It all goes wrong
I guess it was bound to happen eventually and things would unravel, at least to some extent. And it was this week where that happened.
The week started off on a positive sounding note. Over the weekend the Government announced a relaxation in the lockdown terms, albeit a modest one. Although as per usual the announcement was convoluted and confused the population with what was said, relying on further announcements over the forthcoming days.
Essentially the message was an intention to allow more businesses to reopen and an allowance for people to spend more time outside exercising, with the opportunity to meet up with one other person – at a distance. The opportunity to be able to travel further afield to exercise was also there, which concerned some of the more remote parts of the UK with concerns of a big influx of people (and thus virus risk) to places without the infrastructure to deal with the consequences.
Anyway, on the whole it wasn’t really going to affect me. I wrote to a few of my regular customers to confirm arrangements, but the reality is that whilst the holiday industry is still shut down, there’s no work for pet sitting companies like mine. Nor is there much demand for run coaching although in theory 1-to-1 coaching is now possible, subject to all the usual social distancing requirements.
Monday was intended to be a riding day, but I ended up going out for a gentle recovery run, bearing in mind my training volume of the previous week.
The plan was, well there’s wasn’t a plan. I headed out on my local trails and did a loop around Norbury Hollow before crossing the Middlewood Way and looking for trails I didn’t know. And it didn’t take long to disappear into the rats-nest of criss-crossing paths. Some I knew, yet I found derelict buildings in the middle of the woodland which I’m presuming were linked to the old Brickworks, but to be honest I’ve no real idea.
On the way back I bumped into another runner from the Stockport ‘Tortoises’ group and exchanged greetings and tidings having not seen any of the group (bar one) to speak to in over 2 months.
Tuesday fell into the ‘uninspired workout’ category and I did the frequented airport bypass cycleway. In all honesty it was enough to get my ‘fitness points’ on my smart watch and to get a blast of fresh air.
Wednesday was when it all went wrong. Having looked at the forecast, Thursday looked to be an amazing day to get out onto the trails. Therefore I wanted to save all my running for then. As today was the first day under the slightly-relaxed lockdown rules I had a set of client keys I needed to drop back to them and so I jumped on the bike to make that 4 mile trip.
The journey was uneventful, I caught up with the client and was away again. I decided I’d take a longer route back home to get a bit of a workout, and from Cale Green headed out through Cheadle with a view to get up to Gatley, across to Heald Green and then back home along the bypass.
Except that when I got to the A34 junction the Gatley Road was shut for roadworks and so I headed along the A34 instead. It’s a fast and normally busy road and with that in mind I decided to get onto the cycleway. Which is really a selection of badly thought out bits of pavement which stopped and started to allow traffic to join the main carriageway. At one junction I slowed ready to stop, but as I got there the lights changed. So I headed towards the road whereupon a car looked like it wasn’t going to stop at the red lights. In the end it stopped late. The problem was this distraction meant I didn’t remember to unclip and I lost my balance and fell. I remained attached to the kbike which meant that I slammed down with my right hand, elbow and hip. I knew straight away this was a much heavier fall than I’d suffered previously – yes, I have previous with falling off bikes. Unfortunately a life-long battle with balance means that 2 wheels is probably a bad idea at any time for me.
I got up and everything moved OK, despite it being very sore. A driver with me that checked I was OK (thanks!) after which I pushed the bike across the junction before getting back on and gingerly peddling my way home. The cycle-way went from ‘bad’ to ‘pathetic’ as I was basically riding on a standard pavement that, through some idiot councillor’s idea had designated as a cycleway as well (they clearly had never looked in detail as to the appropriateness of this ‘cycle lane’). It was only as I was riding I realised my elbow had been bleeding as my hand was now covered in blood from that and from the impact on the base of my thumb.
I got in, showered and realised how lucky I had been not to have broken something; I think I was saved by the fact that it happened so fast that I didn’t have a chance to try to break my fall, so the impact was evenly distributed.
It did mean my wonderful day of trail running in fab weather was written off; to be honest I wasn’t sure what damage I’d done to my hip so I wondered whether I’d be doing any more running in the short term at all.
It finished with a virtual yoga class with Paul, and whilst I was able to do a lot of it, as soon as side-planks were mentioned I realised I was going to have to sit some of it out.
Not a good day.
Despite everything hurting a lot, I slept quite well overnight. I presume that was more a response from my body to start trying to patch me up and it took a lot of energy. Actually I’ve no idea, other than the fact that my arm was agony. And my hip was agony as well. Although both seemingly only a problem when in contact with something. I could walk around OK and lift things with my right arm so I figured nothing majorly was wrong, just a battering rather than a breaking. The hip only felt swollen if I was lying down and tried to roll on that side. The elbow was just a grazed bloody mess but again no bones sticking out or swelling, so seemingly a lucky escape in the circumstances.
It’s fair to say I spent most of the day moping around. I managed to sit myself down in front of the synthesizers for a short while. Having chatted with friends on the regular YouTube livestream hosted by The Sound Test Room I’d been inspired to actually stop overthinking my music attempts and to try to put together a track for posting on soundcloud all in one afternoon. Bearing in mind I can faff around with sound patches for days without even touching the record button this was always going to be a big ask. But I amazed myself and uploaded a track which I named ‘A New Day‘. I don’t think it’s one which will be on my go-to list in the future. But then again, I thought that about Himalayan back when that was written; that was a track I recorded the audio but didn’t save the computer files, and ended up transcribing the whole performance onto manuscript paper at 2am when I realised I actually had something there……!
