Damn you Gastrocnemius …

Ok, so like most of you, I had no idea what muscle or even what my “Gastrocnemius” was until visiting the Doctors and Physio today, for those like me who didn’t know, it’s basically the big muscle that makes up your calf on the back of your lower leg.

The reason I now know this little gem of a word, is that I have most certainly at some point over the last two weeks torn the top of it – which of course, is bad news. So, this means, excruciating physio massage sessions, ultra sound treatments, lots of stretching and of course NO RUNNING!!!

What I have found out about the whole no running, and no cycling (I cycle a lot normally, so being injured sucks even more as I can’t even do that!!) is that my appetite doesn’t hold off, normally when I’m in training I can happily plough through breakfast, snacks through the day like nuts, and malt loaf (a HUGE favourite of mine) then have a decent lunch followed by getting home for a quick peanut butter sandwich (The best sandwich filling ever, no arguments) then head out for a run, or ride which ever is in the training plan, then get back and do weights and core etc. then tuck into a healthy sized evening meal. It’s been a happy routine for me the last 6 months or so and I’ve gotten used to it, so getting to a point where all I’m doing is BORING weights and partial core workouts means I can’t eat as much … not cool.

Anyway, I’m determined to be ready for the run, and have physio sessions and ultra sound treatments booked so I’m staying positive. As well as all that I’ve been pretty busy sorting some bits and bobs for the run, including getting us some free sports food from our new friends at ICON Nutrition and Get Supplements, big thank you to them!!

So, it’s only 12ish days until the run, but I’m seriously looking forward to getting these bad boys back on my feet and heading out the door on a run!! Just not quite yet … wish me luck!!

5 Bar Gates are better than Asprin – FACT.

So days to do are getting few.

It seems that the vast majority of us are suffering for our art and have various niggles and I’m no different I’m afraid. The past two weeks have been a nightmare and just when I feel I should be really ramping things up training wise I’ve not really been able to do very much at all. One of the side effects of the drugs that I’m on is arthralgia and I have had joint pain in places I didn’t even know were joints.

The worse, believe it or not, has been in my left elbow – I really have never had pain like it and I’ve fathered two children. It’s not too bad when resting but as soon as I start doing anything it is excruciating. In fact me and little Amy went for a run a couple of nights ago and it turned into a power walk. I had to keep stopping and resting the elbow on metal gates (the cold relieved the pain – obviously) so I hope that the good farmers of Hampshire & Sussex have installed plenty of Steel 5 bars as opposed to wood!! Anyway it’s only pain……

Sunday I popped down to Winchester to find the start of ‘the way’ and I’m glad I did. A bit of research had thrown up that different people had different ideas of where to set off from so I thought it prudent to take matters into my own hands and sort it out. I had expected some sort of grand sign declaring the start/end of the South Downs Way but no such luck. There isn’t anything (that I could find anyway) and it isn’t until you start really looking around that you find any directions. It would have been hilarious had we just turned up on the day, 10 of us running up and down Winchester high street like something from a Benny Hill film – still it’s sorted now and we can all sleep that little bit more soundly knowing that we at least will not be taking an hour to get out of Winchester.

More good news came when we found out that on line donations have broken through the £1000 barrier. What a great effort. So let’s push on by spreading the word to all and sundry. Every donation, no matter how small really does count and every penny goes directly to Factor50, no Just Giving or Virgin Money vultures skimming off 5 or 6% with this challenge – didn’t know they did that? Me neither until I started this. Don’t forget to gift aid either – worth an extra 25% or so on every donation.

My little jaunt to NICE last week went OK. The first half of the meeting was most informative but the second half was way above my payscale. Most of it was spent with statisticians discussing the merits of this or that curve on this or that graph. I didn’t understand most of the words let alone what they meant but in the main everything appeared positive – we shall see. At the end of the day it all comes down to cost v benefit and whilst the latter is massive, so may be the former. Let’s just hope a deal can be done.

Another side effect of Vemurafenib is something called Keratoacanthoma’s. These are little non-benign tumours that pop up on the skin and I’ve had 5 removed thus far. Unfortunately one on my forearm wasn’t totally excised (cut off) and has come back so I’m off in tomorrow to have that sliced and diced – lovely. Another couple of days off training as a result – I really don’t think I’m destined to be at my peak for this but hey, it’s only 100 miles in three days. Hahahaha…crazy stuff….hahahahaha (continues laughing manically ad infinitum).

Anyway I know how much you all look forward to this bit so here it is. AND FINALLY……

My best mate took inspiration from me taking on this challenge and decided he would do something to get himself in shape. He started by walking 5 miles a day and slowly increased this and is now running 10. Three months later we have no idea where he is…….

Keep on Keeping on.