and how it feels, explained in words more eloquently arranged than those hastily typed into this blog, give it a go. But I warn you, there are no cowboys.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Happy New Year!!

2013 is shaping up to be a pretty big one. This year I will.........(drum roll please):

1. Present my work at ASLO conference, New Orleans 
2. Finish my thesis 
3. Become Dr Owen
4. Run the London Marathon
5. Cycle across Canada
6. Emigrate
7. Turn 30
8. Lose all dignity during the Polar Bear Plunge
9. Raise £10,000 for cancer research and support

A wiser person than me once said, "y’know, if your dreams don’t scare you, that means they’re not big enough". Well I’m absolutely s******g myself right now, so I guess that means I’m on the right track.

Happy New Year everyone. Let's smash it.