A step in the right direction.

My birthday was the day before Valentine’s Day, and, embarrassingly, Ian sent me flowers at work. My colleagues bought me a chocolate rose and a fabulous feathery pen, and I also got some fancy cosmetics, so on top of the luxury box of chocolates I was stuffing into my mouth during the school day (that I bought for myself), it looked like I had a seriously dedicated admirer.

IMG_20150228_220615Tellingly, I got a lot of swimming related stuff for my birthday. From Ian, I got a wetsuit token, and I’ve already picked out the one I want. From my friend Claudia, who I regularly bully into swimming (along with her husband), I got a very colourful, but slightly skimpy, new swimsuit.   From myself (I treat myself often), I got a new swim cap. So yeah, swimming is going well, and I keep getting booted into the faster lane at triathlon club, which is a definite boost for my ego. I might even be starting to actually enjoy swimming, and even though that’s shameful for a runner, I don’t care.

IMG_20150213_193549You might think that all the swim love means bad news for my running recovery. Well, not entirely. I’ve been busy with a lot of stretching and specific exercises to strengthen the glutes/hamstrings for the past couple of months, as well as continuing with acupuncture treatments.  In the last post I mentioned that my physio wanted to do some acupuncture with an electrical current running through the needles.  Well, I managed to get through a few sessions with sweatier palms than a priest in a primary school, and while I don’t buy into the kind of hippy vibe of that kind of treatment, I’m willing to believe that aggravating the area can promote healing.  Also, I’m desperate.

Not shown: 4 inch needles in my butt cheek.

Not shown: 4 inch needles in my butt cheek.

I’ve also been doing one short run per week. My ‘recovery’ has involved only a treadmill, and has looked a little bit like this:

  • Week 1: Warm up, 10 min run, 5 min on the elliptical machine, 5 min run.
  • Week 2: WU, 20 min run, 5 min elliptical, 10 min run.
  • Week 3: WU, 30 min run, 5 min elliptical, 10 min run.
  • Week 4 (this week): WU, 40 min run, 10 min elliptical, 10 min run.

Basically, as per the physio’s instructions, I’ve been cutting the run into two sections to give my knee an easier ride. So far, I’ve managed without any real pain, but this week’s run left me with an ache in my knee for about an hour after I got home from the gym. I think I’ll stick with 40/10 for another couple of weeks to see if I can build up to a completely pain free experience. Slow and steady seems to be the sensible but boring, and at times frustrating, way to go. It’s also miles better than setting myself back to where I was a few months ago.

I think it’s probably a bit premature to call this a running comeback, but I’m a lot more positive about the fall season, primarily Berlin marathon. Although I haven’t booked flights or even looked at accommodation yet, I’m starting to consider the fact that I might have to get organized in a month or two if I keep making baby steps in the right direction.

One step at a time.