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Monday, 31 January 2011

Janathon is over and I am now starting to walk!

X-Ray of tibia, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

A fierce session down the gym, my toughest since breaking my leg. An hour on the cross trainer and good to sweat it out. I had a good day at work but wanted to deconstruct the day and get the endorphins flowing. Great to bump into Nura in the gym and best wishes go out to her sister who has a terminal illness. Nura has a place in the Marathon so I urged her to join DPR running club!

Big thanks to the Janathon crew. I am going to carry on tomorrow for Febathon.....hopefully in the next 4 weeks I can get the running shoes on and go for that first mile. Susie wants to come with me and I will have to take my phone and also soemthing warm incase I need to sit down for a while, but I am so positive about this. Anyone could just end up in some alcoholic depression with a broken limb but I have tried to be as positive as possible. An ultra this summer is not just a possibility!

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Felling like things are on the up

stairs, originally uploaded by ludwig van standard lamp.

This is day 2 with one or no crutches. I went to the gym today, on the penultimate day of JANATHON and managed to do 25 mins on the bike and 35 mins on the elliptical trainer. The legs are as sore as a 20 mile training run but the endorphins are about as much. This is what I have been looking forward to throughout January; a proper sweaty VO2 workout!!!

I know that I must be pushing myself to the limit a bit and I am aware of that (as I am constantly reminded by Mrs UB and my brilliant buddies at DPR!) It was great to stand up (note stand...not crutch-stand) in front of the club at Dulwich College last night and present so many medals and trophies. I have enjoyed my tenure as Race Secretary this year musch more than before. It was a great night although there will be some hangovers today I am sure as one or three people came up to me last night fairly slurred. Hehehe! Anyway, onto 2 training matters:

1. Janathon. Enjoyed every minute and hats off to the folks at Janathon and hopefully they have raised tonnes for charity.

2. Dry quarter. I am now at the end of months 1 and have not felt as positive and happy in a long time. It is amazing how gicing up all alcohol has sped up my recovery. I am also equally proud of Beardo and Georgie who have done the month too.

Friday, 28 January 2011

running machine

After a couple of months of being on crutches, I decided to change crutchathon Janathon and go to the gym more something a bit tougher. I ditched one crutch and bravely went for a short cycle on the bike and then some mat work......only then did I get onto a running machine, yes, a running machine and had a limp-walk that turned into a walk for 25 mins on 4.5km/h on 2.5 gradient! Then it started hurting so I went to use some resistance machines. LIBERATION!!!!!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

burned out

I had to take the day off work. Crashed and burned. Being at work for up to 11 hours plus travel each day this week has taken its toll. I had to take the day off due to a really swollen leg. The break is healing, but the associated oedema is annoying. I need to slow down as I risk a blood clot. Plenty of painkillers and lots of sleep until lunchtime.

I tried to exercise later on, I did some crutching as we were low on fridge provisions. Afterwards I attempted a swim at the gym, which perked me up in the late afternoon and by which time, the leg was recovered, however I had just got in the pool when it was announced there was a kids swimming hour. Jacuzzi and sauna and home......happy daze!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Got a cold

Nose with the wind (- 25 c ), originally uploaded by LeF├Ćon.

I am desperately trying to remain on the positive side. I didn't want to go to the gym, but I did, I didn't want to swim, but I did. 1.2km so shorter than usual but I sat in the sauna for over half an hour. That said I have done over 2 miles on the crutches today and had a great day at work. I thought it would be hell but I am really enjoying it. Worse things happen at sea. Now I am getting itchy feet about running. I want to be doing stuff. Everyone thinks I am mad to be doing what I am doing......but it feels right and that's alright by me!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


after running, a stretch, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

Stretch, ice, raise, chill and stretch are my orders. I had a session this morning at Dulwich Hospital (King's College Physiotherapy) and am going to be going every week for a while. Lots of conversation on the oedema and limitations of movement owing to the metalwork and scar tissue. Very informative.

