The Middle Ground

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  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Yes, a very easy week this week, Muss...in more ways than one!

    Saw a neurologist last Thursday; quite a bit of running talk since he runs for my club, although until the appointment we weren't anything more than nodding acquaintances. Part of his report  below:
    "I acknowledge that the MR head scan was normal but I would be reassured if the patient undergoes a CT venogram for reassurance in that we are not overlooking any sinus venous thrombosis. 
    I would like to point out that the clinical symptoms are not pointing towards an SVT which as you will know has been widely discussed in the media recently as a possible side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccination. However, I think we should check this for reassurance and then decide further."
    So a CT venogram on Thursday this week. I general am feeling much better and spent the weekend replacing a fence and treating it to another lick of paint.

    Just under 22 very slow kms last week, following up the even slower just under 17 last week. HR is too high for the effort, and pace is slow. 

    I had decided not to run with my M76 friend this morning as I didn't know what time I would be available as I wanted to go to B&Q early. got back, put kit on and went out of the door...just as M76 was passing. Totally by chance as it wasn't his usual time and he is very much a creature of habit! Anyway joined him for a couple of kms chat before returning solo. 4.52km completed, the longest run so far. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Hi all,

    Next physio appointment is tomorrow, so I'll see how that goes and raise the issue of a scan.

    In the meantime, I managed 12.5 miles last week, including a 4 mile run yesterday which came in at a HR below 150 which shows some aerobic progress anyway. Building it up slowly but surely. 

    Sounds like Thursday should at least help to rule something out then Alehouse, I hope. Glad to hear you are gradually getting back to the running and feeling a little better.

    DT - good luck with the jab! I've also had a slightly excessive few days this weekend - the good weather does tend to lead to a bit more food and alcohol being consumed!

    Muss - good advice there from DT about being properly prepared for race day. And after his last race performance, he knows what he's talking about!
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    So the physio said a private scan will probably cost £1000 at least (as you need to pay for consultant meetings too) and NHS may take a year! A real great choice then!

    Anyway, he’s going to try a combination of shock wave treatment on the injury, together with the exercise routine, but no running, for a few weeks to see if this approach works. First shock wave was today, uncomfortable but hopefully worthwhile.

    In the meantime I’m going to try and get into the NHS ‘system’ for a scan and keep the whole situation under review.

    So 3 miles last night will be my last run for a while.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Are you playing cricket at present, AD? Re scans, I have managed to get a couple of last minute cancellations recently simply by telling them that if anything comes up at short notice I'll be there. 

    Gentle 3 km off road today. Being cautious. But feeling considerably better. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Glad you're feeling better Alehouse. A 22km week is a long way from 40+ days of not running. Your body has had a lot of stresses on it recently - it's not surprising that your pace/effort levels are reflecting that. Make sure you get plenty of time for quality rest that you can properly enjoy, rather than the enforced and begrudgingly taken kind!

    AD - I know a few friends that have taken up private medical cover for that very reason. Do you have a bike you can get out on in the mean time?


  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Thanks, Muss! And hope that you are having a quiet week!

    5.25k to report, off road although it is very dry. And bitterly cold. Back in winter gear. Longest run since Feb 1st. At least it looks like I could manage to get round a parkrun is there were one on Saturday!

    Easy run tomorrow before the scan. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    6km yesterday, 7km today, HR very low both days but the pace came out decent today despite the gales! The local routes where I'm staying here in Suffolk are great, and very flat. 

    Work is absolutely knocking me out this week - lesson learned about choosing races. It's a worst of both worlds situation - tapering is leaving me feeling like I have a lot of pent up energy and no release as some personal issues are really driving me up the wall. But mentally I'm pretty exhausted despite feeling very good physically.

    I managed two nights off the sauce, but had a couple of pints tonight, and I think tomorrow will demand a certain level of celebration, too, as it's been a big project that's been a long while in the planning.

    Saturday could be pretty breezy.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    AD- Yes, you certainly won't be a priority on the NHS for an MRI. If you look hard enough you can find some pretty cheap mri's that don't require a consultant. I have Bupa through work which has proven useful. I'd almost say useful enough that if I didn't i'd pay privately for it.

    Keep it steady, Muss. Don't undo the very good work you have done.

    Things appear to be on the up for you there, Alehouse, good stuff.

