Tuesday, 27 November 2007

So that's what it is

The mighty cabletow from FetchEveryone has diagnosed (remotely, but I think accurately) my problem as an inflamed peroneal retinaculum. This is just what Tim-the-physio reckoned it probably was: the thin sheets of tissue over the ankle have got inflamed. And I think it's all down to the boots.

A few weeks ago, I bought a pair of boots* from Next - black-suede-stretchy-high-heeled-knee-high - to go with a couple of my favourite hey-look-I'm-a-size-12 outfits. Loved 'em, wore them to death - although in my defence, never to walk further than car-to-church or car-to-meeting. But I think they were my downfall. Too high, no ankle support. As cabletow put it, "best save your [kinky boots] for when you're lying down". To which footpad replied "but it tears the sheets..."

The ironic thing is that if it weren't for the running, I wouldn't have been wearing slinky new outfits. So I wouldn't have needed the boots to go with them. *Sigh.*

* The actual description used on FetchEveryone is not used here, lest it be thought just a bit too risqué for the Rector's Wife.

PS at 11:00 pm: so it was natural that when there was nothing much on the box tonight, and I wanted a silly film to watch over the ironing [done sitting down, of course], the choice just had to be Kinky Boots.

PPS: a text message from my hairdresser this evening, telling me that she was moving to a new salon. Called Kinki.

Monday, 26 November 2007

It'll have to do

A visit to the gym this afternoon. Spent a full hour on the bike (which told me I'd cycled over 20 miles - good grief) as it's the only CV I can manage, and another half-hour on weights. Glad to have done it, but there's something about limping slowly both in and out of the gym that is totally pathetic.

The guys at FetchEveryone have been sympathetic, and Lyra's right - much as I get a bit bored by swimming, it's probably the best way of keeping up my fitness for the time being. Whilst I'm quite a strong swimmer, I'm a plodder (as in all things sports-related), and perhaps what puts me off is the memories of always getting the round of applause for making it to the end of the race as I come in last in the school swimming gala...

The foot, by the way, has now taking to aching during the night, after several hours' rest, rather than just when I try to walk on it.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Depressed, big time

I never thought it would feel this bad.

That ankle injury - whatever it is - is still with me, and I can't even walk without hobbling, much less run. The doc tells me it's RSI, and the only cure is to do the usual rest, ice etc. I've done virtually nothing but rest it for several days now (since getting back from a trip to London, for a concert and a funeral, with all the driving, standing etc. that implies), and there's still no sign of improvement.

I am so desperate to run I can't believe it. It's as though I'd discovered the Holy Grail - how to have my cake and eat it, literally - and felt the best about myself physically than I had at any other time in my life. Somebody's moved the Grail.

My poor husband had to cope with me throwing a complete wobbly last night - I felt as though every pound I'd lost and every muscle I'd developed was returning to its old state - bless him for being so patient. But as my main way of keeping happy is exercising, it's a double whammy.

I'm going to try a visit to the gym, using only weights and (the only machine that it doesn't hurt to use) bike. And it will mean going back to the Rosemary Conley food plans for the time being, if I'm not gonna be burning off running calories.

I've had to admit that the 5K Santa fun run in Buxton isn't going to happen; 9th December is too soon. I can only pray that the Wymondham 10K on New Year's Day is still possible. Oh, and it's not just me, by the way. Huge sympathy to Nikki with her knee. Hang on in there, girl, and I'll try to do the same.

Meantime, I sit at the PC, sulk - and at least get my tax return done...

Wednesday, 21 November 2007


I love the serendipity element of blogging, and whilst I'm not much of a chain-letter fan, I really like this as an exercise.

I was tagged by Sam at Running and Thinking.

The rules are:

  • link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog
  • share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird
  • tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs
  • let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.
My five things are:
  • I love organising things - and will sometimes let stuff get in a mess so's I can enjoy tidying it up (how sad is that??)
  • Although I'm tidy, I am a complete slut when it comes to cleaning and dusting
  • I love singing - especially when it's an over-the-top bit of modern musical theatre that tells a story and has a big finish
  • I am incredibly efficient when I have loads to do, and woefully inadequate when life is quieter
  • I have absolutely no sense of direction
I tag (and hope they don't mind):
  • Crabby McSlacker at Cranky Fitness (absolutely the most entertaining and thought-provoking writer I've come across in the blogging world)
  • Jennette, aka Pasta Queen, at Half of me (the most jaw-dropping weightloss achievement coupled with exquisite journalism and technological supremacy. Honestly, you can go off people)
  • Nikki at Nikki's Adventures in Life and Running (we've met at a couple of Norfolk races - and she is loads faster than me!)
  • Lorna at Lorna's Thunks (beautiful artwork, amazing photographer, first-rate writer)
  • TK at Rough Road Studio (another superb artist and observer of life)
Check them out and enjoy.

