2012 has been a little bit of a non-starter with regards to completing any race!  Now I am faced with a little quandry, my own selfish ambition to complete a race on Sunday or be with a terminally ill good friend.

I have chosen the latter as I want to personally say good bye and maybe help bring peace to those around.   Sad as it might be, accepting death helps the one who is dying to move on peacefully. We must all face death one day, it is part of life, and sometimes we must let go of those we love and turn the page to a new adventure.

God bless to you all.
 
 
In a game of hockey on Saturday, I was running down the side line and girl dropped her shoulder to try to take me out. Yes we were playing a game of hockey! Ref blew his whistle to call a foul. Later I managed to get in the shooting area, same girl took a swipe and just missed my legs. Whistle blown for a short corner.

Now this was a friendly match I thought, but this same girl later took belted the hockey ball into the air with me being directly in front of her. I was smacked on the ring finger. I did swear a lot with girl saying "sorry I didn't mean it"!

The finger was immediately iced and went into A&E. X-rays showed two bits of bone had splintered off the main bone. The sister warned me no hockey/no contact sport for eight weeks. That means out of action until end of May! BUT my legs still work, so I asked the sister if running would be okay. She asked me if I was likely to fall down as any further trauma to the finger might cause complications. I'm pretty stable I responded. So running is okay :-)  Of course I neither told her the distance nor about the tyre! I was warned that my finger will be in pain for the next couple of months.

I am a little nervous about this Sunday.......but have been icing the finger as well as putting an anti-inflammatory cream containing arnica with calendular. 3 days later, the swelling has been greatly reduced and my nurse friend has been impressed about the speed the bruising has gone down. Additionally there is very little pain, unless it is knocked. I still think the cream is a magic cream :-) Perhaps it will cure it for Sunday's run around the hills!
 
 
Yes - I know there has been a lack of activity. I have just recovered from an achilles injury and wanted to ensure it was strong before pounding the streets.  I have now been training in a pair of "minimalist shoes" and was recently told by a fellow runner, who is also a podiatrist, that those types of shoes are most likely to cause an achilles injury and that I should wear a pair of shoes with more heel support to encourage a heel strike that will help stretch out the achilles.

Just for the record - my achilles injury was caused wearing a pair of supported trail shoes on terrain that was soft snow packed. The ground continually collapsed underfoot causing the ankle to twist and turn in all directions. I was not the only one to suffer an ankle injury from the terrain. (ref: Arrowhead Ultra)

Up until 2010, I used to be a heel striker and had no end of injuries. At that time I was "wearing out my legs". Until end of 2009, I was constantly suffering from "runner's knee", and people around me were telling me I should give up running when I'd only started long distance running in 2006 with and without a tyre.  From 2006-2009, I spent time seeing the physio for shin splints, achilles pain, ITB strain and finally plantar fasciitis. Fed up of simply throwing money at my problems, that is seeing the physio and buying a different pair of "supported" shoes when injury struck, I decided to research about running techniques.

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Introducing Rec to Dr Romanov!
The one that appealed to me was Pose running. It had scientific studies and facts about what was happening biomechanically in different "poses". It became obvious why certain injuries were happening. At the end of 2009, I went to an excellent "pose clinic" with Dr Mark Hainsworth (GP and a level 4 coach) and discovered I could run injury free with or without a tyre. I also started running in sandals to free my feet. My physio was waiting for me to injured.

Injuries in 2010 - NONE! No pain, no niggles after 10 marathons

In 2011, Dr Romanov came into town. Another fantastically awesome person to meet.

Injuries in 2011 - NONE! Again no pain, no niggles after 11 marathons.

Injuries in 2012 - as indicated - one. This has been sorted out with advice from Jon Port to do eccentric stretches. I have worked hard and my ankle that suffered an achilles injury is now more stable than the other ankle (oh dear better put more work in on the other). It has taken about a month for the achilles to feel completely fine. My current challenge is to be able to do the pistol version of the one legged squat .
1st April is when this fool starts her tyre dragging marathon again :-)
 
 
With having joined so many races, it was my turn to give some volunteer time back. So volunteered to mark 30+ miles of a race. Recce-ed 95% of the route the weekend before. A relaxed cycle time took me about 4 hours to complete the distance. It thus seemed reasonable that it would take 7.5 hours in total to mark the entire route. I mean how hard could this job be?

So started at 8am, two hours before the official kick off time. Found deciding where to put up signs; trying to be discreet in towns; stressing about runners not seeing my markers; sometimes being plain comically incompetent; and the occasional justifying myself to enquiring resident locals - wasted lots of time. I was the "new girl" in a job. My first sign took me 10 minutes to do with a lack of experience in threading cable ties. I discovered one side of the cable ties do not thread. Thought they were duds initially!!! Sent a text to the RD that had only reached the ferry point at about 10:00am. 10:00am was also when the race started, the time when the RD would be sending the runners on their way!  It had taken took me 2 hours to do less than 5 miles and the runners were about 10 miles away.

At 11:00 am tried calling RD to let him know I was slow but phone told me that "calls to the number were barred!" Text didn't complain so sent him another text.

At 1:00 pm began to be overtaken by runners at Windsor! Asked the Windsor checkpoint to let the RD know I was slow. Was stressed about being overtaken by runners. So no breaks just kept on going. Gave my water to another runner at Dorney Lakes; told off by a local resident who I just politely agreed with and carried on; requested some water from Cookham checkpoint who told me to get my own water who later relented when I said I was their official marker; yelled at by another runner who thought I was taking down the markers who apologised immediately when I told him I was their official marker. At the end of my marking stint at Marlow (about 6pm) directed one runner the wrong way when he asked me if the route was over the bridge and I said I think so - the Thames Valley sign is pointing that way! Only realised 10 minutes later that I had directed him the wrong way....opps.....decided to wait for him as had no idea which direction he had taken after the bridge. He came back later and told me off for wasting 20 minutes of his time. Apologetic, after all I did empathise with his frustrations, I redirected him to where he should have gone.

I am dehydrated, tired and hungry having only eaten a slice of bread at 7am and drunken 1/2 a bottle of water. Tried to call Uncle to get a ride home from Marlow but mobile again told me "numbers were barred". Found a phone booth that wouldn't accept cash nor calling card....grrr. So cycled back 6 miles to Cookham checkpoint to see if I could either grab a ride or borrow a mobile. Had no headlamp, but fortunately I have excellent night vision so sang loudly in the dark so that folks wouldn't run into me. It was a beautiful clear night and the stars were bright. By the time I got back to Cookham checkpoint I was high on being outside on a glorious night and my fatigue had somehow disappeared. Got to finally eat something from the checkpoint's left overs of biscuits and bananas as they packed up. Uncle picked me up and got me back home by 9pm.

Feeling a little battered and disappointed that it took me 10 hours to completely mark up about 30+ miles. In that time I would have completed a 30+ mile marathon with a tyre.

I now need to go for a long run!