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Thigh July
19-07-2017, 11:38 AM,
#1
Thigh July
I'm not sure why, but I decided to put off posting this latest missive until I had some good news, which, erm, rather suggests to the astute reader that there has been bad news in the MLCMM running camp. And there has...

The long and the short of it is that with all the off-road running I was doing, I managed to induce a small tear in the quads of my right leg. At first, I didn't even notice it, but then I started to get nasty, sharp stabbing pains when I twisted my leg just so. Annoyingly, after each stab of pain, I couldn't replicate the exact pose that caused the problem: it was deep and not giving away its exact location easily. Taking things easy only made matters worse; and then even a complete cessation of running made it still worse again. Huh? How does that work??

By that stage though, I had got the message, which was: don't make step up motions at all, and avoid stepping down with a slight twist to the left and at all costs avoid bending over with a slight twist to the left. I'm beginning to sound like a socialist cocktail, but in the end I had to quit running and bending altogether, and finally, today is the red-letter day in which I've finally managed to get through an entire 24 hours (well, near enough) with no discomfort at all. Hallelujah.

But what does this mean for my race plans? I'm now so far behind in my training schedule that it's scary. Worse, I can't just pick up where I left off: this is my first pain-free day, and the tear was in a tricky part of the quads that are being constantly used. Running too soon will only make matters worse again and so I have to get back into it gradually.

I have little choice but to take pressure off myself and just take things slowly for the next little while. If it goes well, I can perhaps readjust my goal to a half marathon, and maybe ramp things up if it all goes well. I am not, however, that confident.

Ah well, c'est la vie, my friends. Such is the life of a middle-aged runner.
Run slow, run far.
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19-07-2017, 01:27 PM,
#2
RE: Thigh July
Shame that MLCMM. I guess we're old enough now to realise that we should always expect the unexpected when it comes to training. But it's still disappointing to have plans dashed. I hope this doesn't put you off off-road running becasue I think it has the potential to do alot of good. Although I can't see how it wouldn't given the fact you're attributing it to this iinjury.

Hope you can recalibrate things satisfactorily.
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21-07-2017, 10:37 AM,
#3
RE: Thigh July
Irritating little injury by the sound of it MLCM. Hope you don't pack in those trails as a result but adapting to different types of terrain will involve certain biomechanical adjustments. It's a different type of running, some people I know say that it isn't even running at all...
When I tried to run a regular half marathon last year for the first time in 10 years I was surprised by how much my legs had changed. Found the experience quite painful and I was walking after 15k despite being in OK shape at the time. 10k on the road is about my limit these days although offroad I could go on for much longer...
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21-07-2017, 10:15 PM,
#4
RE: Thigh July
That's very bad luck mate. I know you are wise enough not to rush back in. On the plus side, you are already in awesome shape - maybe already in marathon shape. If you go by the old adage that if you're out for X weeks it will take another X weeks of running to get back to the same level of fitness, I think you will still be in very good condition. Of course right now, we don't know the value of X. Hang in there!
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29-07-2017, 04:00 PM,
#5
RE: Thigh July
Rolling right along...sort of.

Here's the thing about no longer being in the clear-skinned blush of youth: we all know it, I suppose, but the impact of injuries is often more considerable than we care to admit. Injuries, small and large, are far more significant, and take far, far longer to heal than they did in our youth. That much is obvious, especially after you've suffered a few bouts of plantar fasciitis and so forth, but for me what's really significant about these setbacks is not just the impact on your training and fitness, but the mental anguish they cause. It's like someone pinning you to the floor and shouting in your face, "You're old! You've had it! Why bother? Just give up!" over and over again.

It's often very difficult, even when the injury has healed, to overcome the burdensome inertia and mental fatigue these setbacks so often leave in their wake. And just when you most need the life-affirming vigour that regular running gives, it becomes ever more difficult to find your mojo once more. And it's very frustrating because, and let me be clear here, it's increasingly important as you age to get back on the horse (so to speak) as quickly as possible. The importance of this grows in direct proportion with the setbacks which are larger, and the recovery times which are longer, and also the fact that in terms of time it takes orders of magnitude more to return to previous levels of fitness. And the longer you put off your return to the sport, the heavier the weight of indifference becomes.

There's no easy way around this. Oh, of course the solution is simple: put on the running shoes and head out the door. But finding the enthusiasm to restart a training programme and begin working towards a goal again is daunting, and increasingly so after each setback. And it may not be just an injury of course; life has a ton of different ways of interrupting your training plans and goal-setting. Once the routine of running disappears off the calendar due to illness or injury, a small mountain of other things quickly step in to take its place. Clearing those off the overloaded schedule to slot running back in again is seemingly no simple task.

And so it will be no surprise to you, dear reader, to find that this, of course, is the fine pickle I find myself in. Again.

