Monday, 29 January 2007

Sunday Pleasure

training stats
mo 01/29: rest
su 01/28: see post
sa 01/27: gym, 2 hrs, indoor bike 45min
fr 01/26: rest
th 01/25: doc

This blog was intended to be a blog about running and my training schedule on the way to my 8th London Marathon. Frequent visitors will have recognised that the diary sort of drifted away to a regular description of injuries and diseases. That is what it remains and here is another chapter.

Not being able to run I thought it would cheer me up to have a Sunday morning walk in the local wood. I would meet my running friends and although it would be sad to see them running it might still be good to have a chat.

You might suspect what happened. After 50 meters of walking I increased my speed to overtake a couple of fashionable nordic walkers. I stretched the upper body as there was a modest ascent - and suddenly I felt one of my spinal discs moving out of the place it is made for. I ignored the fact as far as I could and managed to walk for nearly one hour. The result was that for the rest of the day I was hardly able to move.

Lumbago or lower back pain is a very common case. Often it is caused by stress at work or private life. Sounds feasible to me as I had a week behind me I count as among the worst I ever had. The pain is caused by the squeezed part of the dics pressing onto the sciatic nerve. What follows are painfully tensed muscles and limited ability to move.

(photo by Wiki)

The good news is that Lumbago is no serious accident most times. I got an Epidural injection today and the doc forecasted that I would be fine again within a couple of days. The other good thing is that the pain is so dominant that I don't notice the knee meanwhile ...

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Missing Medicine

training stats
we 01/24: gym 2 hrs
tu 01/23: rest
mo 01/22: gym 2 hrs
su 01/21: slow jog 6 K
sa 01/20: gym 2 hrs, indoor bike 50 min

Finally I managed to complete the English version of my Nepal Trekking Photo Gallery. Please have a look, as long as you are interested in hill walking I hope you will enjoy it.

I am glad to have finished this work. Now I am ready to start a new project which I have been dreaming of since long. I aim to complete it until end of this year but it may take even longer. Sorry, I hesitate to tell you any details as I am afraid I might fail. I will need a lot of energy to keep it going. And this is where running gets involved.

Running usually is my medicine to help me overcome the daily life's trouble. After one hour of jogging through the local woods the world seems to be easier to get along with. Not being able to run causes self-pity enough. To make things worse it meets a period where I desperately need my medicine to cope with extraordinary issues.

Last Sunday's jog seemed to show some improvement at first. I was able to run the distance of 6 K without a single stop. I tried to change my running style slightly and put the load on the forefoot mainly. This should help to relieve the knees. But next morning I was thrown back and it hurt as bad as it did weeks ago. Therefore I will now refrain from any running for at least a week.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Forbidden Love

training stats
fr 01/19: gym 2 hrs
th 01/18: doc
we 01/17: gym 1 hr, treadmill 5 K

For an injured runner running is like a forbidden love. You know it will harm you. But you do it. You know it will be even worse afterwards. But you do it.

There is no real choice. Love is made by feeling not by thinking. You get advice, you have your own bad experiences. All the same you still do it. And again.
The desperate attempt on the treadmill did not show any improvement. The knee brace seemed to put too much pressure on the knee cap, so I took it off. Only with a number of stops and walking I was able to complete 5 K. And it was worse afterwards ...

I tried to set up a schedule for building up the mileage until the London Marathon, starting mid of February when I will be back from a holiday on the Canary Islands. Suddenly I had to realise how little time is left. It is the third time in a row that my London start is in danger. The previous two cases were successfull by a narrow escape. This time it will get very close ...

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Power Man

training stats
tu 01/16: gym 2hrs
mo 01/15: OUTdoor biking, 69K, 3:20 hrs
so 01/14: easy jog, 6 K, 35 min

Went out for a jog on Sunday morning but I refuse to call it a success. Well, compared to the previous Sunday there was some improvement. It was not after 2 minutes but after 20 minutes when the pain started this time. Forecasted by this rate I should be able to run 200 minutes next Sunday.

However, after all the frequent gym training during recent weeks I felt so strong and full of power I would have loved to jump through the woods for 200 minutes already. Alas - it was not possible. Only with the help of several stops and a bit of walking I was able to complete the 6 K.

I don't really enjoy training with weights but at least it let you get the feeling of being active. Will try the treadmill for a 5K tomorrow.

