Since the Great North Run last weekend I’ve been forced to take a complete rest and avoid running, which as a runner has been very tough. Up until this point I’ve been very lucky to avoid injury, I think through complimentary cross-training and lots of yoga, so have always taken lacing up my trainers for granted. Not anymore. As much as I’ve wanted to I’ve had to stop myself from going for just a little one, a short jog, a ‘let’s just see how it feels’ run, because I know I’m not ready. My hip flexor still feels tight even to walk so progressing to a run is just unwise. I’ve been doing everything I can to get back up and running as soon as I can but it seems rest is all it’s going to take. Rest, foam rolling, stretches, self-massage and little bits of yoga here and there. With races still in the diary coming up soon I’ve been worrying about losing fitness so have been signing up to a few classes to try and stay on track, but sometimes you have to take your own advice, realise that a few weeks out won’t make a difference and look to the bigger goal. So, with all of that in mind, here’s how this past week has gone down, with a few race numbers dropping through my letterbox reminding me of the upcoming challenges –
I woke up feeling sore and stiff today so a full rest day was on the cards. I skipped out of work on time to try out an indulgent relaxation method at The Floatworks, a dreamy floatation therapy which lets you lie back in a tank of super-saturated Epsom salt solution, creating an environment similar to the Dead Sea, and just relax. It’s benefits include relieving pain, speeding up recovery and improving athletic performance, and I left feeling energised but in a state of total calm.
I went to see Rebecca of Balanced Osteopathy at Triyoga, Chelsea today and after a thorough analysis she gave me the all clear, telling me that it my aches and pains were just muscular, there was no long-lasting damage or injury, my body was just recovering after Sunday’s race. It was a complete relief to hear. Rebecca identified the tightness in my hip and eased it slightly with a few mobility exercises, but also discovered what could be the cause of my current pain – tight calf muscles. She advised me to do stretches to loosen these and always try to get them warmed up before running, as well as giving me exercises to improve my dorsiflexion.
I arrived home from work today to find my Royal Parks Half Marathon number had arrived. This was one of the first races I competed in after I moved to London over two years ago and is a great city half, taking in the famous sights of Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, The Mall and loops around Hyde Park. I’m looking forward to it but it’s not my A race, just one to enjoy. No running again today but I did a core and upper body workout at home instead, just to keep on top of things.
I went back to my old stomping ground at Bootcamp Pilates for a 7am Reformer Pilates class today. I worked up a sweat but kept the weight off my ol’ leg, just to be safe. Nice to be back.
After a long day at work I was eager to try a run commute home as everything had been feeling a lot better. After about a mile of stop starting at traffic lights, chasing the buses and weaving through Chelsea FC fans, I decided to call it a day and booked a seat at Ride Republic for a late night spin class. It was a perfect way to end the week, a sweaty session but no running.
Another test for the ol’ hip this morning as I headed to Richmond Park to join the Wild Trail Runners. I lasted just a few miles of the beautiful trails with the group before having to say goodbye, the pain still right where I didn’t want it to be. I decided to try and stretch it out at a yoga class at one of my new favourite local studios, the Method Movement, worth going back for just for the insta shot –
The next best thing after running is cheering on runners, especially friends and team mates, so this morning I was up bright and early to cheer on those racing at the Richmond Running Festival. My good friend Steph was racing the marathon distance as well as FRC-ers Leo, James, Dave and Ilsuk, while Andy, Chris and Phil took on the half. Draped in the stripes of the Fulham RC flag I drowned the Thames Path with the noise of our cowbells and cheered every one of the runners along on their journey. While all this was going on in an overcast London, over in Mexico, the one and only Sophie Kirk – friend, flatmate and fellow Fulham RC lady – was taking on the ITU World Triathlon Championships, and as I arrived home to switch on BBC to watch the coverage I hop online to the online tracker to discover she’s only gone and bagged 5th in the WORLD! If that’s not inspiration I don’t know what is, an incredible achievement!
New week, new goals. Let’s get this ol’ hip fixed and get back to doing what I love, running.