    Still in that recovery phase a bit so building miles back up. Did my first session Tuesday, just 4 x 1k off 2 min jog. Covered about 3.3m at 6.14mm in total.

    Progress has been halted a bit this week around this mornings covid jab. Lewis didn't want to take any chances as we don't need to right now so an easy 5m this morning pre jab, rest day tomorrow then easy 4m Saturday. After that I should be good. Just making sure I keep fluids up today and paracetamol every 4 hours as advised.

    My whitson holiday to Lanzaorote cancelled yesterday, which was disappointing, however it has now allowed me to firm up my key races for much of the year-

    20 May- 10k

    30th may- Half mara on Chepstow race course.

    25th July- 20m race at Bedford autodrome (Plan I to run this at 2.49 pace as I plan to run London- It is timed well as 2 days later I go on a 10 day holiday and being 9 weeks out from London I can afford  to go a bit harder than I usually would in a 20).

    Last weekend in August or first in Sept- Main target half to go sub 80 (Don't quite see me being in peak shape end of May).

    03 Oct- London.

    That then leaves some scope for some lower key 10k and parkruns over summer etc.

  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Sounds like a decent little schedule planned there DT.

    My knee actually feels considerably better since my physio treatment on Tuesday. No running since Monday. Got another physio scheduled for next Monday for some more shock wave treatment.

    Littlest child just thrown up all over the place, so I’m really hoping not to catch whatever bug caused it! 
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Go well, Muss

    Cricket, AD

    Would like to see a couple of 5ks in there DT! Time that that PB was substantially revised!

    CT veno scan yesterday: not been well since! Had a few days without a headache or the tingling sensation; since injecting a contrast dye into me the headache and tingling have returned. All very strange. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    1:33:52 on the watch. More later.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Sounds pretty decent, Muss! Looking forward to the report!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭

    The taper

    As you may have gathered, the taper was pretty far from ideal. Much of it was spent away from home and working quite intensely. The race was hastily chosen, so I knew this was a potential issue when I entered. Just how much of an issue couldn't really have been foreseen, in fairness. At the time, I thought it would be perfect as I'd start tapering just as work got intense. In practise - I would have needed an easy couple of weeks even without a race at the end! This has been the most stressful and most significant project in my professional career so far, and the mental and emotional fatigue it brought was completely unprecedented. By the time we'd finished everything off, I instantly broke into tears - something I've never experienced. I was also getting overtraining symptoms of elevated resting HR, trouble sleeping etc. on rest days. As such, there was no way that I wasn't going to celebrate with my colleagues following completing. I didn't overdo it, but still slept very badly woke up the day before the race feeling awful. Sleep wasn't any better before race day either.


    The course

    13x 1 mile loop. Total elevation profile looked pretty flat when I entered, but most of the climbing was in one pretty brutal segment, which also seemed to coincide with the windiest part of the course, which really picked up half way through.


    The race

    Wave 1 of the half marathon had 74 runners, and we lined up in rough estimated finish times. Once the gun went off, we just trickled through one by one while trying to keep 2 cones apart. So I only had to wait 59 secs before crossing the start line. The 10mile runners were already out there racing, so there were quite a few on the course already.


    I was around some faster runners, and got sucked along with them for a bit before I decided to rein it back in and try and stick to my strategy. But km 1 came out in at 4:21, and km 2 in 4:11, and HR was around 140s and 150s for those respectively. At this point I thought "I'm already abandoning my strategy, and it's coming out quite easy, so let's go all in!". From here on, 4:16, 4:17, 4:14, 4:18, 4:17, 4:13, 4:15, 4:13 to bring me to 42:34 for 10km. I took my gel at this point, and it was around here that I stopped feeling comfortable. It wasn't because of the gel, it was just because I'd gone out too hard. For a few km, a group had formed around me, a man in a red singlet and a lady in a blue and yellow one. We were all ticking along at the same rhythm, and by now the course was busier so there were plenty of people to chase. I was just trying to stick with them, but as the wind was really picked up, and every time going up the steep uphill got harder. Eventually I decided to let them go on ahead, and backed off to 4:20, 4:22, 4:24, 4:32, 4:32, 4:20, 4:34, 4:27. Somewhere in there, blue and yellow singlet came back into view, and I went past her. A few minutes later, I passed red singlet on the uphill section. I wasn't the only one that had bonked!