Now I look forward to receiving the 2nd injection. As Hyaluronan is not a pain killer but sort of "food" for the suffering cartilage it takes some time till any recovery will appear hopefully.

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Therapy started

training stats
sa 01/13: gym, indoor bike 45 min
fr 01/12: gym, treadmill 2K
th 01/11: doc, first injection
we 01/10: gym, indoor bike 30 min

Three X-rays were taken to confirm the well-known diagnosis: chondromalacia patellae, runner's knee. The good news is that the joint looks fine, the bones are not affected, it is just the cartilage that bothers me.

The treatment is just like already described. I get injections into the knee with Hyaluronan, once a week, five overall.

Accompanying therapies are weight training, icing, taking aminoglucose. I have already been practising this for weeks.

What really annoys me is the knee's behaviour. No pain when walking stairs up and down, no pain when weight training, no pain when biking, no pain all day. I have only have to start running and after a couple of hundred yards the bloody knee hurts.

In the depth of a cupboard I found a Genutrain knee support brace which I used years ago. It might help again now. And I will substitute my new orthotics with old ones to see if this is another reason for the trouble.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

102 days to go

training stats
tu 01/09: gym, indoor bike 60 min (oh, boring!)
mo 01/08: gym, indoor bike 30 min

102 days until London Marathon race day! Time to set up the training schedule. But how should I? I can't even jog for half an hour now.

I was happy to get through to the Doc yesterday. It was his first day of business after Christmas holidays. He confirmed my diagnosis: It's a damage of the cartilage at the backside of the kneecap (
chondromalacia patellae, runner's knee).

Number One treatment at Wiki says:
"Avoiding sports or activities suspected of causing the injury until recovered."

And how about my training schedule for the remaining 102 days? Indoor biking is the most boring activity I know. My only motivation while doing it for 60 minutes is repeating my mantra: "It's for the London". The only thing I know is: I desperately want to run this marathon on April 22, even if it was my very last run.

What really let me get upset: I have to wait until Thursday to get x-rays and the treatment started. This is a pity especially as I know the treatment will be nothing else than injections of Hyaluronan. I should have asked the Doc to start it immediately.

The picture shows the cartilage at the back of the kneecap as a thin white cover. The pressure between kneecap and thigh bone is highest when the joint is bent to an angle of 90°.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Sunday Desaster

Training stats
Su 01/07: easy jog, 6.5K, 39 min

I really looked forward to running in nature for the first time in 3 weeks this morning but it all ended in a sort of desaster. It was only after a couple of hundred yards that the bloody knee started to hurt. I stopped and did some stretching which helped for a while. With a second stop I managed to complete a mere 6.5K of running more or less.

The day's result was that the knee still claimed to be part of my body and hurt all day! OK, I am old enough to know that there are more important and sometimes more satisfying activities than running. But moving through the woods was still the job most easily available to me as one can do it on their own when ever needed. Oh gals, I miss it.

I wore this kind of bandage but it didn't help.

Will phone the doctor tomorrow to ask for a series of injections to feed the patella's cartilage. But even this will take some time to recover and get back to the roads.

Friday, 5 January 2007

Indoor Sports

training stats
tu 01/02: gym, indoor bike 40 min
we 01/03: gym, indoor bike 60 min, treadmill 1.0K
th 01/04: gym, indoor bike 45 min, treadmill 2.5K
fr 01/05: gym, indoor bike 40 min, treadmill 1.5K

Due to various injuries, 2006 saw my lowest mileage since 1998:

Nevertheless I achieved some fairly good results, at least when looking at the age graded figures. With an average monthly mileage of 128K (80 miles) I managed to run my 4th fastest marathon (of 16) and the 2nd fastest half marathon (of 19). This result proves that one can keep the performance level for a good while without proper training. But I am sure this will not work for another season.

Sadly the new year is starting like the one gone ended. All my knee allows is to bike easily. I tried some steps on the treadmill after more than 2 weeks without running but the feeling is not very promising. At least the gym sessions and bike workouts let me feel staying active. You should see me sweating like a pig when sitting on the indoor bike.

Monday, 1 January 2007

Life without running is like ...

The thoughts' Occasion: Runners' Knee.

... living with your handbrakes on.

... feeling hungry at night and finding the fridge empty.

... looking forward to your first date since long and nobody turns up.

... staying on a mountain hut with the clouds down forever.

... being run out of light blue tablets at the wrong moment (senior male runners version).

... dreaming of wild nature while imprisoned.