Friday, 24 June 2011

Knee update

Went for a stroll up to Shelf Benches last night...a good opportunity to stretch my legs, get some fresh air, see the sunset, grab a couple of local geocaches and importantly test my knee. It felt ok...really nothing to report at all. What is weird is that my left foot feels like it might be slightly pronating, something I've never had a problem with. And the other day I was lifting a heavy bag up some stairs and my right leg just didn't have the strength to push up on the stairs. A few things to ponder there.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Testing the knee

Went for a short walk yesterday, only about 30mins out from home to find a geocache. Wasn't taxing in any way but good to stretch the legs, and importantly see how my left knee felt. All was good I'm pleased to report. We then walked into town to meet a friend for coffee, and back again. On the way down I as shown the basic idea of forefront running....not long into that I could feel a slight (very slight) twinge on my knee, right where the pain was on my last walk. hmmm. not encouraging since I only jogged for a few metres. Seems I'm not as mended as I would like.

At home later I got on with some foam rollering of my hamstrings, quads and ITB...oh, and my calves since any tightness there will tranfer up to the knee. Wow, foam rollering is damn painful. Not only where you're rollering, but I find it incredibly difficult to balance my body weight on my arms/shoulders, seeming to only be able to sustain a decent position for a few minutes. I messed about with various positions but to be frank it aint comfortable, more on my upper body than where I'm meant to be working. I will persist and see what positions I can work out which suit me.

Sunday, 12 June 2011


A bright start got me fired up to get out there...I knew it was going to rain, but if I got up and out early enough I'd get a bit of distance under my feet before the dampness crept in. I could tell my knee wasn't up to running, still feeling a slight twinge on the outside. I wanted to go hunting the DPFR calendar box but the potential location of it had a ramble of about 16km from home...too far, so I ditched that in favour of geocaching over Shire Hill and Yellowslacks, with the potential to ramble up to Dog Rock if I felt strong enough.  There was also a cache up towards Shelf Benches, so if I was going really strong I could head over that way, either over the top and down, or back to Mossy Lea and up the track if I didn't fancy a heather bashing session.

Good going up, couldn't find a couple of caches - one because of muggles and just not getting the feel for being in the right place, despite having the full GR with me, the other because of too wide an area to search under shrubs with too many bees on the flowers! Another time. Onwards and upwards. Had a chat with a guy out for a walk with his dog - lived in the area 40yrs and this was only his 2nd time up the hill. Good on him for not letting the weather put him off. By now the sky was totally covered with grey cloud and a fair old breeze blowing. Then as the ground eased in steepness the rain started. Turning to glance south-westwards I could see the rain was set in and would get heavier. I decided to ditch the Dog Rock distance, probably only a kilometer, maybe less, short.  Having been chatting I'd not wandered over to collect one cache, which I easily retrieved on the way down. I was starting to get a little cold now having dropped over the edge and right into the full force of the wind - blowing maybe 25-30mph and bringing stinging cold rain drops with it in lashing sheets. With the cache found, signed and re-stashed I took shelter in the corner of the craggy rocks, mostly dry and out of the wind. Additional layer added, well, put under my soft shell to see how that combination worked.

The scenery, even with the harsh weather, was beautiful. I huddled in the corner and enjoyed a warming drink of hot ribena just taking in the view. Not much wildlife on show today. I did witness one small bird clinging on to a wire fench...on take off you could see it bracing against the wind, only to be overtaken by the power and swept off backwards with its wings tucked in tight. I spotted a few other birds though they were all staying low to the ground.

Heading home I soon discovered my knee was not happy. Perhaps I should have done some downhill before getting all the way to the top of Yellowslacks, just to test how it was. But hey, it felt fine, I had actually thought it felt really strong on the few bits of downhill I had done - in the scramble into Shitern Clough. But no. The knee was not happy. By the gate at the bottom I was wincing and far from happy. I contemplated which route home included the least elevation loss...plumping for round the west side of Shire Hill - short and steep ascent/descent and the shortest route home. And just back in time for the MotoGP. I'd only been out about 2 hours, a little more perhaps.

I'm pleased I went out; bagged 3 geocaches and got a little more familiar with the hills by spending time with the map out and working what is where.

Total distance - approx 8km
Elevation gain - 339m

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Hobble and Hare

Headed up to Bleaklow Head yesterday in search of a missing mountain bike (biker had been rescued by Mountain Rescue but abandoned his bike - as it turned out someone had beaten us to the find!). So 4km run to the cairn, doing OK, felt a mild twinge in my left knee. Oh no. Its the ITB issue come back again. Damn. I decided to give it a rest by walking, still heading out. After another kilometer or so the pain was not easing so I sat down and waited for my other half to go ahead and see if he could locate the mtb. No joy on his return and we head back to the car. I tied to run again but my knee was just too painful. I'm gutted. We chat about the possible reasons and put it down to southern softy legs just not being used to doing high mileage on rough ground. Not that I'm actually running a whole 10km when I go out that far, or that 10km is indeed that far at all. But, it's all relative. To me 10km is a fair old distance, and on the rough fell terrain it is just too far. Lesson learnt, and the RICE protocol applied once home - Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Oh yeah, and a few decent sports massages to flush out the leg and ease the tension in the muscles surrounding the knee, mainly psoas, gastrocnemius, soleus and glute max - and the ITB of course. Interestingly it was my left psoas which was weakened, as found out at my osteo appointment last week.

