Tag Archives: running

Take a break

As many of you may be aware, I was training to take part in the 2013 Grim Challenge when I managed to injure myself. The injury has so far stopped me running for over 6 months.

Luckily cousin Wendy still managed to do the Grim.

Luckily cousin Wendy still managed to do the Grim.

I was increasing my training pace and distance gradually so as not to injure myself when at the tail end of August 2013 I managed to hurt my leg.

I had a lovely endorphin rush whilst setting my best distance & time out running. There was a bit of a pull on my leg as I was running, but I thought nothing of it for the last two miles. I simply thought it was a slight twist or shin splint.

I got home, happy with my run, then sat down to a cup of tea.

I went to stand up and I couldn’t put any weight on it. Incredibly painful. I couldn’t even stand having it touch the floor without weight on it. In a word: PAIN.



I went straight to Accident & Emergency where I had the leg looked at. An X-Ray showed nothing to worry about, although this was 2 hours after it happened. I did asked if I should go back in a few days for another X-Ray, as a stress fracture would not show due to swelling so soon after it had happened, but the hospital staff said it was fine.

I was told it was muscular & to try and keep weight off, but keep it moving & stretching lightly during the healing period so that the muscle wouldn’t tighten up. I was given some strong anti-inflammatory pain killers.

3 weeks later I went to the doctor & said it was getting worse. He said that is expected from muscle injuries.

3 more weeks & the doctor decides this isn’t quite right after I show swelling and increased tenderness in a specific point on my tibia.  I finally go for the second X-Ray.

When the results came through there were blatantly obvious fractures. The swelling appeared to be new bone growth that was trying to heal over the fracture, but I kept re-breaking whilst following the original advice of ‘keep it moving‘.

The specialist who saw me at this time said the last thing I should be doing is moving it around or putting weight on it… Yeah, that really didn’t surprise me.

A removable cast was fitted & worn for several months to no avail. It remained very painful.


Plastic Fantastic

I went back to the specialist who agreed something wasn’t right. I had an MRI scan carried out & a few weeks later when the specialist got the results he became concerned at what could be seen on the MRI scan images.

The specialist immediately sent me for a priority ‘same day‘ CT scan. I was a little concerned as they are usually reserved for serious bone issues or tissue problems such as tumours. I didn’t think it could be a serious bone issue, after all at this point my leg had been broken for close to 6 months… not exactly an urgent life or death break… which left a nagging ‘tumour‘ thought in my mind, which I pushed almost entirely to one side.

I tell you, nothing makes you panic in a hospital like being rushed around for urgent scans by a specialist. Suddenly I longed for the hospital visits that take so long you can finish a couple of good books whilst waiting…

A few hours later and the CT results come through with good news. I was told that the dark tissue areas were nothing to worry about (the fact they hadn’t mentioned these areas before did make me think that they had thought they might be a serious problem – hence the need for a CT scan). The fracture on the other hand showed no signs of healing. It had possibly stopped healing due to initial ‘muscle’ treatment & painkillers masking the injury.

I’m now over 6 months into this broken leg and have a few options left, which aren’t really options…


Oh Snap!

I have a fixed cast on my leg that covers my foot and comes halfway over my knee. In a few days time I am starting ultrasonic treatment to try and aggravate the fracture to try and kick start the healing process. To do this they will cut a small hatch in my leg cast for me to apply the treatment each day for 20 minutes for 6 weeks.

At the end of that they will scan the leg again and if the ultrasonic treatment is not successful, they will commence with putting a titanium rod down through the top of my tibia just under the kneecap, down to the bottom by the ankle.

Basically… really, really basically… it’s this:

This CGI shows the more technically accurate version, which is oddly less graphically repulsive,


So… the challenge is to do the Grim Challenge 2014… Watch this space.

A little gift to my blog followers

The Tortoise and the Hare running specialists (see link in top of left hand column) have come up with a great deal for followers of my blog!

Expert advice comes as standard from these people that have just celebrated ten years of being in business. But besides the free advice you can now print any blog page from my blog – Sometimespace – and present that to the staff, and you’ll get 10% discount.