Onto other matters Janathon and a good quality 2 miles today. I feel crutched off my feet. Can't wait to slip off the aircast and sink into a nice hot bath, followed by a bowl of greek yoghurt, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and honey washed down with a beer (non-alcoholic of course!)

Monday, 24 January 2011

Cake Expectations!

Stuff your faces, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

Bank of England XC on Saturday, scones on sunday and South London Mess tonight. Worried? No. After about 2 miles on crutches and 1.6km swim follwoed by a nice sauna and jacuzzi, I am not fussed, just sated.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Bank of England XC race report and cakes

Dave and Tom L, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

Last year I ran from Forest Hill to Richmond and then raced around the park in the annual Bank of England XC race. This year I was snapping our runners from Dulwich.

A good turnout from our club as Tom W came in 7th, but most others enjoyed themselves on the way round in the knowledge that tea and scones, muffins and sandwiches coffee would warm even the coldest of fingers and bellies.

Great to see Taigh in the XC pram in his first race as a professional junior!!

I managed 1.45 miles on crutches and a well deserved scone, jam and cream.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Dreaming of a trail ultra

glorious mud, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

This is what I am imagine a trail ultra to be like in the autumn. I expect to be looking around for a target race then. It will be muddy, but then I love mud!

Today I have been going Janathon mad. I crutch walked 0.5 miles and then swam 2450 metres in the pool, or about 1.5 miles. Slowly first and then much much quicker. And I can now do some almost-walking. Not bad seen as they told me I would still be in cast. Hehehehe!

Off to the pool in the morning and then off to support Susie and the rest of Dulwich Park Runners at the Bank of England XC in Richmond Park. Last year was a week after the 45 mile C2C race and I ran from SE23 to Richmond and then ran the race.....having said that I was carrying a knee-malalignment injury. I'll run it next year!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Back to Water!

Dripfire, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

OK, today was a positive day. I am really pleased. 2.1 miles on the crutches and then I went to the pool and, despite the funny looks when I entered the gym on crutches I enjoyed catching up with some old aquaintances (as I had left the gym some 6 months ago to focus on running) and take a 440m swim to get me in the mood for a couple of kilometres in the pool tomorrow. Well ideally I would like to do a mile, which would be great. I might feel up to crutching to the gym and back, get, fitter and save some petrol money.

Also got a physio appointment in Dulwich for Tuesday which I am most excited about!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

cabin fever

I had to get out of the house today. I just had to. It might be the central heating or the car alarm down the road that I can hear, ringing in my ears. I heart Crutchathon-Janathon.

I crutch hobbled to the fishmongers, then over to the butchers. I filled my rucksack with tasty organic fresh fayre. I paid with crisp fat purple twenty pound notes and then across the sun streaked pavements down to the trophy shop. Bag unloaded, I refilled with shiny silverware, cups and medals overflowing out of my rucksack ready for the Dulwich Park Runners annual dinner. Race Secretary duties are not stopped by a broken leg! On again, striding on 3 legs, (2 aluminium) to the DIY store to fill my hoard ready for when my leg is better. Finally down to the supermarket for some bits and bobs, then to the grocers for some tomatoes and pomegranates.

I didn't take my watch so I have no idea how long I was out. I didn't take my Garmin, so no idea how far I went, but suffice to say that I am feeling good about the miles. Its back to work on Monday and I have no idea how I will cope. My usual 12 hour day will take some getting used to, especially as I am sleeping 12-13 hours a day. At least I will be out of the house!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Ultra Mr Immune

A little blog post about a good running buddy and an all round amazing fella. We ran the UK Ultra Distance Championships together in August and came =46th. Immune has been training hard. My training, a mile on crutches today for crutchathon-hobblathon was easy and am feeling that tomorrow I might have a go at breaking my 2.1 mile record with an attempt at 3 miles. Immune is attempting something that has never been done before. Had I been on 2 legs, I would probably have done it with him. It is the Virgin London Marathon 4 times (finish to start, start to finish, finish to start and then start to finish with the mass start at 9.00am. 104.8 miles to be precise. All for his local charity which I will be advertising for him in the coming weeks. I am very flattered that he has asked me to crew for him as sadly I will probably only just be walking properly by then.

