After a month and a half I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor.
I had prepared myself for some bad news. My ACL was torn! I had Arthritis! I needed surgery! I couldn't excavate in the second half of the year!
As I went into the sports clinic, I was more nervous about this doctors appointment than I have been in years. After a 45 minute wait, I saw him.
For the next 15 minutes the doctor poked and prodded me, he made me do lunges and squats. He bent my legs in unusual ways and than he sat down to deliver his news. My heart thumped at hummingbird speed as he began to speak.
"Hugh, you are fine!"
An instant feeling of relief spread across me, then doubt! How could I be fine if my knee is hurting and feeling like its swelling when I walk for 20 minutes.
I don't know the name of the issue I have but I can describe it. Your knee is held in place by a series of muscles coming down from your leg, like your Quad etc. On my left leg, several of those muscles are weaker than the others, causing my kneecap to bounce around a bit. This is not helped by the fact that I an flat footed and since I was running in shoes designed for more able footed people, my leg was collapsing slightly and causing my left knee to drop inwards. This enflamed the muscles/tendons in the knee and BAM- PAIN!
So what is the plan- well, I need to go to Physio apparently and get some exercises to strengthen that muscle. At the same time, I can actually exercise, but I need to be careful what I do so as to not enflame the knee. Funnily enough, since putting some old inserts into my shoe and concentrating on not collapsing my leg, my knee feels so much better!!!
Does this mean I will start running again, unfortunately not. Until I focus on fixing the problem at hand, my knee will keep doing it. One way of fixing it is to do a balanced types of exercise. Running is part of that, but so is swimming, bike, crosstrainer etc.
If I can fix the problem and start rebuilding up my leg, then I may will kick this baby into gear. But at the moment I am just celebrating that it isn't something that'll stop me exercising for good!
So, it's been several weeks since my last post.
Bad News: My knee is still causing me problems. I am now contemplating going to a doctor and getting it checked out. My knee is better, but every once and a while, my knee flares up and aches slightly. This tells me that I shouldn't be running on it!
So, I won't be running a marathon and I don't think I will be continuing on this 3000km journey for a long time. I am sorry if I have let you down... I feel very bummed out about it all! But in the long run, this whole process was to get fit and healthy, and if I do my knee in- I won't be healthy and it jeopardises my archaeological career.
So I am sorry folks... I hope to maybe one day either re-start this process or continue it- but for now, I will say goodbye!
Just remember this is all for charity so if you have some money to spare, remember to donate!
I hope to see you all soon!
Quick post today. It has been several days since my last run and the news is not good. I still have pain in my knee. I want to be pain free ATLEAST several days before trying to run again(if not a week or more).
One thing I have noticed is that I am full of energy. Normally, I’d be gearing up to go for a run in the next few hours but at best I’ll manage a small 10 minute walk with the puppy I am currently house sitting. It means I literally feel like I am buzzing with energy. Also, it has been raining the last two days and today it is beautiful and crisp, perfect running weather. I’d love to just shove on the shoes and do a quick 5km run along the water… but instead I am sitting inside trying not to exacerbate my problem.
Ultimately, I am giving it till next Monday before I start looking at booking a doctors appointment. No significant improvement and I will go and see what the issue is. But, as I sit here staring out the window and wishing I was running, I can see my chances of being ready for my marathon quickly slipping away. If I was in much better shape, it wouldn’t matter but ultimately I needed all the weeks I could get to be ready and it just isn’t happening… Also if the doctor says I need to stop running, I will stop. Which means goodbye to the 3000km idea as well. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Never realised I would get this upset about being forced to be lazy…
I’d like to thank everyone who has posted in the comments. I’d respond by for some reason, Weebly isn’t allowing me. Just know, I love reading the comments and tweets…
So…. When I last left you I had been on a long run(well started one) and my left knee had began to hurt. I was unsure if it was bad or not or if the pain would disappear that night. So I took Monday off as I wanted it to get better.
Tuesday- I decided to head up to the gym and give it a very light workout. I jumped up onto the running machine and set it to 7.2km an hour, basically a very light jog. At the beginning it felt ok. A little tender compared to my right knee but otherwise pretty good.
But around 7 minutes in, it began to tingle and then get a little painful. Distressed, I stopped running and headed over to the exercise bike thinking it would be low impact. I lasted 2 minutes before I stopped. I iced the knee when I got home but I noticed during the night that when I rolled over, it’d hurt a bit now and then.
