Category: Run. Advice.

“Hi, my name is Gaby, and I have an injury problem”

AA MeetingWednesday evenings on BBC Radio 1 always have great conversations with lots of relevant topics about health and well-being. Last Wednesday it was about getting healthier through becoming more active, through sports as well as just little things as taking the time for a walk in your lunch break, for example.

One of the discussions was about injury. How do active people and even professional sports people deal with the massive set back that an injury can cause. The key idea here was that you cannot start your rehabilitation, your recovery, until you have admitted to yourself (and not to others for the sake of it!) that you have an injury and that at the time being, that injury has beat you, has got you down, knocked you of your feet. It’s almost like going to an AA meeting. You have to admit there is something wrong with you, recognise the symptoms and the underlying causes before you can work with these in order to overcome it; it is as much a mental barrier as it is a physical one.

Basically, the whole of 2015 I have been lying to myself. I knew I was in pain. I knew something was wrong, and I tried to convince myself I was doing something about it. That I was working with it, and getting back into it. But even after the diagnosis of my scoliosis and some warnings, I mainly listened to the positive things my coaches, body and my friends were telling me, while ignoring or downplaying the negative things, such as the tiny little fact that although it didn’t get worse for a long period of time (between April and October), but I still hadn’t addressed the root of the problem. I love running so much, and it gives me so much in return apart from general fitness, that it was (and is!) very difficult to let it go (for the time being).

So here I am, 2016, admitting I have a problem. “Hi, my name is Gaby, and I’m injured”. It felt easy enough to reply this to club mates when they asked why I wasn’t running. But I always used it as an answer to others, not myself. The last few months I have come to term with this realisation, which seems to be working at the moment. I went for a few tiny mini almost non-existent runs, and even went out with the speed session last Wednesday which was absolutely brilliant, and things seem to be stabilising, as long as I keep my core exercises and stretching in. Speaking of which, time to read some papers in pigeon pose.

Curved spine? Curveball.

So, this is basically what my spine does, but the other way around, to the left.

So, this is basically what my spine does, but the other way around, to the left.

Oh, how I love metaphors. And puns. Get ready for the “a lady is nothing without her curve(d) s(pine)!”

But hell, it kind of sucks, really. But, I ran again yesterday. Did 8 one minute reps with one minute of steady walking in between. All felt good, although it did hurt a bit after I had stopped. Nonetheless, with some stretching and after a good night’s rest, all is fine again, to be fair.

At the moment it seems as if things only -really- hurt after a massage/torture treatment, which makes me wonder whether I should continue doing them. It’s been a week now since my last treatment, and the pain lasted for about 4 days after, pain which was a lot worse than it was before the treatment. But then again, perhaps it is all part of the progress, and in the end I will be thankful for going through that extra bit of pain if that means that I can go without pain for a longer period of time in between treatments. Read more

2016 – Beating and/or running with lumbar scoliosis


Yesterday I went out for a ‘run': 6 sets of 1 minute of ‘running’ , and 1 minute of walking.  And it was heaven, to be able to do that.

It was the first run I’d done since the beginning of November, having ‘rested’ for nearly 2 months. I had quite the fall-back after the 10K at Scarborough, which consisted of severe muscle tightness, and of course more pain. A different pain from what I was used to, but still pain, a pain that kept me from doing the most simple things without thinking about it: every movement needs to be accounted for, from making dinner to picking up a piece of paper I dropped.

And that is frustrating as hell. Because all I want to do is just do normal things, and run. Normal things and run.

Being able to do that seems miles away at the moment. I had (and have) all those dreams of running marathons, ultras, multi-day races, and thinking about that in this current state my body is in is pure torture. But, I’m going to take that torture, and change it into determination and motivation. Any person, GPs and ‘non-runners’ telling me I should give up running are all going to see what I can do with this back. It might take a while, it probably will take more than a while, but I will run those marathons, and those ultras.

2016 might not be my full come-back year, but it is going to be my getting stronger year. We have found the exact location of the problem in the last two weeks (we = my sports fysio trainer person and me), it is going to hurt, a lot, but there will be improvement. I might not be able to run pain free for a while, or perhaps maybe ever, but we are going for manageable, and anything more than manageable is going to be a bonus.

Being able to run a normal 5K is going to be my first goal. Here’s to 2016!

Race Report: Silkstone Shuffle #4, OR: I want to be better at running…

Every day I'm Shufflin'.  Picture by Jerry Fisher.

Every day I’m Shufflin’.
Photo by Jerry Fisher.

Yesterday was the final of the Silkstone Shuffle Series in 2014! A lovely little event organised by my lovely little big (and growing!) club, the Barnsley Harriers. It was the first time this year that were were to expect a lovely wet and muddy course! What a day! It started off with the Junior Race at 9.45am, where René and myself were marshaling. Tough kids, running up the hills and through the mud. It’s not easy for anyone, but they grit their teith and just do it, whether they are 14 or, about 8-ish, I guess the youngest was. Great to see them involved with local clubs and local races at that age.

Then it was our turn.

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Gaby’s One-step-plan to (Running) Success

Want to be happy? Do it.

Want to lose weight? Do it.

Want to start running? Do it.

Want to… <insert whatever you want>? Do it.

It sounds very Nike, but it is, I believe, true.

OK, here's a non-Nike picture

OK, here’s a non-Nike picture

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