Monday, 29 April 2013

Injury update

The injury saga continues…

Following Osteopath Helen’s advice, I headed back to A&E this morning to get another x-ray done on the ankle. Helen was convinced all was not right with the ankle bone, and did not want to do too much extensive Physio before we were 100% sure nothing sinister was going on.
Lo and behold, she was right! This time the X-ray showed a small piece of bone (see circled above) that had come away probably from the fall and the ligament damage. Although it could well be where I tried to run on it again a couple of weeks ago as the original X-ray which I saw this morning showed no bone damage.
It’s possible of course that I had a work experience Radiologist on the original day and they actually took a photo of my arm!!!
Anyway it is what it is now, and 7 weeks on, I can’t turn back time although I would be a lot further ahead with my rehab.
I need to go to the Fracture clinic on Friday for further assessment. All I can do now is rest till then and see where this takes me.
I can’t even start cross training till I have spoken to the consultants, so it’s another week lost in fitness.
On a positive note, I would like to thank all the Twitter running community who sent well-wishing tweets this morning. It was uplifting to have the support from you all.
This one from @StevieRun71 made me chuckle…


Saturday, 27 April 2013

God gave us 2 legs not 2 wheels!

So I finally stopped moping around feeling sorry for myself with my ankle and decided to do some cross training and that meant getting out the dreaded bike!!!

My bike lives in the garage
People who know me or follow me on Twitter will know I absolutely hate cycling! I strongly believe God gave us two legs to run with and not two wheels!!!

With running, you only have to move yourself, cycling means moving yourself and a big chunk of metal at the same time!

I've had the same bike now for about 15 years, I don't like the bike, the bike doesn't like me, but we've been together so long that we put up with each other and occasionally go out with each other (sounds like marriage!)....(only joking wife!)

Physio Helen from Finefettle told me I could cycle for fitness as long as I stay flat so I don't have to go up any hills (fine by me!!!)

I went along the road for 4 miles then back on the canal path. It's the one time I prefer the Tarmac to the trails, nice and smooth and easier to cycle on. The canal path in contrast felt like every bone in my body was being shaken.

Fortunately I didn't come across many runners, I just couldn't look them in the eye...them thinking I'm a cyclist when I'm really a runner...I wanted to tell them out loud "I'm not doing this for fun"...."I'm a runner like you"....."I hate this, I don't want to be doing this!!!"

I came across an elderly couple on the canal path who gave me a look of disapproval as they had to move to the path side to let me through. I said "morning", they didn't reply... I bet they would of if I were running past them.

Anyway, I returned home from my epic journey relieved that the ordeal was over for today. I didn't feel that tired, like I hadn't done much. The only thing I seemed to get out of today was a sore butt!

Thank you for listening to my moan, but I had to get it off my chest and in the end I must remember what I'm doing this for...getting back to running and training for the Loch Ness Marathon.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Worse things happen at sea!

Do they really!

What can be worse to a runner than busting their ankle...that would never happen at sea would it!

I suppose the one exception is the lead character in Life of Pi, he didn't have a great life at sea....Oh and Jaws. That wasn't great for the characters at sea neither.

Anyway I digress.

6 weeks on from injuring my ankle (by jumping of a wall trying to rush to the start line of a race!) I finally done something I should have done 5 weeks ago...Go to see a Physio.

My ankle 6 weeks ago
I've now accepted I'm injured despite being in denial and trying to do some running last week. You can read all you want on the Internet about injuries and recovery, but until you are accessed by a professional then you have no idea if you are doing the right thing specific to you and how long you should rest for.

I now know I have maybe another 2 weeks to go.

I took myself along to the good people at FineFettle, a local clinic in Great Bookham. I follow them on Twitter and have also had the odd sports massage after local races that they attend.

The clinic was founded by Osteopath, Helen Bullen and it was Helen whom I had my appointment with (straight to top for me!)

Now this lady knows her bones and ligaments and within minutes (following a brief questionnaire) she was prodding, poking and moving my foot round before making her professional opinion of......."You've well and truly buggered that!"

Joking aside Helen then went to work on my ankle accessing the full extent of the damage, the diagnosis being 2 damaged anterior ligaments either side!

I appear to have managed to do both!!!

Next some massage to help drain some of the excess fluid that was still causing some swelling, and an introduction to some exercises to do over the next week.

Although I had been for an X-ray soon after my accident and nothing was picked up by the hospital, Helen suspected that I possibly could have had a hairline fracture that was missed from the X-ray. The reason being that my bone on the inside of my ankle is a lot bigger than the other foot which may mean I have bone that has grown to repair the damaged bone under.

I'm determined to stick to my rehab programme and hope by working hard I can get back on the trails before long. Even as I write this post I am doing my hot and cold treatment, cold peas to take the blood away from the injury then a hot water bottle to bring back new blood to help repair.

Although I'm gutted that I'm not able to run at present, at least now there is light at the end of the tunnel and a rough date to return thanks to Helen at Finefettle.