Track uploaded and I went back to a couple of other (old) tracks which I’d previously uploaded onto Soundcloud but was never happy with them. The first track, Drifting, is a long-standing track from 1989 which went through about 2000 iterations back in the day. The coding in the 2019 version was fine, but the sound choices were not. In the second surprise of the day, I spent about 10 minutes tweaking after which I had a result which was exactly as intended. Thank goodness for that! The old version was deleted and replaced. You can listen to it here if you wish.
Throughout the music process my mind was wondering whether I could run. Whether I should even try to? So in the end I decided that I could do a 2 mile loop around the housing estate where I’d never be too far from home if something wasn’t right. It’s fair to say there was some grumbling in my right glutes which had been squashed by me a day earlier, but it was OK. I was glad I didn’t go any further.
As my ‘exercise’ quotient was only 20 minutes and the smartwatch complains if it’s less than 30 minutes, I decided to do a bit more yoga-cum-strength-training whilst my dinner was cooking. It’s something I should be doing more of anyway, although it was somewhat one-sided in this session as I had no appetite for pushing my right side any more than I’d already done.
I had a terrible night’s sleep, with a lot of aching going on all the time I was in bed. For some reason I’d avoided pain relief until the early hours and I probably got most of my sleep done after taking that. Following a conversation with my mother I dug out my “old” work phone to send over to her; it’s fine but I replaced it with one with a camera that could take decent indoor photographs so I didn’t need to use my personal phone for work purposes as well. The net result was that I had a parcel that needed posting.
Whilst it wasn’t the stellar day I’d missed out on yesterday, it wasn’t bad so I decided to walk up to the post office with a view to staying out for a little bit longer. The leg still seemed fine with walking so again it was an opportunity to give it some gentle testing.
The walk itself went the way of many of my personal runs; I head out with a vague notion of a direction but then find trails to go and follow to see where they end up. Couple this with roadworks which prevented me going the way I wanted to once I got into Poynton and a whole new route mapped itself out for me. I followed a trail I’d seen on the map, but having not brought a map with me (I was only going to the post office!) it was a bit of a surprise when I popped out somewhere unexpected. It’s all good, even if one of the footway/cycleway signs pointed their way to a dead-end at one point.
Ultimately my 15 minute walk to the shop became an 11km trail discovery exercise. And the leg was fine. Result!
Inexplicably another Saturday had arrived. I’d not slept brilliantly but at least there didn’t seem to be any fallout from the long walk yesterday. Much of the discomfort was from the torn-up elbow and over the day I began to appreciate that I’d probably been lucky not to have broken it. As it is though, hopefully once the it scabs over and starts to heal it will improve a great deal.
There was more music to be done as well. Buoyed with my 2-track upload success in the week I sat down in AUM with a load of audit units loaded and tried to come up with something. It’s not the way I’ve worked previously but one that’s been highly recommended. After a lot of faffing (a strong point in my arsenal) I managed to coerce something together, albeit unmixed and untidy. More work required but it was a start.
After the success of the walk yesterday, I decided I would aim for a very gentle jog. The 2 miles on Thursday whilst not horrible were far from pleasant so I wanted to be able to compare to that. This meant that the route would be unchallenging and flat again.
The route I chose was a ‘cleaned up’ version of the meander I took at the start of the week before the bike fall. I followed the same path all the way to the canal, but just as I joined the tow path I ducked back into the woods and followed the full trail back to the Middlewood Way. I stayed on the main trail until the junction with Princes Incline before heading for home. It was only as I was getting towards Towers Road that the route was a little short and I was feeling fine, so I looped back on myself to add in an extra half mile or so.
I actually felt quite good. Certainly the discomfort from Thursday had subsided although I did feel at the end of today’s run that I’d done enough. More might have only left things sorer. It also took my #MilesForMind total distance to 93 miles, and so I was within 7 miles of my fundraising ‘pledge’. A target that at the start of the week I was sure I’d complete this week, but by Wednesday was questioning if I’d be able to finish it at all. Things were looking like they were getting back on track after all.
The forecast for Sunday was a bit nondescript, but on getting up it appeared to be better than expected. I hadn’t intended doing any major length run today because I figured that half the population would probably also be out. I did feel however that I wanted to get those last 7 miles recorded and had a route lined up which was based upon Friday’s long walk. As per usual, by the time I was running, the route was being altered from the word go!
The original plan had been to stay on the road to the bypass where I could pick up the trail about half a mile in. Heading into the run I completely changed tack and headed into the nearby trails instead. I figured I could cut across this way as whilst it was a greater distance it was also a bit more pleasant than the road.
I picked up a different trail to the one I’d planned. When I passed it on Thursday I hadn’t seen the footpath sign on the gate so had gone past. Ultimately it took me to a very similar place but it’s always nice to find additional nice routes. And this one wasn’t filled with people either which was also a bonus.
The route I planned took me around the edge of the old runway and under the lowest bridge I’d ever encountered. If you were 5 ft tall, you’d bang your head on it! Crazy!
As I was working my way back from Poynton I saw the watch click over to 7 miles and I knew that the #MilesForMind target was reached. So a nice bonus there.
I got home, showered and fired up the synthesizers. A bit more mixing and I unleashed the new track Geojam onto Soundcloud. Again this was more about getting a project finished than agonising over whether it needed an infinite number of additional and never-ending tweaks.
I then set out to ‘rescue’ an old project which, whilst I’d privately uploaded, I’d hated the mix too much to allow anyone else to hear it. Sundance was always a bit of an oddity when it was written 30 years ago; loads of decisions taken on it back then were all a bit weird. But at the same time it sort-of worked. For some reason, the modern take I did through NanoStudio 2 sounded OK in the DAW, but wouldn’t mix down in a pleasant way at all. Instead I exported all the tracks out, and brought them into Cubasis to try to fix this. It’s work in progress, but hopefully it should see the light of day next week!