Monday, 25 July 2011


Three full days have passed since I had my bad news. Now that the dust has settled I realise the specialist was more than likely giving his best advice. It would be naive of me to think otherwise. To summarise my thoughts;

·      I have posterior impingement. The bone spur is, however, relatively small at the moment.
·      It is highly likely to continue to grow but can take up to 5 years (sometimes longer) before it gets so bad that I can barely walk.
·      It prevents me from fell running. Any fell runner who has knowledge of this injury will know precisely what I mean.
·      It prevents me from running consecutively large volumes i.e. a training programme revolved entirely on running – due to the soft tissue damage the bone spur causes around the joint.


·      Nothing has effectively changed from where I have been for the past year; I have managed to train and run albeit with difficulty at times.
·      Therefore, for the time being it does not prevent me from training.
·      Although I do not have a running related injury it is nevertheless liable to cause other injuries e.g. the bursitis on my right Achilles. Therefore the measures I put in place now will seek to minimise the likely damage.
·      I have a pending appointment with a pain therapist to discuss ‘symptom management’.

So it is with this that I have decided to enter into a new phase of training. There is another reason why I am keen to do this; so far to date, I have never managed to complete a full training programme. They are written with the intention of completing at least 75% of the volume and therefore include contingencies to cater for this.

However life’s little dramas always seem to get in the way. From memory, I’ve only done 4 or 5 mountain marathons. The training for each of these was basic to say the least (except this year’s one). I started seriously looking into training properly for my BGR and for this year’s Highlander Mountain Marathon where I thought I had all the angles covered.

But both last year and this year I had some major (external) problems that occurred about mid-way into both training programmes which just completely threw me off track. For both events I was no-where near where I had intended to be. But to be honest, both programmes were set with over ambitious expectations.

I can say that now, knowing what I know. For example, in the 3 months since doing this year’s Highland Fling I have learnt far more about training from reading the blogs of ultra endurance runners than I have in the 3 years previous! This is one of the reasons I write a blog – I want to be able to give something back. I think there’s something very modern about the collaboration of blogging.

Despite my frank admission of expecting too much from myself, I remain convinced of my ability and where I see myself in say, 5 years time for example. But I’m not going to bore anyone with my reasons for these self beliefs suffice to say that I can justify them to myself.

The programme I’m entering into is so basic I’ve even called it ‘back to the bare basics’. It is my dual aim to complete this programme and run/race a 44miler (referred to in my last blog) which will be on Christmas eve this year.

In some ways I feel it is a step back from where I want to be but in others I think it’s something I have to do. The beauty of this is that it is a programme which can be easily adjusted with future events in mind. My progress throughout will be carefully monitored so that any problems can be quickly catered for with adjustments to the programme if necessary.

With regards the injury, the bone spur, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s there and the fact that it will continue to hamper me until it is taken out. I can now take the pragmatic view that an operation to remove it has to be the done at the right time and as advised, that may not be right now but rather when it’s a bit bigger.

I am 35 years old; it’s not as if my life is over. It could take another few years to get this sorted out and then I will be able to get into running as much as I want to. Nevertheless, should I get to Christmas in a lot of pain and unable to complete the training programme I will seek out a private second opinion.

P.S. the training began this morning and continues this lunch time!

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