I'm thinking about hitting the pool tomorrow morning for some cross training and what's that about worst things happen at sea!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Boston marathon 2013

Ever since the tragic news broke yesterday of events at the Boston Marathon, I have been following the story via the News on TV, radio and the Internet.

Never has a news story quite hit home like this one. This one is close to home, not in the respect of where I live but as part of the worlds running community.

The world is a lot smaller now through social media, I bet many of us follow or communicate with a runner that was taking part yesterday through Twitter or Facebook, something that would not have been possible 15 years ago.

That's how big and strong the running community is, and that is why it will over power this evil.

I'll never understand why incidents like this happen, but what I do know is that it makes the goodness in human kind get stronger. Look how much sympathy was shown last night through social networks, how brilliantly the Boston community dealt with dealing with the victims.

These people will never succeed, sure they can get some publicity, but in the end we all pull together and get through.

The running community across the world just got a whole lot stronger these last 24 hours.

As an idea, I tweeted this evening that all runners should change their profile pictures with something that represents Boston.

I changed mine to the picture below.

The image shows John A. Kelley completing his first Boston Marathon in 1935. Kelley holds the records for most Boston Marathons started – 61. He finished 58. He was also the only B.A.A. Club member to win the Boston Marathon. He ran his last full Boston Marathon in 1992. Photo by E. Morgan Savage via

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Mio Alpha Performance Heart Rate Watch - Review

So I'm finally making small steps towards recovery. I went for a 4 mile run today, my second run since starting back. The ankle is still not 100% but felt a lot stronger than on Sundays run.

Second run of the week and second time to try out the new Mio Alpha heart rate watch.

The watch is the first of its kind to offer a heart rate monitor without a chest strap, and this is it's biggest pull over its competitors.

However beyond this innovation you are left with a sports watch lacking in many features of its competitors.

For one there is no software or website where you can keep a log of your progress. The watch has the memory of a goldfish and only remembers your last run each time.

Once you have ended your activity you are given your time, your average heart rate for that activity and how long you spent in the zone.

I was hoping that the watch would begin to learn your heart rate and build up a profile of your personal zones that could be stored, but you have to enter this information before the activity setting your high and lowest rate that you want to exercise in. If you drift out of these zones the watch will beep to let you know if you have gone above or below.

This is fine if you know your zones that you want to work in but if have never used a heart rate monitor before then you are a little stuck.

My biggest frustration with the watch is the buttons which are located on both sides are difficult to operate. There are four buttons in total, and to operate some functions requires you to press for a few seconds, but it's a bit hit and miss how hard the buttons need to be pressed to get them to function.

My last negative is that the watch has no back light. The screen with its large digits is OK to read during the day but at night would not be able to be read.

On the positive side, the watch looks stylish, is extremely comfortable to wear and has a good fastening system which keeps the watch snug and safe during your activity.

The Alpha has a rechargeable battery and is charged on a small docking station that has a USB connector, but I've been out for two runs and when not in use the watch sits in idle mode and displays the current time, and I have yet to charge the watch. Battery life is extremely good!

Once fastened on your wrist you can either begin your activity with timer and heart rate recording simultaneously, or if you wanted to and was not exercising, find out what your current heart rate is, this was useful and quick and simple to record resting heart rate.

You can toggle between time or heart rate when exercising but with the button difficult to press while running, I left the read out on heart rate, which was clear to read and constantly recording. The watch also picked up my heart rate very quickly before the run with the sensors that are located underneath the watch face pressed against the skin of the wrist.

The Mio Alpha is meant to be able to sync with many mobile apps, Endomondo being one of these which I have, but I was unable to get the two to sync.

Currently the watch is on sale in the US for a very steep $199 USD. When the site launches in the UK, the ALPHA will cost £169 + shipping and handling.

Find out more on the manufacturers website:  or

Sunday, 7 April 2013


It was nice to be back in running kit again

Today's run was definitely run with my head rather than my heart.

In my heart, I knew my ankle was not 100% but my head ruled that after 4 weeks without running; that's 1/12 of a year; it was time to go out and run.

But try telling a injured runner desperate to run again not to let their head rule the heart...We're all the same.

I was at least sensible enough to stick to the flat, and stick mainly to the road with a mile of canal path thrown in. I didn't want to hit the trails yet as it would be easy to turn my ankle again on such terrain.

To be honest I felt my ankle all the way round, I planned to run 4 miles but lost track of distance and ended up doing 5.

My ankle is fine to walk on but when I try stretching that's when I get some pain, so I'm unsure whether this is just stiffness where I haven't run for a month or whether the ligaments are still damaged. Either way a run was the only way to check this out, and as I write this short piece directly after my run, sat with a bag of frozen peas on my ankle, I will need to wait till tomorrow to see whether this is indeed the start of my comeback or if I get any reaction from my ankle from today's run.

Give peas a chance