4 March 2016 0 Comments

Injury Strikes

I only have myself to blame…and Strava. 2016 had started well, I was up on my training numbers from previous years and had even started to do some mileage on the bicycle. I was aware that I probably needed to step it back for a week or so as one or two niggles had started to creep in. No matter, that could wait another week.

My plan was to run up a small hill that I hadn’t been up for a while in order to see whether I could beat my Strava time. I hadn’t run up it for a while so was confident of proving my fitness by setting a new PB. Unfortunately, the bottom of the hill was less than 5 minutes run from my front door and being time crunched I didn’t do my usual gentle stretching and plyometrics routine. Foolish.

Setting off at the start of the hill I could feel my hamstrings straining but, undeterred, I pressed on at maximum velocity. As I crested the brow I took my foot off the gas and immediately both hamstrings went into spasm. I gently jogged on for a kilometre or so but the damage was done and I pulled up lame. Racehorses have been shot for less.

A week later after much stretching ibuprofen and ice I ventured out again but it was still not right so I took the decision to stop running completely for a couple of weeks. At last it feels as though it is improving so this afternoon I thought I’d test it a little. Driving north from Southampton on the A34 as you approach Newbury you pass the prominent Iron Age hill fort called Beacon Hill. As a child, we would always stop here on our journey to the South Coast and my parents would tip 3 exuberant boys out of the car for the race to the top. I imagine I haven’t climbed Beacon Hill for 35 years. As usual the dismal weather reports of snow applied only to the North and sunshine and blue skies reigned in the South. I had a little time on my hands so pulled in to the carpark and set off.

I had already decided that I wasn’t going to run, a brisk walk would suffice. In ten minutes of breathless climbing I was over the ditches of the fort and at the trig point looking northwest towards Highclere Castle. I can’t imagine a better viewpoint in the North Downs and it was obvious why the original dwellers had chosen this place to build their home.

Fortunately, the hamstrings held out and although I can still feel the injury, I’m hoping that another week of recovery and cycling will see me running again.

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