Sunday, January 22, 2012


      Having just returned from California I am feeling a little worried. Quite simply I suffered two further calf strains making a total of 4 in as many weeks. This is not good for someone who rarely gets injured,........(its not good for someone who does either)....but whatever; this is a bit of a concern. 14 days ago I did a 32k run and felt great until the last mile when I received another pull in my calf.....and the last one I got whilst running along the beach one morning in Malibu, which I know sounds very cool,...and it is......but the pain was excruciating and made for a rather unhappy morning. I'm generally very positive but as my big race is only 7 weeks away I'm feeling a little panicky. Why has this suddenly happened? I'm doing nothing differently. I stretch a lot, listen to my body, increase my weekly mileage correctly, have a good diet, do lots of core and leg strength exercises, vary my training, take a plethora of vitamins and other supplements, etc, etc; so what is it??? These muscle tears just come out of nowhere with no warning.....its very frustrating.....and scary. Its been suggested that it could be my new Cascadia trail shoes. Without getting too technical here's the deal. The Cascadia's have an 8 mm heal to toe drop and my old shoes were 12 mm; Could the 4 mm have made a difference? The trend in trail shoes is towards minimalist zero drop shoes and.........(I know, I know, I've lost most of you already and I can hear Ashley yawning so I'll stop there).
          Anyway Helen, my physio, has the unenviable task of fixing the problem but if anyone can work up some magic......then it be her. Next week Paddy, my coach has to come up with a regime that will keep my fitness levels up whilst not aggravating the problem further. This could be a tricky combination but my race is March 10th and so I have to get this right. My goal is to arrive at the start feeling fit and with no injuries.......and its only then that the 50k really hard stuff begins..... I am already feeling a little stressed with it all......and Sue is now on Valium and she's not evn running.
       But, there is a flip side. Firstly I can give my legs a bit of a rest and secondly my strength has improved dramatically from all my body conditioning and new protein/carb balance. If I can cure the calf problem then I have a good chance of making it. I like to be in control but at the moment I'm feeling very much the opposite.
      On a lighter note Sue and I had a fab time in the States. Driving miles through the desert from Palm Springs to Joshua tree listening to Indian pipe music is very wacky and quite brilliant. I love the desert, its the untouched barren vastness of it that appeals to me. I must do a desert ultra run one day as I think it could be fun.....well apart from the rattlesnakes, and the heat, and the lack of water and.....oh well, maybe I should think about it a bit more as getting bitten by a snake may be just slightly more serious than a calf strain!
     I guess I should let all my worries wash over me and speaking of 'washing over', all along the Californian coast now they have Tsunami warning signs, but I'm not sure why. The signs says 'Tsunami Zone', so what exactly are you supposed to do, I mean, if there isn't one then you are okay and if there is one then your screwed anyway, so what's the point of the sign? Its even more bizarre because you are also slap bang on top of the San Andreas fault and 30 odd million people are acutely aware of the possibility of earthquakes and tsunami's so again, what's the point of the sign?? Answers on a postcard please.


  1. Well I guess someone could sue someone without the warning sign :-)
    With Helen and Paddy behind you you're set up for recovery.
    Good luck!

    1. Hi Liz,
      Actually knowing California I suspect your dead right,