So, recovery is in progress, and adjustments to my mileage have taken place on my training schedule. Its frustrating as I love getting further out on a run, I shall be investigating routes that get me away from town but keep the miles low - all without driving (seems pointless driving to go running, defeats the object in my mind).

Bonus of walking on the route meant that we saw a hare....something like this I think:

Friday, 3 June 2011


I wrote an entry on the globaltherapies blog about my visit to the osteopath here to read it.
It's been less than 24 hours since the treatment but I can already feel an improvement. The pain on the top of my left fibula (lower leg bone on the outside) has totally gone, and prodding around my ITB on the same side it would appear that the ultra-sensitivity has pretty much eased off too. I shall be indulging in some foam rollering after breakfast to get some fresh blood to the area and loosen off any residual tension. What other differences can I feel...well, I don't feel quite so wonky. And I'm certainly even more conscious than normal to keep my body in good positions, standing on both feet, not slouching or sitting cross legged - such positions if help for hours over long periods can lead to muscular imbalances. What I am noticing is some tension in my upper traps (shoulder/neck area), I wonder if the reluctance to being realigned by my top vertebrae is still holding on up there?

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


That was the aim and that's what I did. I was also aiming for 500m ascent in there too, and on the route I'd planned online it had about 489m so I thought it was pretty much in the bag as long as I kept one foot going in front of the other. Not so...the garmin showed only 393m elevation gain. Mildly disappointing, but I know for that route another time.

The route took me along Derbyshire Level and up the lovely track and path to the Shooting Cabin below the grouse butts. Under foot the path was still pretty hard packed even after the rain we've had in the past week or so. I stopped for a few minutes to take in the view and catch my breath. Once again the uphill route and yet another headwind would not allow my lungs to relax. I'd taken my inhaler before setting off but needed it before I reached the gate onto the path. I tried with the buff over my mouth again but found after 4 or 5 breathes that I was just needing fresh air. Trying to stick to my 50paces running, 50 walking I  headed up the hill behind the Shooting Cabin. The path was a bit off to the right so I bashed through the heather for 100m, stumbling upon a rather large caterpillar. Maybe one of these?

Drinker Caterpillar
But I'm no expert so if anyone knows what sort of big hairy caterpillars are around on Kinder let me know.

Not much further along the path and I'm buzzed by two curlews chirping away. They're classed as a large wader but breed on damp grassland and moors...I wonder if I was a little close to their nest?  Moving up a little more and I get spooked by, and spook, a grouse!

Still struggling for breath heading up I'm pleased the ground is softening...sticking to the edge of the path I avoid the worst of the bogs, but dodging them takes more effort and concentration. I guess I'm gonna be swollowed by one at some point, until then I'll keep avoiding them!  At last I reach the paved path and can enjoy some speed on the top. I contemplated adding a short trip to Mill Hill but stick to my route and known distance. I'll keep that one for next time, knowing it will be tempting to head North(ish) along the Pennine Way and across to Bleaklow/Doctors Gate...the possibilities for running routes is a little mindblowing and quite distracting!  Must get my fitness up so I can just go run run run.

Bogs along the path up to Harry Hut were growing in size. Thankfully my breaks work or one would have swallowed me good and proper! I'm past the stage of liking having clean shoes, it's not that I worry about. I'd just rather not be waist deep and sinking all alone up on Kinder! At the trig point I paused for a moment or two, taking in the view on this gloriously sunny day...then big breath in and on my way down down down, past Wormstones and on to Gnat Hole. Looking at some photos online there's some great images of the path down in a weird way I can't wait for those conditions.

A small exploration of the Gnat Hole paths was had; the path is covered in leaves, mud and tree roots - not ideal when my left ITB around the knee was giving me some minor pain. Back to the road and trying to get a rhythm of 50paces running, 50 walking. Determined to stick to that but not quite managing it on the uphill stretch. Along the flat I was noticing my knee a little more, perhaps the tarmac hardness wasn't doing it much good. I returned home via Jumble (don't you just love the name of that place) to a well earned massage and ice application on the knee. Resting up now, contemplating how I can get my breathing better/easier.

Total time: 01:23:10
Moving time: 01:18:19
Elevation gained: 393m
Distance: 10.01km
Avg HR: 168bpm
Max HR: 183bpm