No such word as can't

This has nothing to do with running, but everything to do with overcoming limitations. I reckon it belongs here. Especially given how I'm feeling right now about the fact that my ankle still is too painful to run on - after two weeks - and how depressed it makes me. So meantime, until I can run again, I'd better find another trumpet to blow.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Another nice compliment...

... I was contacted by a journalist who said "I've been looking for a dieter whose blog helps her lose weight (who's aged between 25 and 35), so I thought you'd be perfect!" I phoned her and explained that as I turn 45 in January, I'm a bit old for what she wants... I can live with that.

Sunday, 11 November 2007


- and am I ever fed up about it...

That pain in the ankle that appeared on my last run? I optimistically assumed that it would be like the foot-down-a-pothole equivalent a couple of weeks before. A couple of days off and it would be fine. Well, it wasn't.

That was Wednesday. By Friday I was still limping as though somebody had kicked me hard on the right ankle-bone. No visible bruising, but very sore. OK, I won't run today. Or Saturday.

Sunday it seemed a bit easier, and Kim was available to try out a new local route that would include a few hills in places, round Thorpe Marriott. At first it seemed OK - a bit annoying, but nothing worse than I've run through before. However, by about the mile-and-a-half point, it was at oh, b*gger levels. We stopped, stretched, walked a bit, ran a bit more - and I had to give up and hobble to rest. So I had done 1.75 miles (plus a further half-mile of walking & hobbling) - when my training distance at the moment is a proud average of 4.5 miles.

We went back home, out came the frozen peas and the bandages for the RICE treatment (if you're wondering, this is a bit of runner's parlance that I've only just learned: Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate). And a glass of wine. And an ibuprofen.

I'm amazed at two things. One is that the distance I managed before giving up - 1.75 miles - felt REALLY short; but for months it was my regular training distance.

The other is how deeply it's depressed me. During the run, every other bit of me - calves, thighs, CV, the lot - was raring to go, and I so wanted to have my run. And I couldn't. I could've cried. Well, I did a bit. The frustration is unbelievable.

So it's back to work at the computer for the next couple of days - but we're planning a gym session on Monday night that doesn't involve the ankles...

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

I know an old lady...

... who swallowed a fly.

Started out this afternoon intending to do the long (4.85 mile) run to Ringland and back. For some reason that I still don't understand, my ankles (of all things) were really quite sore right from the get-go, which got in the way; and by the time I was about 3 miles round, the right one was really uncomfortable.

Not only that, but as I approached the 3-mile point, some small flying insect decided to be my afternoon tea; so I stopped for two minutes to cough and splutter! As that junction gave me the choice to do the slightly shorter (4.25 mile) route, I decided to do that - especially as I was also really feeling the lack of water. (I hate wearing the belt that holds the water bottle - must try to find something a bit lighter and less intrusive.)

But at least it was still a decent length run, and (to my surprise, given the discomfort of the ankle) came in at 46:30 running time - just under an 11 minute mile.

And the November afternoon sky (yes, this is taken about 3pm) was spectacular.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

I run because I can

It's firework night. Kim plans to come over in the afternoon for us to take the long run round the village (as it turns out, 4.85 miles) during daylight hours, and then come with us to the Swannington firework party - complete with burgers and bangers, of course.

Kim can't make it - work commitments (it's Saturday, woman!!) take over. So off I go on my own. It's a tough route - yes, I know we don't do hills in Norfolk, but there's a slow-but-steady gradient down to Ringland church, which resolves itself on the way back in a series of flat-bits-and-steep-bits that mean the runner doesn't get a break. A slow pace, but I kept at it.

As I approached the final half-mile or so, up another slow-but-definite incline, I ask myself why am I doing this?, and my mind suddenly gives me the reason: because Sue can't.

A brilliant actress and singer, with the biggest heart in the world - I've taken part in several shows with her, and it was always a joy. Sue is terminally ill. A lifetime of (as she put it the last time I spoke to her) "drinking the world's supply of gin" has had the predictable result of wrecking her liver, kidneys and many other bits; the operation she was hoping for can no longer happen, because her immune system and general strength just won't be able to cope. So she's in a hospice, and unlikely to see 2008.

I keep going up that hill, across the churchyard (a gravel path to finish with - oh, great) and into the house. Not bad: 4.85 miles in 53:55. Stretch, water, strip off sweaty gear, collapse in front of PC. Receive email from mutual friend to tell me that Sue died at about eight o'clock this morning.

We go to the firework party. Watching a brilliant display, we know that it's Sue, going out with a bang, and probably giving St Peter a rendition of Broadway Baby at this very moment.

And that's why I run. Because I'm here, and I'm alive, and I can.