The problem is not the pain. Out of a scale of 1-10(10 being childbirth) it’s like a 1 or 2. It’s there but its not making me grimace in pain or anything. But the issue is, they always say when running you need to stop if you have any pain in your knee. The reason is, if you mess up your knee, your stuffed. Snap a ligament in your knee and you might/probably will have to have surgery. It is then weaker and you are more likely to get things like arthritis etc.
This is a significant problem for me. The archaeological site I am digging at in October is a 30-45 minute walk along rough dirt tracks going up and down hills. I will be squatting down as I dig(as any archaeologist has to do most of the day). Stuff up your knees, and digging becomes hell!
But what does this mean for me and not only my 3000km but also my plans for a marathon. There are three options.
1) Run through the pain and risk permanent injury
2) Take a week off or so, let it rest and then try run again
3) Go to the doctor who will tell me to atleast do number (2) and might tell me to stop running altogether.
For the reasons above, I don’t feel like doing number (1). Number (2) is a good option. However, I am planning to run a marathon in about 7 weeks. A week or two off now spells doom. If I take a week off and can’t begin to run long distances straight away, I will not be ready for the marathon. Also, I don’t want to run a marathon unless my knee is healthy. What would happen if I got 22km down and was 7km away from the starting point and then my knee gave out. It’d ruin my run and also the run of others whom I’d hope would stop to help me.
Ultimately, the next week will lead to a lot of soul searching and a lot of praying that my knee heals up. I may ultimately have to stop running…. But fingers crossed my knee heals up over the next week and then I can build it up again.
Until then, I am actually quite distressed about it. This is by far the worst injury I have had and the one I am most nervous about. I so wanted to run a marathon but unless it heals and then never pops up again in the next week, then I won’t be able to run it. I just won’t be ready. Let alone what I’ll do if it gets worse and my whole excavation plans for the next 6 months go to hell… shite!
Has anyone who has read this had knee injuries like this? Please tell me your stories…
Sunday… as with most marathon training plans, Sunday is the day to run a big distance. Yesterday, I had set my sights on the magical 20km mark. Basically, a half marathon of running my local streets.
As I ran, things started going wrong from as soon as I set out. My GPS in my Iphone told me after 6 minutes that I had run 2km…. I have gotten faster but this was a little crazy. My shins were also hurting for the first time in a long time etc etc.
But as I hit around the 2-3km mark something happened… something bad. I began to notice that with each step, my left kneecap hurt just a little bit. I slowed to a walk to let it chill out for 20 seconds and then started to jog again. Again, the area around the top of my kneecap hurt. It wasn’t enough to make me wince with pain, but it was very much noticeable. After testing it out a few more times, I decided I’d be stupid to try run another 15km on it. So I walked home, occasionally breaking into a jog to see if it still hurt. Sometimes it did, sometimes it didn’t.
Instead of going home, I went to the gym and got on the exercise bike. I said to myself that I needed to do more exercise in order to maintain my training. About 10 minutes in, my left knee just felt weird. By 20 minutes, I had to stop as it was just feeling a bit too funky. It was only when I walked home that I realised I was massively favouring my right leg when I walked. In fact, when walking I seemed to be subconsciously not bending it much. I realised that I had been doing this for a week or two now, but I had thought it was a hamstring strain rather than a knee problem. As I walked up a small hill, I realised I was taking much smaller steps with my left leg and lunging more with my right. In fact, my right knee felt a lot more powerful than my left.
So now I am sitting here in this interesting little dilemma. Something is obviously wrong with my knee. It didn’t happen yesterday, in fact it’s happened for a while, yesterday it just manifested itself in a painful way. Several weeks ago when I did PUMP, I noticed my knees always seem to hurt a bit as I did lunges, but the pain went away once I had moved onto another set. Problem is, I have no idea what it is or whether it is something that if I took a few days off it might go away, or is it something more serious? As much as I love running, I love walking and moving more.
My friend Ash, who has had ACL surgery before mentioned to me that when he talked to his doc, the doc had said many people tear or break the ligaments in their knees and they never realise. I am now wondering if I have done a small tear or something. Problem is, I am not a very big ‘DOCTOR’ person. I am also wondering if it’s time for new shoes, it it’s because I am getting older or a multitude of other things. All I know is I will test it out over the next few days, but I am praying that it’s ok.
