The best thing that happened to me this week, including being able to run again, was seeing the Space Station and Shuttle chasing each other through the night sky. Thanks to James (oldest son) who alterted me to this event.

No binoculars needed, there they were, two bright lights at 21 degrees above the horizon, (James tells me they would have been directly overhead if you were in Spain).

My love of things “spacey” started with Dr. Who’s first episode and continued with Star Trek in the ’60s.  The highlight, being able to watch the Moon landings live  on the TV in 1969.  I was the only member of the household to stay up all night watching the flickering images – it was mesmerising!

Times have moved on though,  last week Christian (middle son) sent me a Tweet he’s following, it was from the Space Station. Images of the earth, which moved early space warriors to tears, are flying to our mobiles with ease.  I am never surprised by technology’s gadgetry,  Clarke & Roddenberry and their ilk  always seem to have been  there first!  But  it’s still special to follow people clever enough and brave enough to lead us out into the stars.

Ironic then that I’m so enthusiastic about technology when my latest project involves the biomechanics of movement in the ageing body,  on long runs I just wish Scotty would beam me up!

1 month 6 days, 23 hours to go       don’t forget  CLDF need our help as much as I need Scotty’s

I am pleased to report that I went for my first run since I went lame on 11th Feb – a dark day.  Everything worked and I didn’t feel tired or more damaged – I did plunge into a cold bath on my return (just in case).

The leg is still sore, but in a different place and having spent most of last night sitting on a tennis ball, much to my husband’s amusement, I am not sure if the muscle is still aching due to the tear or suffering from sever bruising following excessive massage and ball sitting!

These have been desperate times.  My left leg  seized up, I’ve had a cold – just as I was doing so well  – it was not condusive to a peak performance.

I went to the gym on Wednesday and did the first treadmill fartlek for a couple of weeks. Heart and lungs fine, leg rubbish.   Massimo who was also looking peaky put me on the tortuous adductor and abductor machines.  Almost stopped me talking – but not quite.

I was silenced when attempting to balance on the Bosu ball.  Standing on one foot really works the core muscles as this jolly tribe demonstrate.  Well actually they don’t as the Bosu is inverted for the balancing trick and you stand on the black platform!

I needed a good workout and felt much more positive and when the sun came out today, I knew it was time to start running again. I adoped the ultra marathon running technique of tiny fast steps and very little body movement with a good upright posture and it worked for me. So it’s more core muscle exercises so that I can keep bolt upright for 5 hours.  Not long now…

Went for a PT session with Massimo today.  As my leg is almost healed, but not quite, we worked on upper body.

I didn’t think I had so many muscles in my upper body but we found them all! Cant wait to start running again (a phrase I would not usually utter).

When I came to eat my sandwich at lunchtime, my had wasn’t quite shaking, more of an oscillation.

BACK TO FEET

5 fingers running shoes

I now have a wonderful set of “Five Fingers” which, despite the name, are running shoes.  However, although I will be wearing them for running, I wont be running the Marathon in them.   I have been told that it takes the feet a few months to get used to the change of footwear.

In the meantime, I’m working them in around the house -  the dog thinks they are alien invaders and lies in wait.  All I need now is to trip over the  “attack” dog so am very wary – of course these shoes are so light that I will probably be leaping tall buildings shortly.

or are the models used to advertise Stannah stairlifts, getting younger?   Or could it be that I am getting nearer in age to that particular demographic?   I ask this question as I’m still limping and have too much time on my hands.  Having undertaken a stress test, Massimo has suggested that I don’t run in tomorrow’s half-marathon.

I was almost in tears when I realised that my hamstring hadn’t healed. As Massimo pointed out, I could run and would probably do further damage and not make the Marathon, so missing this event and giving myself time to heal is sensible.

To think, six months ago I would have been thrilled at the news that I was unable to run a race but now, although I still hate the “run”, part of me enjoys the end result and the immense feeling of achievement I’m getting every time I survive one.  I even hate to admit that I almost look forward to run days and am feeling really frustrated that I am once more sedentary and having to spend most of my exercise time “stretching”.

FEET :

Also, I’ve read another book  and am now going everywhere barefoot (around the house).   My feet used to be 4 1/2  now I wear size 5.   According to my interpretation of the book it means the muscles in my foot have relaxed after years of being encased in shoes.    If you put a leg in plaster for weeks, the muscles atrophy so does it follow that if we encase our feet in shoes, we limit the natural movement of muscles in and around the feet?  I understand that many of the great runners undertake some training barefoot.  However, this aspiring ageing athlete will not be running on any pavement in bare feet (have you seen the state of them post snow and ice,  let alone what people allow their dogs to leave behind?)

2010 Childrens Liver Disease Foundation marathon runners

2010 Childrens Liver Disease Foundation marathon runners

A reversed route and near slip into the “splash” Fulmer’s ford, got the run off to a shaky start.  For once, although dull, the weather was mild and I flew (for me) round the back of Pinewood but after an hour my glute was agony.  I was halfway out, I had to keep going – I’ve had three children, I can stand pain….

That’s all very well but by Saturday, despite sitting in a freezing bath, I was very depressed as I could hardly walk and thought I’d never run again.  I stretch, took ibuprofen, moped and realised that I would be devastated if I couldn’t make the marathon.

On Sunday I stretched, walked, moped, took pills and the muscles didn’t feel quite so bad so tried to be positive.

I’d booked a massage on Monday which helped.  I had a PT session with Massimo, we did super stretching, concentrated on the upper body strength exercises and discussed a plan for Sunday’s half-marathon.  I want to run it as a practice event but  want to get my leg properly healed before I run hills again.

Massimo has booked me in for a fitness test on Friday and we’ll decide then if I’m going to run.  I’ve got 4 days, fingers crossed.

Depressed of GX : -(

I hurt myself last Monday and I was hoping that the muscles would repair for the weekly long run, so having done nothing all week, I thought I’d better go out for a shortish run before the two hours.  Mistake.  I chose a hilly short route and it didn’t help.

NOTE TO SELF:  Don’t leave new Camelbak on table unless you’ve checkd the headphones aren’t dangling. (found dog just about to eat swinging headphone. I wiped it off, but water got into it and it gurgled all the way round)

It was great that it wasn’t as cold as it has been but the headwind was incredible and gusty.  However, I enjoyed the run (as much as being exhausted is enjoyable) and did not eat on the way round, just started hydration at 1hr 10mins and felt fine.

Some experts suggest you start taking on gels/carbs after and hour’s run, others say wait till the body has used it’s resources then add carbs (obviously in training mode – not on the day).   I felt Ok when I finished and wasn’t staggering so hadn’t overstressed.

I did have a massage booked in the afternoon which saved  very tight quads/hamstrings – thanks to Rachel for the reviver..  I was tired in the evening but felt it was OK.

I repeated my Bulsrode Park run 5.27 miles yesterday and knocked three minutes off last week’s time.  Instead of coasting I forced myself to run up the hills and inclines and didn’t feel overly tired when I got back but quite stiff by evening.   I also stopped eating at around 5pm the day before so slept better and had more energy.  Gosh!

I think it was the hardest workout Massimo has put me through so far and I was overjoyed to be able to make it downstairs to the changing room (small steps)  The hampster wheel was going nineteen to the dozen and I was working hard enough to stop me talking which is something I think Massimo relishes!

Was out for 1hr 50mins, felt quite jolly apart from a slight stomach problem (almost a Paula).  I don’t think a large bowl of porridge 2hrs before a run is the way to go! Feel lmuch better than I did last week, not tired even though it was cold again.

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