Date: 18 November 2018
We arrived exhausted from gardening work the previous day at the club-rooms to take the bus to the start in Ashhurst. It was again as in previous years overcast and cool, necessitating carrying a lot of additional clothes. The thing with being tail-end is, you can go at slow walking pace, which means you don’t ever warm up. Apart from rain-jackets and an extra polyprop (which I donned even before the start), we also had to carry the first aid kit, as well as water and some snacks for ourselves. Just as well, as the third water point was packed up and gone by the time we passed through. And not only was the water point gone, so was the only toilet on the Bridle Track/walkway! I realise volunteers don’t want to wait all day for the last participant, but to pack up the aid on course before the last participants come through is just unacceptable. Unless, of course, there’s a cut-off point on course and the participant missed that.
I’ve been in the last position often, and there is nothing worse than having the traffic vehicle on your butt to pick up cones and course markers as you pass them. We were a couple hundred metres behind the last person, not to make her “nervous”, but honestly we may as well not have been there. The clean-up vehicle would often drive up ahead to the next sign, just waiting for the woman to pass to collect the stuff. I thought that was a bit rude, and does nothing to encourage participation. We spoke to her afterwards, and she nearly gave up halfway, mainly because according to her GPS she’d only done about a third of the course. Not sure if the fact that there were pressure on her to keep going faster had anything to do with it, but it would definitely have made me very uncomfortable.
As is the case every year (all the years we’ve done the event), it started raining, this time after about 3km coupled with a fairly blustery wind. Even though we got quite wet, it stopped after a couple kilometres and we could dry out again. Although we finished roughly in the same time as last year, this participant was running/walking at a much more even pace from start to finish. Last year, we had to run most of the first half and ended up walking very slowly over the second half.
The finish was small, but very welcoming with all the volunteers cheering on the last participant, and handing out still warm sausages as well as bananas, and a medal :-). Even thought all the other participants had gone home already, it was great to see all the friendly faces, including the clock and finish banner still in place.
As for my hip, it has been seven weeks since my worst ever hip impingement episode, and I can report that things are back to “normal”. My normal, that is, since I’ve long lost track of what normal actually means or feel like.
During this past six weeks I have invested a fair amount of time (and money) into trying to figure out and understand the concept and workings of fascia. What I’ve learned is that you can foam-roll yourself out of balance, and cause significant damage. What I’ve also learned is how to really use a foam-roller, or lacrosse ball and how to actually release tight fascia, even though I still don’t always get it right. I had a vague idea previously, but I now have a must better understanding. And the best part is that I see results!
We’ve started running again, and even thought we’re not doing massive amounts of kilometres (we average about 30km/week) or any of it at a quick pace, I’m running mostly without pain. My hip is doing great and it feels as if my hip mobility is far better than what it was a few weeks back. Strangely enough, my knees are currently the thing that is keeping me from doing stairs and uphill runs. The pain is not constant or consistent. It would sometimes be fine to walk upstairs by just shifting my weight to a different spot. I’m sure there is nothing inflamed or sprained, and it is again just a case of the joints not being aligned, due to tight fascia pulling and tugging joints in the wrong direction. After having done only one semi-decent session on my fascia, I’ve managed quite a few pain-free stairs.
The trick remains to know WHERE to work on fascia in order to help or fix WHAT area. For instance, tissue work on quads does help for hip mobility. But so does working on the adductors, abductors, TFL and ITB, as well as the hamstrings.
I’m currently “mapping” the spots and spend most of my time on the areas that are really sore. Healthy fascia is not sore! Knee pain can be any amount of things, but it would appear that fascia release on different areas on my lower leg (mainly the calves, but also the outside front of my leg) reduce the pain at different spots. I should mention that my knee pain is completely different for both legs.
Thanks to the course in Kinetix (by Mobility Mastery), which we unfortunately haven’t had a chance to really dig into yet (you need a partner to do the work), I’m already grasping the concept much better and are able to help fix some of my unhealthy fascia by myself through fascia release.
Onwards and upwards!