It's not just a case of getting back on the treadmill; there's a whole training schedule to re-write, with new races to aim for. Races to aim for, that is, if I can clear the schedule enough to permit such ambitious plans. Well, we will get there. Somehow, I always do. Races come and go, and there'll always be another one. The important thing is to not lose focus on the significant benefits that a life of running gives.

I'm sorry if you've invested some time in following my progress this year. That it comes to a grinding halt over what was, in reality, a fairly minor injury is somewhat embarrassing. The reasons are of course never so simple. But injuries tend to compound with illnesses, which then compound with work hassles and which soon all come together and shove even the thought of running far, far into the background of our everyday, busy lives.

I (and others here) have alluded before to the Greek myth of Sisyphus; but it's so apt. You push and you push to get that boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back on you and you have to pick yourself up and start all over again from the bottom. The older we get, the harder it is to get back up each time.

But, for all the heartache and toil of Sisyphus's endless work, the tragedy isn't the pain of starting over. Tragedy really only comes when you quit. And I haven't quit, so I'll put my shoulder to the boulder (sorry) once more and get on with it again.

Chin up!
Run slow, run far.
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30-07-2017, 09:50 PM,
#6
RE: Thigh July
Very well put, MLCMM. The running gods giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other.

I suppose the one positive is that with age comes a better sense of perspective. You see the bigger picture, and you know that, so long as you can get back on that wagon, two months of training (for example) should get you back to where you were two months ago.

I also think that, as we get older, we appreciate running more, and realise how important it is to hold on to.

Older and boulder. It's just the way you roll.

Oh and yes - given the really amazing work you did in the first half of the year, I do think that when you restart the uphill struggle, you'll find that the boulder didn't roll all the way down this time.
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14-08-2017, 02:15 PM, (This post was last modified: 14-08-2017, 02:15 PM by glaconman.)
#7
RE: Thigh July
Some good points here by both of you.

I like to think in terms of a runner's 'base'. The longer you've been in this sport the wider your base becomes. And a wider base allows for a higher pyramid.

So, it's not like your going back to square one at all. You're potential to build is significant now.

Stay positive MLCMM.
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14-08-2017, 09:35 PM, (This post was last modified: 14-08-2017, 09:36 PM by El Gordo.)
#8
RE: Thigh July
MLCMM -- chin up, man. Not sure if this is any sort of encouragement, but M has recently raised the subject of trying to get to Australia again, perhaps around New Year. Any half decent races going on around then to act as a possible spur for both of us? ("Both" as in you and me.) I've had my own age-related injury issues recently which I should write about, but I'm very optimistic about getting back in the saddle at some point, fitter and stronger than ever. Ha ha! Amazing what a positive physio visit and a couple of glasses of pinot grigio will do.
El Gordo

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
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16-08-2017, 08:37 AM,
#9
RE: Thigh July
(30-07-2017, 09:50 PM)marathondan Wrote: Very well put, MLCMM. ... I do think that when you restart the uphill struggle, you'll find that the boulder didn't roll all the way down this time.

Cheers, Dan. I'm pretty relaxed about it; running for fitness rather than a race goal at least takes the pressure off to commit to particular distance and times!
Run slow, run far.
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16-08-2017, 08:39 AM,
#10
RE: Thigh July
(14-08-2017, 02:15 PM)glaconman Wrote: I like to think in terms of a runner's 'base'. The longer you've been in this sport the wider your base becomes. And a wider base allows for a higher pyramid.

Good point, G'Man, and I believe it to be true. After a decade or so the concept of running long distances, even after a setback, becomes far easier to grasp.

We'll get there again!
Run slow, run far.
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16-08-2017, 08:47 AM,
#11
RE: Thigh July
(14-08-2017, 09:35 PM)El Gordo Wrote: MLCMM -- chin up, man. Not sure if this is any sort of encouragement, but M has recently raised the subject of trying to get to Australia again, perhaps around New Year. Any half decent races going on around then to act as a possible spur for both of us? ("Both" as in you and me.) I've had my own age-related injury issues recently which I should write about, but I'm very optimistic about getting back in the saddle at some point, fitter and stronger than ever. Ha ha! Amazing what a positive physio visit and a couple of glasses of pinot grigio will do.

We don't generally hold races during the summer months for obvious reasons; but there is the Hobart Marathon on January 14th which also has half mara and 10k options. It has a few other benefits: you'll get to see the Point to Pinnacle course without having to run any part of it; it's relatively flat (it runs basically along the banks of the Derwent River); its main sponsor is Cadbury chocolate; and Hobart is much cooler than the rest of the country.

The race is also very close to some wonderful wineries.

Look forward to seeing you both down here!
Run slow, run far.
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18-08-2017, 05:31 AM,
#12
RE: Thigh July
That post, Shoulder Boulder, was a peach. Every painful point resonates, not least the proliferation and longevity of injuries/ illness. Cellulitis has reared its hot, tight-skinned head, just when I was racking up significant cycling mileage.

Every cloud, though. My battered buttocks now have time to recover and I am obliged to rest properly for at least four days.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph

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