I rested on the approach to my Wedding, rested on our Honeymoon then came home to find an appointment for an Ultra sound scan on my groin and stomach on the 23rd of August. So while I was waiting I decided to keep fit by cycling.
I’ve been cycling to and from work, on my ride into work I have been riding up to 20 miles. Not too hard, just ticking over, spinning my legs and trying to get a bit of speed in my legs. However on my way home, I keep it short, but there are 3 big climbs, each taking about 5 minutes each and I hammer them!
I might not be running, but my heart and lungs don’t know that, so if I’m doing 5 minute efforts I could just as well be doing mile efforts, only difference is I’m using different leg muscles, so when I eventually get back to running, I should still be fit, I’ll just have to get my legs back used to running.
Over the last month I’ve been looking forward to getting my Ultra sound scan, the way I was looking at it, this would be my first step to getting fixed. I had the Scan on the 23rd, only to find out that there was no evidence of a Hernia!
I never usually go to the Doctors or Hospital, but this last few months I seem to have never been away and I have to say that all the Doctors and nurses have been fantastic, all being very helpful and answering all my questions. However! The person who Ultra sounded me was anything but helpful, I asked a couple of questions and all I got in reply was a very frosty “don’t ask me”.
I left the Hospital Livid!! I’d waited all this time and was no further forward. My attitude was “I’ll show you!!” I was thinking to myself, right! I’ll go out and bust a gut (literally). I was thinking go out and run until I rupture something, I’ll prove to them is something wrong.
As soon as I got home I got on the internet and looked up sports hernia. Straight away I found a site dedicated to sports hernias, I looked up the symptoms, signs and possible causes, I ticked everyone. The site also said that sports hernias are very difficult to spot.
I got in touch with my Doctor who has reffered me to see an NHS Physio in another month!! So I went to see my Physio Jason Ellis. Jason works with professional footballers and is familar with groin injuries, he tested me and confirmed what I already knew, a sports hernia.
So what now? Well Jason has written to my Doctor to ask that I get an MRI scan, we’re hoping that this is enough for the practice to send me. So far although my Doctor is excellent and is doing the best that she can, her practice manager isn’t very keen on reffering me to see a sports specialist, apparently it’s not an emergency. I understand this, but surely if you have a sedentary person and someone who wants to be active again, then you would think that they would get some help back on track.
Jason also said that I wouldn’t make the Hernia any worse if I ran, but it would be painful. Now, I’ve run on a stress fracture, through compartment syndrome and even five years of achilies tendonitis, so running through pain is something I can handle.
On Saturday I ran a very uncomfortable two mile. I can’t say I enjoyed it, but I was out shuffling. I didn’t feel any worse for it either so I set off again on Sunday. This time I made it to the end of the street. The pain was awful, I just couldn’t go on and what was the point?
If I’d have continued I would have spent half an hour shuffling not even raising my heart rate, but at least on the bike I can push myself hard, work hard and stay pain free, so I walked home and went for a ride.
So after almost 3 months of no running how am I keeping myself sane? Well I’m not even thinking of myself as a runner any more. Working in Start Fitness, being surrounded by runners and running kit doesn’t help. I usually wear running clothes for work, but because I’m no longer a runner I don’t see how I can justify wearing the clothes so I’m now in Shorts and cotton t shirts. I don’t mind wearing my free post race t shirts, but I draw the line there. Cycling is also helping. I’m enjoying exploring County Durham.
I’ve lived in Durham for about seven years now, but I have always traveled from A to B via the shortest route, but on the bike that often means busy roads, so I’ve been exploring the back roads and country lanes. I nearly always take a map with me, but I’m finding it hard to judge time and distance.
There has been a couple of times where I’ve planned a route only to find it hillier than I’d expected or the hills have slowed me down more than I’d have thought and I’ve ended up almost being late. The other mistake I often make is when I think I know where a road will lead to, only to have guessed wrong and end up with a rather large extension to my ride.
A few of you runners out there who have been running a while will remember Michael Openshaw. I know Michael well, he hung up his racing flats a long time ago now, but he still keeps himself really fit and is still competitive with himself. In my opinion Michael is one of the best runners this area has ever had, but retired from racing before his times started going backwards. He now mostly cycles, last week he told me about an app for my phone called Strava.
Strava is a cycling app, if you use it on a ride you can see how far you’ve been, your average and best pace, altitude and speed profile, but best of all is the King of the hill section.
Every cyclist who uses the app is timed over certain hill’s, these times are used to determined who is the top ranked cyclist on each hill. I’m not sure if I love or hate this yet. It is however making me ride harder, I’m so competitive that every time I ride up a hill I have to try and work my way up the leader board. I’ve notice that although Michael doesn’t see himself as a competitive athlete anymore, he is however King of the Hill on a few climb’s that I also use, I’m chasing him down!!
I’ve also noticed a big change in my legs, I’ve gone from skinny runners legs to wide, trouser splitting thighs! No more skinny jeans for me, I’m struggling to get into some of my clothes.
I had quite a few running plans for the back end of this year, but I’ve pretty much written those off, even if I get back running again soon, I won’t be able to get myself fit enough to do myself justice. So I guess, I’ll be happy if I’m running by November, training hard by December, get some good sessions in and then decide on my plans for next year.
I hope everyone else out there is still going well, after all there’s nothing worse than being injured.