Yes, just print off a page from my blog and present it to The Tortoise and the Hare staff to get your discount. Don’t say I don’t do good things for the readers of this blog!

Besides having a great range of quality sports products, the team will make sure that the gear you buy specifically suits your needs.

Running shoes and Nordic poles etc, aren’t just things that fit all people perfectly, and the expert help at Tortoise and the Hare will ensure you get the right gear for you. Many sports shops are only concerned with a shoe being roughly the right size – but Tortoise and the Hare make sure it suits the way you physically walk and the shape of your foot – and unlike many main stream “sports shops” they actually get you the correct size (half sizes too), rather than trying to sell you whatever they still have in stock.

Proper gear doesn’t cost the earth either. I found that the correct running shoes for me were a lot cheaper than the “fashion” trainers that the high street sports super stores sell.

So, expert advice, great quality products (from major named manufacturers), and now 10% off. Can’t grumble at that!


Running….it’s not just a case of bunging on a pair of old trainers and heading out….unless you want to wreck yourself on the long run (pun intended).

As such, to get the most out of running you really need a Heart Rate Monitor, so you can get your heart rate into the zones which will best suit your fitness needs. More important than anything else is to get the correct footwear.

Jogging and running is high impact, and has had bad press, with people saying how bad it is for you. Different people run in different styles – some peoples feet roll outwards, inwards, land on the toe or heel… have flat feet or over pronounced arches….just to name a few issues.

It is therefore important to get the correct footwear for you, and the type of running you will be doing.

As such, JD Sports or such like, staffed by kids with no idea apart from *sniff* “this is quite good probably, because it has big bits on the bottom…” *sniff*

You need to go to a store that know what they are on about. Price may be a consideration, but don’t forget, the wrong shoes can screw you up later in life – dodgy legs, bad back…all manner of problems.

I went to “Up and Running” in Camberley.

There are branches over the UK, but I was lucky to have a very local one. The staff were very knowledgeable and helpful…and they don’t just sell you a shoe, you get a full check first.

My feet were checked – firstly it was shoes off and then I stood on some electronic gadget to figure out my foot at rest. This gives them a guide to what type of shoe they’ll start looking into for you. Next they tried various shoes on me….then put me on a treadmill for a run. A camera filmed my foot action, and from that they could see how my feet fell and rolled, and then they picked out others for me to try.

It sounds a bit much for a pair of trainers, but as they got closer to a shoe that matched my style, the treadmill run felt tighter and much more natural, so proving the importance of the selection.

£80 later I have a pair of superb Brooks Adrenaline 8’s. A bit more than I wanted to spend (by £80…!), but it will be a benefit to me in the long term, so who can put a price on that?

To make the most of all I do I also have a Polar Heart Rate Monitor “RS200 with footpod”. This has various options and training modes, as well as distance and training support… not bad for a glorified watch… On top of this, the RS200 can save training data and upload it to the internet so you can keep track of your progress.

Fitness part 2… we start again!

Today I was joined by E.J on my run. We’ve decided to (try) and do the C25K together – (or at least a programme based on the C25K). Misery loves company, after all!!

We decided on a slightly different route covering 5km, with a good 5 minute walk to get to and from the start point (to warm up). Admittedly the C25K programme says only do 20 minutes at the start, but we can’t reduce the route as it would mean crossing a lake…

As I am new to this (and have the underlying lung issue), we added an extra week to the begining of the 9 week C25K programme. We differ from the program by always covering 5km…and the extra start week…

We took our 5 minute brisk warm up walk to the start point, and then started on the route. We did 45 seconds of a reasonable paced jog, followed by 90 seconds of walking. This process was kept up for the full route. We were originally going to do a 30 second / 90 second split, but as timing would be awkward we decided on a jog pace count based on 4 steps to 1 count. 30 steps worked out as 45 seconds – surprisingly accurately at that.

The 90 second walks were timed on a wrist watch. Oddly the walking seemed to be shorter than the running…..

A week ago the both of us would never have thought that we could make the 5km, but we did well. We were so impressed at our achievement that we have started to think about running goals.

You know… next years Half Marathon doesn’t seem like a big step… and maybe a full marathon the year after. It would be great to be able to say I have run the London Marathon… but we’ll see.

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