    By now, my hips were really feeling tired, I was feeling something in my left glute, and my legs just felt like lead. Km 19 went by in 4:34. On to the last lap. 13 times is a lot of times to do a loop, not that I was noticing the scenery, but psychologically I was finding it tough. I practically slowed to a walk up the uphill section - so km 20 came in at 4:58. Picked myself up for 4:24 km 21, but couldn't manage an uphill sprint for the .1


    If you'd told me before the race that I'd finish in 1:33:50 (chip time), achieving a 42:30 10km along the way, I would have been delighted. I would have loved to do that faster 10km in the second half, but it wasn't to be. I am a little disappointed at bonking, but it's my first race, and first half marathon all in, so I know that's a ridiculous thing to say! I don't know if I would have managed those splits the other way around, for instance. 


    I came in 38th of 202, 1 minutes 30 behind 37th, and with a few of people coming in shortly after me. Winning time was 1:12:28, only 5 managed sub 80, the poor guy in 6th clocked 1:20:01.


    Average HR was 176, with HR max coming out at 201. 


    I crossed the finish line with two guys who seemed very chilled after finishing the 10km race in 34:xx. Looking at the results, they must have been the first two finishers, which made their modesty and calmness all the more impressive!


    An entry in my calendar reminds me that Monday marks 20 weeks to go til Brighton. There's no question that I'll start building again until I've had at least a couple of easier weeks. But until then I'd like to spend a little more time in the pool and on the bike.

  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Great report, Muss! In the cold light of day I would like to see WWW/EBI! What went well/even better if: three things for each!

    PS Traditionally if you run 1:33.50 it would be described as 93:50! Only when you get to 100 minutes is it written as 1:40 (power of 10 etc use that format). Sounds so much better! 

    Great first race! As you say an easy time for a week or so then back to it!

    Around 30 minutes here this morning, very slowly having bumped into an injured friend! Suited us both!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    How are the legs today, Muss?

    Just under 24k for the week to back up the last two weeks of around 17 then 22. Not rushing!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Quads and groin muscles are pretty banged up - eccentric loading when lowering into sitting or going down the stairs is sore. Nothing more than heavy DOMS, though. My posterior chain seems to have fared better. Also, my obliques are pretty sore. I guess that shows some potential weaknesses to address. I was planning on going for a gentle swim today, but couldn't get a slot, so settled for a longish walk instead, which was fine.

    As far as WWW/EBI, I think even the negative things have to be taken as a positive, as I wouldn't have learned the lesson without the experience!

    WWW
    -consistent training
    -sub 95, which was my main goal
    -didn't completely bomb in the 2nd half, and it took all my mental strength just to finish, to be honest. I'm pretty proud of that.

    EBI
    -don't get greedy/stick to the strategy
    -I brought 3 gels with me to the race, but stupidly only put one in my belt. I have no idea if I would have performed any better taking a gel at 30mins and 60mins rather than just at 45mins, but I was certainly feeling pretty depleted by the end, and it may have helped recovery if nothing else if I'd taken on some extra calories
    -Get kit sorted out the night before! I'd heard and read that advice, but just thought it wouldn't be an issue. I ended up leaving home about 15 minutes later than I intended, and had a nervous wait for the loo before the race as a result!
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Glad you're continuing to make progress. Have the headache and tingling settled down since the scan?
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    edited April 25
    I like the analysis, Muss! Yes, you only learn from mistakes/what you could have done better! Am glad that you are struggling today: obviously didn't leave much out there. 

    I would suggest that you work on the non-running aspects in particular, eg the glutes. Protect yourself from potential injuries.

    And no, the headache and tingling have not settled; in fact I have just emailed the consultant's secretary. 
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss, I think that's a very good performance for a first half. The first go at most distances rarely yield the best possible outcome  and you now have things you know you can work on and improve that time even if you didn't get fitter.

    There's not much any of us can do about real life not playing ball in the build up to a race sadly, it is what it is.

    In terms of a few points you raise-

    1. Kit prep- Yes if I am needing to be up and about early I make sure every possible step I can take the night before is taken, to then extent of putting water in kettle and a cup with a t-bag on the side ready to go.

    2. Gels, I don't take gels in a half, I think if you are running them around 90 mins or less you don't need them and they have scope to mess with the tummy.