Black Moods… everyone gets them. When I go fishing with my mate Ash, we call it the Bad JuJu. It is amazing how it happens. We will be wading up a stream fishing away when someone will hit some bad luck. It might be an amazing fish getting away or your lure getting snapped off. Suddenly, that person has all the bad luck in the world. Every fish will get off. Lines will get twisted. Swear words will begin echoing up the River valley. Then after an hour or two of pain, the other person will get a snag or something, and suddenly the bad Juju swaps to him.
Classic example- once we were about 4km away from our car down a small, secluded river valley. When suddenly my reel stopped working properly. From then on, for the next hour, I missed fish after fish, my reel got worse while my mate caught fish after fish, sometimes catching them exactly where I had cast just 20 seconds before. Then suddenly, I cast and hit a massive fish. It was the largest of the trip! Suddenly, my reel started working perfectly again and I caught several other amazing fish. My mate then snagged himself several times over… the Juju had swapped!
So what does this have to do with running? Well, its amazing that yesterday I got hit with the black mood. I was in a vicious mood. Running was the furtherst thing from my mind. Instead, killing millions was my preferred method of getting fit. But, I think this is the difference between me and a proper runner. A runner often uses running as a way to get away from it. To turn off the mind and relax and get some of the stress out. For me, I find it stresses me out even more. I start worrying about my fitness, about how far I have run and my black mood gets worse. It’s because ultimately, running is easy. You just move. In contrast, I did a bodypump class the other week. I was so angry and tired before I did it. But because I am new to the course and you need to learn all these exercise patterns etc I concentrated on the instructor and found my stresses melting away.
I think that it is ultimately the sign of a good runner. I read an interview the other day with marathon/ultramarathon runners etc and he said the one thing he does is to turn his mind off. They say how they think of other stuff… like their family etc. He also said one other thing I completely agree with- “as soon as you start counting the kilometres, it’s all over”. I think I can run a marathon. I can run around 20km at the moment and in the end, my speed actually slowly increased over the 2 hours I ran. I get into a zone. But my problem will be getting rid of the moods and the issues that plague my mind when I run. Fingers crossed I can defeat my mental demons…
There I was…. The middle of a BODYPUMP class. We were using free weights to work on our triceps and, I have to admit, the last several reps were getting increasingly hard. The instructor began to count down. “COME ON GUYS, JUST THREE MORE”. By now, your arms are burning. Sweat was dripping down my forehead and stinging my eyes. “TWO MORE LEFT”. You look around and the more unfit of the group have already stopped. “OneMOOOORRREEEE”. As everyone left completes the last rep, everyone systematically drops the weights to the floor and starts stretching… except one person.
She drops the weights and as the instructor says “GOOD JOB GUYS”, she raises a fist in the air… She fist pumped the triceps work out. I stood, gobsmacked, at what was seemingly her complete happiness over finishing a routine. Her happiness that manifested itself in a grand gestural expression that is more at home in the 1980’s sports movie than in a modern gym surrounded by PEOPLE.
I have to admit, I both love and hate pump classes. It reminds me of going on an Archaeological excavation. If you are digging for 4 weeks, you normally love the 1st week, tolerate the 2nd week, have massive fights on the 3rd week and then curse life itself in the last week. You head off and wonder, WHY THE HELL DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? But then, the following year, you head back all excited until week 2 rolls around.
As for Pump classes, I love them all week up until like 10 minutes into the class when I suddenly begin to stare at the clock and wish the class was over. But last nights class was just all round good fun. Not only was there fist pump girl, but the instructor also said some highly funny stuff. Not funny as in she is making a joke…. Funny as in ‘what the hell did she just say?’. At one point, she mentioned that our heartbeats were going to get up to 800 beats per minute, compared to the regular 400 beats we normally have. Now, 400 beats per minute= death. 800 beats per minute is Aliens-esque chest exploding! Now I was sure I must have heard it wrong until I checked with my friend in the class who also believes she said that.
HOW DOES A FITNESS PROFESSIONAL THINK YOUR HEART IS GOING TO GET UP TO 800 BEATS PER MINUTE?!!?
