Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My 'perfect legs' go to Littleborough

Yesterday, I learnt that I have ‘perfect legs’. Yep, that’s right… ‘perfect’.  It was Jo, the lovely Physio, who told me this, and needless to say I was dead chuffed! Of course, the compliment is entirely related to my muscles and also, I have to say, largely attributed to her! Aside of the exercises I’ve been doing, I can take very little credit for the way in which my legs have improved over the past month or so. Since I first fell injured (pulled up with a severe pain and stiffness in my knee) I’ve been visiting Jo regularly for sports massage. After the first visit where she diagnosed the overall problem – a muscular imbalance and poorly firing glutes -  she has been elbowing and poking the various muscles in my legs pretty much weekly. It was also Jo who suggested that I might want to visit a podiatrist, after I had explained to her the strange lopsided wear of my incredibly worn out running shoes, thinking that I may have one leg shorter than the other.
After two visits to some exceptionally enthusiastic students at the podiatry clinic at the University of Salford, it has emerged that my right leg is shorter than my left - by millimeters, I mean, we’re not talking drastic, pirate style limping here – which was causing my left leg to take more of the strain when running. They also, very excitedly, discovered that there were all sorts of other bizarre things going on with my feet and lower legs all of which, I’m afraid, have whizzed by over the top of my head completely; but what I did come away with was a pair of orthotics with 8 and 4 millimeter heel raises designed to counter the imbalance and stop my right leg from pronating (quite severely) inwards. They also gave me some exercises to do, in order to stretch my calves, plantar fasciitis and Achilles, all of which are shorter than they should be.
So, since I began this marathon training I’ve been prodded, poked, elbowed, flexed, studied and investigated all of which have had the desired outcome of ‘perfect legs’! Brilliant!
Well, perfect they may be, but one thing they are not at the moment is fast; thus, despite it being the Vera Hirst Littleborough 5k this evening -  a race on the club calendar that despite being very hard is a lot of fun – I didn’t choose to run it. My PB on this course is 24.57, when I was pushed by Pete who was pacing me to reach under 25 minutes. Even before this, my next best time was just under 26. I am very aware that I am not running fast at the moment, and moreover I don’t have the confidence that I can run fast at the moment; knowing that if I tried the race and failed to achieve anything close to under 26 minutes I’d be disappointed and frustrated, I chose not to run it at all. To some, this may seem like a bit of a cop-out, and it is, but it’s one that will ensure that my confidence, at least, doesn’t take yet another knock.
I love Littleborough though, it’s such a friendly, fun race and so many of the club members were running it, that I decided to go down and support them. Needless to say, I had a great time! Taking Doris with me for company, before the race started, we ran out up the road and found a spot to watch the runners come past on their way out, then once they’d passed us, we headed back to the start and ran up and down the road for a little bit until the leaders, very quickly, appeared in front of us, with Chris from our club finishing in just over 16 minutes and taking 5th place – amazing! Rapidly, the others from club started coming down the hill and it wasn’t long before I saw Paula, who got the full benefit of my cheerleading skills from across the other side of the road, she picked up a PB of 24.59… so close to my own PB, in a couple of years’ time I reckon we’ll have forgotten we never actually ran it together!
Joining the others for a short cool down at the end, Doris and I had ended up running about 2.5 miles, just bobbing up and down Littleborough during the course of the evening, and I think it’s fair to say that we both had a thoroughly good time doing so too… I’ll be back - without Doris - to take on that Littleborough PB after the marathon!
Distance: 2.5(ish) miles
Feeling: great
Weather: A really lovely, sunny evening.

1 comment:

  1. Check you out and your 'perfect legs'! Think you made a wise choice supoorting the Littleborough 5K instead of running in it, never an easy decision to make. Sounds like you had a great time though regardless! :-)


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