Gosh, where has the time gone!
16 months since my last post… Well, last year did really disappear in a bit of blur. Most of it was spent learning how to ride a motor bike again, so we could go off on our adventure across Peru. We also managed to fit in our first skiing holiday for 5 years – my first post-bilateral PAO’s. I had a blast! Hips were absolutely A1 – I was tentative to start, but really had nothing to worry about. Then came the motorbike trip. We had three weeks on bikes travelling from La Paz in Bolivia, down to Lima in Peru. Again, hips were A1, even being sat in the saddle for the best part of 8 hours on most days. We had the most amazing time and it is a trip that will never be forgotten.
The end of the tour!
Then came a very special day for me – October 6th, in Jersey, a little island off the South coast of the UK, I ran my first marathon post-bilateral PAO’s. Something my surgeon, Johan Witt had said at our very first meeting that perhaps “no more marathons” when I asked if I would be able to run again. He didn’t say “definitely”! The hips, yet again, did me proud – the rest of the body left a lot to be desired! At 24 miles, I had to stop for the first time – my calves were just screaming and were so tight, I am sure my knees were literally attached to my ankles! It felt like I had no calves! My goal had been to finish in under 5 hours, being realistic I didn’t think that would happen as my training, due to the Peru trip and a subsequent holiday in Italy, had meant that my training had not really followed a schedule! But I managed it – 4:58!!! I had the biggest grin going. It was an incredibly emotional moment as I had been waiting for this for over 4 years and had, at times, felt like it would never happen.
Two weeks after my marathon achievement, I was due to run in a 7 mile off road run at night – a real giggle and I was so up for it – mud, mud and lots more mud! I was just about to leave the house when I stopped to spend a penny – fatal mistake!!! As I sat down on the loo, something tore in my left knee – a rather nasty ripping sound and I could feel it travel about an inch up my knee. I did the run but after that I knew that something wasn’t right. I was told by my physio that it was patella tendonitis – I had ruptured a bit of the tendon and needed to REST! Not what I had planned at all, but if that is what was needed then that is what I would do. I stupidly did (something that I work out a few months down the line) absolutely nothing. I took the words REST literally. A big mistake.
Fast forward to Christmas and the Boxing Day run that is a local fun run of 3 1/2 miles off road up hill, down dale, through the Devils Punchbowl, with, for some, a pint of beer at 2 1/2 miles. My knee felt good, but stamina was out of the window, so I ran some and walked some, which was fine. Two days later I went out with a friend and did the same, but with different consequences! That night the burning came, at the side and to the back of my right hip!!! Waking me throughout the night. I thought this would ease with rest. I am not one to take pain killers readily, so didn’t. But after two weeks of being woken constantly through the night 6/7 times, and being sore during the day, I ventured to my physio, with the thought that I was heading for my first THR!!! I was really quite nervous of what she would say.
Well, to cut a long story short, I wasn’t up for a THR! TG!! Basically, I had inflamed my medial glutes. My actions following my knee injury had basically caused my glutes to shut down, so when I came to run on Boxing Day, and the subsequent run, wearing my trainers with orthotics in them, which I hadn’t worn for two months, my poor medial glutes didn’t know what to do. What I should have realised is that even though I had had an injury, I still needed to be doing some form of exercise! Strength and conditioning stuff, and some form of cardio vascular! So lots of anti-inflammatories and an arm full of exercises later, I have started running, doing a three mile run without any pain following it!
It has made me realise that this is really not about me and running now, it is about me and being able to walk normally in 10/20/and hopefully 30 years down the line. It has to become my way of life from here on in. I need to be keeping the muscles in my hips working 24/7 (well, obviously not quite, but you know what I mean). I cannot afford to be slack otherwise when the THR does come, it will be 100 times harder to recover, and recover well from. I have started regular Pilates and Body Balance classes, and I am doing my exercises religiously.
So what next? A Choclathon in April – 9km with a chocolate stop every 2km, and then the Windsor half-marathon in September. Sensible choices but with the thought of something a little more next year … another marathon perhaps…we shall see what the body dictates!