Ultimately though, I have fallen for my pump class. I feel stronger after having done 4-5 in the last two weeks. With the running combined, I feel like I am getting a much better body workout and although the scales appear to slightly disagree with me, my body is beginning to slowly tone up. It’s just nice that not only does pump class have a great effect on your fitness, it also has wonderful people who turn every class into a unique event.
A series of recent newspaper articles have asked the question as to whether overweight people should pay more to fly. The idea is simple. We are limited in the size of bags we take on board(although if you have travelled in the Middle East, this rule doesn’t apply- my fiancé once watched someone take a sink on board). So it makes sense that if weight is an issue, you must also charge overweight people. How is it fair that a 60kg girl can be charged for a bag that’s 2kg over the limit when a 120kg man can walk on the plane and not pay anything?!?! But let’s be honest. Planes aren’t struggling with our weight. There isn’t a sudden increase in the number of plane crashes as planes have been overweight. No, this is all about money raising and people complaining. “Now we charge you to print out your own ticket or to have a window seat- let’s charge you for eating too much! Oh and you don’t like people touching you? Let’s charge them for that too!”
Reading through the comments on these articles, I was amazed at the diatribe against the weightily challenged. The anger was more about big people ‘spilling over’ into other peoples chairs. I know the feeling. I have been on many a flight where I have had to sit next to very big people. It does get frustrating… but it’s just as frustrating as sitting next to a child, or a person who believes both arm rests are his, or a person who snores, or a person who falls asleep on your shoulder (all of which has happened to me). So, should we charge every person who is a hindrance to our flight enjoyment?
Now, I am a big guy. I am 6ft1 and I am overwight but I cover it well. I fit into airplane seats easily and I am respectful of others peoples space. But as a frequent flyer on many long haul trips a year, I find myself both for and against the proposition.
Weight wise, I am often heavier than most people think. I lift a lot of weights and I am quite strong. I am just covered in a doughy outer layer- kinda like a SEAL! When I was at my fittest, back about 6 years ago now. I was in the mid 80’s kg. I had pecks and abs and ultimately was very fit. Yet my BMI was still either in the ‘just healthy’ or the ‘overweight’ category. I HAD ABS!!! I WASN’T OVERWEIGHT! A year or two later, I was in the low 90’s and had a more realistic body. A little bit of a stomach but generally I was still fit. I was squarely in the red now.
So let’s look at my situation. Based on some ideas thrown around, I would have been charged no matter what age/weight I was- which is crazy. It also discriminates against the tall people. I have friends who are 6ft5 and are in good shape but weight wise they would be asked to pay more for a seat. Yet I also know people who are 5ft3 and are overweight, but they won’t pay a thing. What about people who have Thyroid Problems, do they not pay if they provide a doctor’s note? What about pregnant women? Do you pay if the flight is only half full and most people have free seats? Do you pay if you are fat but you bring a child who sits next to you and doesn’t complain? This isn’t saying that fat people are innocent, the majority aren’t but weight can involve a multitude of factors.
Ultimately, a system dependent on weight is flawed. There are so many different body shapes and types that I believe it’s unfair to charge people who can’t help it. I feel very sorry to a guy who is 6ft5 and who gets stung not only for being overweight but also then can’t fit in the damn seats anyways.
So maybe, it should be based on a measurement. They have a seat next to the check-in counter. You sit in it and if any part of your body flops over into the next persons seat. BAM! YOU PAY! Once again, this has issues. I have a good friend who is of a normal weight for his age. Yet, his shoulders stick out slightly into the aisle(So do mine as I generally lean slightly away from the middle seat to make sure we both have as much room as possible). Generally on a long haul flight people will often smack into you as they are walking, or a food trolleys collide into your shoulder. YOU PAY!
What I find crazy is that people are getting upset that more and more people are taking up ‘your’ room on a plane but they aren’t blaming the real people responsible. How about blaming the assholes who are slowly shrinking seats so they can jam another row or two in?
