ILLNESS: Welcome to the sick ward...

This mountain running blog is fast turning into a competitor to "E/R" as I suffered a recurrence of my stomach infection last night. It seems that the one week cure of antibiotics was not sufficient to kill off all the bacteria and they have now regrown their numbers in force leading to another sleepless night and a haggard-looking mountain runner.

On the back of having tried to complete my first rehab session this is a great annoyance especially as I'm eager to get to work on the injury that my physio John described as: "Of all your injuries, this one has the potential to become the most serious". My exercise is now confined to walking trips between the toilet facilities and the bed or languishing at a table trying to get food in long enough to regain some energy.

I have had the time to reflect on the season in light of the injury, however, and perhaps this needs to put my training efforts in a more positive light. The pain in the abdomen started to become a nuisance in mid-July, as I was approaching the peak of the season. A muscle that is not functioning properly will transfer the load onto other (sub-optimal muscles) and given the central area affected my range of motion was probably impacted for large parts of the season, reducing the length of my stride and thus my speed at any given intensity.

John conducted a test on me where I had to try one of the rehab execises assigned to me. I managed to complete 5 repetitions before seeing tiredness in the hamstring. He concluded dryly on this: "An athlete capable of running 120km per week should be able to do at least sixty of these without feeling anything in your hamstrings. Your glutes are still not functioning ideally and this is handicapping your power generation." He went on to chastise an athlete my age for ignoring this important element of my training and recommended I do the rehab before most of my runs while warning about "irrelevant strength work" and calling crunches close to the Devil's work (basically, he views the exercise as a wholly damaging. I happen to agree and have rarely employed it).

My right posterior tibialis also remains tight which seems caused by the sprains suffered during July. John puts this down to another loss of flexibility in the joint which he'll try to restore next week using a special pressure technique he's employed successfully on me before. I got further proof of this while conducting my rehab exercises Friday evening, one of the exercises required a stretching of the shin which has left the entire leg stiffened from what apepars to be a bruising of the muscle running from the right side of the ankle to the shin. The sprain must have hit this area among others.