    3. Suffering- I tend to find that about 3 miles in I am already hurting and wondering how I will cling in. It isn't meant to be a pleasant 8 miles or so first of all, which leads on to my next point-

    4. My average hr in a half (looking at my last half) is 174 and my max was 181 so I am working possibly at a higher intensity for  much longer if yours can max out at 206.

    Just some food for thought. The good thing now is that you have a recent race in which to set your training paces up around as opposed to speculating.

    Alehouse, sorry to hear things have gone the wrong way again.Hopefully you'll get a quick response from the consultant.

    I was a bit groggy Thursday night and Friday following my jab but fine by Saturday. Few easy runs around my jab then yesterday was 10m with 3 easy, 3 steady and 3 at mp then 1 easy. Something like that a month ago wouldn't have touched the sides, however I felt a bit tired yesterday afternoon from it.

  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Muss - great performance for a first HM. You must be pleased? I can't recall if you said you have any other races in the pipeline or not?

    Alehouse - let's hope you can finally get to the bottom of what has been causing your issues.

    DT - it will soon come back I'm sure.

    I've had a quiet week here, with no running (as enforced by physio) but have done my S&C routine twice in the last 4 days. The knee feels significantly better since the physio session last week - it will be nice to go back to him today and to be able to report back positively! Hoping another shock wave treatment today will help some more and that I might possibly be allowed to start light running again soon. First cricket match on Saturday coming too - hoping the recent dry spell of weather holds up!

    I see 44 year olds can now get the jab - only a few year groups left to work through before me and my wife get the opportunity to get it. Hoping to have got it by end of May.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Alehouse and DT - Thanks  for all the input along the way. 

    Alehouse - how frustrating that something that was supposed to help you get to the root of things has flared it up again. Still, at least you can run again. 

    DT - lots to think about there. The main thing is, I have an entirely different sense of what the half marathon distance feels like now.

    Who knows how much of that tiredness is vaccine related and how much is just shaking off the rust. 

    AD - glad to hear things are improving with your knee, and that you're starting cricket again soon. 

    So far, I have Brighton Marathon in September, and I'll look to give the first Parkrun back a very good go. In between those, I'll look for a 10k or two and another half, although those will be in the peak of summer, so the thought of that is grim...
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Got the results of my CT venogram scan. Nothing of note so still no wiser about why I have a tingling head and an almost constant headache...and whether I should have my second Covid jab.

    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Fingers crossed another session will sort it, AD. I can't help but think that the nature of running that cricket involves won't be comfortable for it?

    Alehouse- I guess on the one hand, nothing of note coming back was the desired outcome, however it now leaves you again without an explanation. What's the next step?

    Further to your previous comment re 5k races, yes I think i'll plan to try and get a coupled of decent parkruns in once it has returned and settled down or even an actual 5k race given my pb isn't even sub 20.i  just never saw the point of paying for a 5k when parkrun kicked off.

    Muss, the date of Brighton is slightly awkward re tune up races as ideally you'd want to attack a half 4-5 weeks out which puts you in early August. Also, there's still a  degree of doubt whether these big races will happen so have you spied a back up plan I.E one of the covid safe, private land races like Dorney? Possibly worth having in mind as it's one thing to have to spurn half training, but mara training is a big thing to not follow to the end.

    As I said above, the good thing now is you have a set of paces you can calculate for training, you can even extrapolate some from the time you went through 10k and taking some off to reflect it was within a half.

    Did my first s and c session last night post mara. I have been doing these since last September and not felt any soreness, however, having had 4 weeks off them, my glutes are on fire today. At least I know they are effective!

    out over lunch for 5 x 1m off 2 mins float recovery. The return of some proper sessions.

  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    DT - regularly runs 10k in training sub 40, barely missed out on sub 80 for half, but hasn't broken 20 for 5k  :D

    In terms of paying for a 5k, I realise they represent the poorest value for money. But:
    -measured course
    -psychological benefit of having an event to get yourself up for
    -particularly at the sharper end, more people to run with. With parkruns, you're relying on who is turning up on the day, and how they're going to run them, and if you're trying to make those things coincide with peak fitness, my guess is that you're better off with a paid for event. 

    JD is very keen on including 5k and shorter distances in training for the neuromuscular/form benefits. If you give those distances the work that you've put in over the longer ones, you could see improvements across the board.