Yep, let’s blame the airlines themselves. They complain about more weight, but of course you will have MORE WEIGHT, if you redesign planes to have MORE SEATS. Seats are shrinking! The seat pitch(Basically leg room) has shrunk 3 inches over the last little while. I recently went on a flight 14 hour flight where my knees permanently touched the seat in front of me, no matter how I sat. Then on the connecting 5 hour flight I had about 4 inches of space in front of me, primarily because it was an older plane. Ultimately, I think that airlines need to look at layouts. If more and more complaints come in about overweight folks, why not put a few wider seats in and then get the check-in folks to allocate them to the very overweight. But ultimately, blaming larger people is not the answer. Fat people are a small part of a much larger problem. The fact we have airlines now wondering if they can have people ‘standing’ on flights rather than seated, it shows the extent to which airlines are willing to sacrifice customer comfort for money. They can do this for one main reason- They are not flying economy.
I’d like to finish this post by saying I love all airlines and I hope you don’t punish me for this when I fly to Greece in a few months. UPGRADE PLEASE!
Part of Marathon training is that every Sunday you must put your shoes on, grab a few drinks, and go running for a long time. It is not really designed to help with your fitness but instead is designed to get your body use to running longer distances. It’s like saying “Hey body- You need to realise every once and a while I will get you moving aggressively for 2 hours. SUCK IT”.
So today, I popped on the shoes and set out for a run. Living in the Inner West of Sydney, there are few different directions I can run off. One of those is called the Bay run… guess why?!?! CAUSE YOU RUN AROUND A BAY!”
I had planned to run this last night and could have sworn that it would be around the 18km mark from my house. But alas, my run doesn’t seem to have been that long and I have come in around 16.6km which sucks because it is about 2-3km less than I wanted to do. But the good news, I ran most of it. On average, I ran around 8.2km an hour for two hours straight. Which means, if I ran a marathon it would take me around about 5 hours to complete it. Not a good time as I want to be around 4:30 for the marathon but hey- I still have 8 weeks of training.
Now the good points- the track was a bit hilly compared to the marathon route which is almost flat. Secondly, I wasn’t after speed today, I just wanted my body to understand it’s time to get ready. What will be interesting is that next week I am planning on running the same track and as such, I’ll be very interested to see if I run a bit quicker.
Finally, I am super happy with my performance for one other reason. Yesterday, I did a pump class and worked out hard with quite heavy weights. Today I ran 16km and I feel pretty darn good afterwards. I am about to go for a nice walk to wind my body down for the day. So as long as I wake up feeling not too sore tomorrow- I will be pretty happy with my body. I never felt overly tired today, I never was struggling massively for breath, I felt like I could have run a bit further. So, despite the slow speed and the lack of distance, there are a few things to really push me further.
So folks, remember as with all my running, this is not only about fitness but about charity. So if you have a few dollars, why not donate to two amazing charities. Just look for the link above…
Very early on when I started running, I went out and bought a series of different compression tights. I bought cheap, $20 pairs and I bought a pair of Skins. Over the few months that I used them, I regularly used to get chafage occurring. It wasn’t until one day in Target that I found a pair of undies that were tight along the legs and went down about halfway down my hamstrings. I love these underpants as since I have had them, I have never chafed up once!
However, yesterday as I got ready for the gym, I realised I had a problem. It had been a while since I have done a load of washing and all my running underpants were in the wash. So relucntly, I looked up towards my Skins and pondered if I should give them another go.
I have dropped several kilograms since I first used them and thought to myself “Hey, maybe they were just a bit too tight, maybe they will be ok now.”
As I walked up to the gym and started my run, they felt ok, although I looked like a pervert as I continuously fiddled with them to try get them sitting properly.
But by 20 minutes in, things were getting bad. Either because I was sweating or running faster, the chafe started. By 40 minutes, it felt as if someone was trying to manually light a fire in my pants- but instead of using two sticks, they were using my manhood. My run, which was supposed to be around 10km, was interrupted as I went to my bag hoping for some miracle to happen. Thankfully, I had a pair of my running underpants(clean) in my bag. I put them on and felt instant relief. As I jumped onto the machine though, I had lost it. In the 5-10 minutes it had taken me to go get changed etc, my legs had cooled down and felt like rock. I inadvertently found myself drinking lots of water(as I do when I finish a run) and now I had a rock in my stomach. 10 minutes on the machine and I realised the feeling was gone. I jumped off and went for a long walk instead.
It made me realise the age old saying that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I normally don’t suffer from sore legs after runs etc, so tights won’t help me much. Even if they did, if I was running a marathon and I started to chafe, 42 km would seem like a fricken eternity. So the moral of the story?
KEEP ON TOP OF YOUR WASHING!