A round trip with wonky feet

The last few days have been hard work to say the least.

Thursday started with the physio finding new muscles in my back that could cause pain when pressed. I do wonder why I keep going back! But I’m sure the fact it hurts means it must be doing some good.

Either way, it was clear that racing tomorrow was not going to happen. Whilst I can now walk with some level of competence, anything more than that causes the left side to shout up and remind me that actually it would prefer if I didn’t do that.

It has been a useful exercise in that I think we’re gradually getting to the crux of what has been the issue as the physio noted that my right side, the non-injured option, doesn’t seem to pull its weight around me, leaving the left side to do it. But more on that later.

Friday was a difficult day as it involved a 310 mile round trip to Cambridgeshire for my Father-in-Law’s funeral. Partly due to my coping mechanism and ultimately partly due to a heavy cold which I’d picked up a few days earlier it made sense not to hang around for any longer than necessary.

The drive across was uneventful, save for getting glimpses of the partial solar eclipse as I waited at the numerous roadworks as I crossed the peak district and with all the hold-ups added on, it actually took nigh on 3.5 hours to make the journey. I’ve done it in significantly less time in the past, usually late at night when the motorway is quiet. And not being dug up.

We seem to have had more than our fair share of family get-togethers for auspicious circumstances in recent years. Whilst the crematorium service was family only, it would appear the whole village turned out for the church service afterwards. I don’t think they could have shoe-horned in another person had they tried; there were extra chairs brought in, the vestry and choir stalls was full of congregation. It was a very good, and personal service and a lovely send off for him.

I’d kept myself together for most of the proceedings save for a couple of monstrous sneezes in between services but after the church event I slipped off into the graveyard to visit Mark’s grave and have a talk to him. At this point emotion did get the better of me. But if I can’t grieve there, where can I grieve?

The wake was a well behaved affair and I left early evening to retrace the drive back home, sneezing for about half of it as the cold settled in for the evening. With bonus mouth ulcers just to make the point.

Three weeks ago, when I was in Anglesey, I got a complimentary ticket for RunEXPO at EventCity in Manchester and so I thought I’d visit that today and see what it was all about. Well actually RunEXPO seemed to take up the smallest part of the floor, probably because you don’t really need any equipment to do it. BikeEXPO had expensive bikes as far as they eye could see and some of them slotted nicely into cars…..

A bike rack which comes with a handy car attachment

A bike rack which comes with a handy car attachment

I spent most of my time in these two areas as the swimming side of things I’ve done very little in recent years which has the knock-on effect of not having done a tri-athlon (although I do keep talking about having a go at a sprint tri one of these days).

Other than collecting a variety of gels and other supplements, two of the stands were of particular interest, looking at the physical act of running from a physio point of view. One was set up with a camera to record one’s running style and this possibly has identified the underlying issue to my recent injury. Whilst my right arm and leg leg move roughly as they should, it would appear that I cast my right leg out to the side and don’t extend with my left arm. We did a few tests which actually mirrored my recent physio visit anyway which confirmed that my left side is carrying me when I’m running. Quite a surprise given that it’s the side with the injury yet I’m still relying on it to pull the right side through.

The physio centres use this as a taster so you go back and have a full analysis and build up a training plan to correct the style. It’s quite expensive, although compared to several sessions with a physio anyway, it’s probably cost-effective if it reduces the risk of further injury. In the meantime, I do need to think a little more about running style – which is difficult because when I’m running the last thing I’m actually thinking about is where my legs are – that’s all been working fine (or so I thought) from about the age of 3+ years (I was a late walker).

However, just because I’ve been doing something for the best part of 4 decades doesn’t mean to say I’m doing it right……..

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