    Easy swim for me today with some leg drills interspersed throughout. That, and three nights of top notch sleep seems to have sorted my legs out. I'll try out a short easy run tomorrow.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Muss, yes I do feel that one of the reasons by parkrun time isn't great is that I am not invested in it and when it starts hurting it's easy to think 'there's always next week'.

    Decent session over lunch, though came a bit harder than they felt in March. 5 x 1m off 2m float, came out just over 6m at 6.07mm, reps came in 5.47, 5.43, 5.44, 5.47 and 5.47. I was a bit disappointed by the perceived effort, however that's my first session in some 4-5 weeks and comparing it back to mid March there's not much in the respective HR's and paces were virtually identical so it may just be that I am not as finely tuned to ignore the suffering a I was then.

  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    edited April 29
    AD - how did it go with the physio?

    6km yesterday for 139bpm average HR and 7.5km today at 146bpm. Effort levels felt very similar, but today was marginally faster and hillier. 

    Stumbled on this good ankle strength/mobility routine recently, thought it might be of interest: 
    https://youtu.be/QV-x1tK7U4w
    I'll try it out a few times a week and see what happens - it definitely feels quite good having done it a couple of times. I'm sure some elements will be very familiar to everyone, but there's some good stuff in there that I've never come across before.
  • Andrew_DAndrew_D ✭✭✭
    Physio went ok thanks - he worked right on the sore spot more than the previous time so it was more painful and took an extra 24 hours to get over, but since Thursday it has felt pretty good.

    No running still, but I managed 8 overs at cricket on Saturday without any issues at all. We even won too! Celebratory (outdoor) drinks afterwards tasted good!

    Got another session tomorrow with the physio- he then wants to give it two weeks before the next session of the shock wave treatment. 

    Hoping to get the green light to start some tentative running soon.

    Hope you’ve all had a good weekend?
  • alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Sounds good, AD...the cricket at least! And afterwards!

    6.32 k this morning is the furthest since Feb 1st. Got it in before the rain: has been torrential all day and most outdoor hospitality has apparently closed. 

    Thanks for the link, Muss: about to look at it!
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
  • mussesseinmussessein ✭✭✭
    Well done on the cricket AD, and good news that it hasn't flared anything up.

    I'm glad you appear to be getting to the other side of this thing ale. Are you still effected by the dizziness etc.?

    7.5km for me this morning despite some pretty strong winds - it didn't really effect things too much so was actually quite fun in a way. 

    I only ran 35km last week, and really had to drag myself out for 13km on Sunday, but I think once I get going again the motivation levels will bounce back.

    I have managed 5km of swimming, however. I thought any loss of technique over the last year or so would be offset by a significant improvement in aerobic fitness. But my 1km PB is around 19:30, and that feels a long way off - 1km took me 23 mins the other day, and currently I'm struggling to even hold 2:00mins/100m for 100m. Having said that, I did that faster time in a deep 50m pool, and I'm only able to swim in a shallow 25m at the moment. I'm keen to keep it up, though, I think it's a very good complement to my running and seems to really help with recovery.
  • DT19DT19 ✭✭✭

    Andrew, good to hear the cricket didn't affect things. Hopefully this bout of physio will get you across the lane.

    Alehouse, yesterday was awful. We were up in Salford visiting family (we booked some scooter/skateboard indoor centre to allow us to meet up as sitting in gardens wasn't going to be possible) and it poured down all day and much the same here when back. So much so I got back just in time for spin and then decided to move my 4m recovery to my rest day on Saturday. Glad to hear things are moving along for you.

    Muss, I would imagine (not being a swimmer) that there is a very specific strength and fitness involved and when that comes back, you'll be fitter than before as your general aerobic condition is better.

    Nothing of note last week following the mile reps and came in at 38m for week and slowly increasing the long run to   12.5.

    Decent session lunchtime today of 8 x 1k off 90s slow jog. Reps came in 3.33, 3.33, 3.29, 3.28, 3.32, 3.28, 3.26 and 3.36 giving me bang on 10k in 38.48. I was a bit annoyed by the last rep, however I was leaving my loop and it was entirely directly into the wind whereas the others had enjoyed a bit of everything. Decent sharpener for my 10k in 16d days though.

    Few easy days now and then a 6m tempo on Friday.

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