In this photo Dave was all smiles, as he was over the course of the first 45 miles of the Ridgeway this summer. What my job will be is to stop him feeling like he did for the 30 miles of night running from Goring on Thames. Only me and he know the highs and lows of that night on the moors but I will be doing my best to keep his spirits up, keep him well hydrated and watch his energy levels. No doubt he will be supporting me on my double hundred in 2012 and I think it would be rude not to run the Bob Graham Round together. What are friends for?

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fear of falling

Out of cast (outcast!) for a few days now and my trusty Aircast A60 is supporting my leg. I am scared that every step my result in some sort of relapse. I'm sure it won't. Mobility on the flat is not an issue.....I have begun to walk up steps which is such a bonus and carrying a nice cuppa is now easy to do without splashing the contents over the floor, the wall and myself. The big issue I am plagued with is uneven ground. The gravel driveway, the step over the front door, things on the floor. Ouch! Rotation in the foot is improving, however I am not able to flex my foot upwards. Any abnormality in the surface structure renders me with unpleasant sensations and fear. Exercise wise, I embraced Janathon in a practical way yesterday and covered my mile, about half on crutches and half in a stoop-hobble. Very exciting.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Pinned down!

Right leg xray, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

Sorry about the flash in the photo but my eyes were drawn towards the fusion of fibula and tibia above. This is obviously necessary but causing me pain for 2 reasons. 1 because I can feel the screws and 2 because the range of movement feels small. The tendons are so tight that normal flexion of the foot is impossible. I have managed in short bursts, a mile of hobble today. Any uneven surface, in which the normal range of movement of the bones in the foot would accomodate, is utter agony.

Having said that, I had expected to still be in plaster, so being confronted with a step here and there is not actually a mountain to climb, but positive progress, as is being able to stand up in the shower! Is the first run 3 months away? Lets hope so as I had thought it was going to be 6!!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Aircast adventures around the neighbourhood

Aircast, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

I am getting some use out of the Aircast. It is helping me to hobble. I tentatively took steps without the crutches....although this felt amazing, full weight bearing is many weeks away. Exercise wise, I have been crutchathon walking almost all day. I think I may have done a couple of miles back and forth and feel quite tired now, definitely glad for an early night and nearing the half-way point of Janathon.

I am hoping that my tendons start to lose some of the swelling and tightness. The thought of stretching my achilles or curling up my toes is at this stage, mere fantasy.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Post Trauma Edema vs. Janathon

Post Trauma Edema, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

This is the second full day after cast removal. I started the day by going on crutches to the Post Office, then to the bank and then the Supermarket to get milk, fruit and veg, a round trip of 1.20 miles. I did this much slower than during Crutchathon as I wanted to partially walk rather than be non-weight bearing. After an hour of rest with my leg at heart height I sat down for a lunch of grilled sardines and fruit to finish.

Nothing better in the afternoon than to look for furniture and antiques on Ebay and then I got some inspiration. Watching one of my favourite marathon runners Ryan Hall and an hour of his workouts on the PC. Ryan is a personal favourite as he has an effortless gait and approaches things scientific but laid back way. I decided to use the exercise bike and cycled for 50 minutes, with some high reps from 40-45 mins. This was followed by 15 minutes of crunches, reverse crunches, press ups, superman, leg lifts and bicycle crunches. Breaking into an exercise induced sweat has rarely felt so good.

The downside? Post trauma edema. I have some serious swelling in my right leg. I can feel the titanium screws through the skin but the rest of the lower leg is fluid filled (with a leg raise it takes about 30 mins to drain and an hour to get back to normal). How it can be described is the sensation when you take your socks off and it leaves an elastic mark in the skin for a couple of minutes but an extreme version with a swollen foot. Look at the photo and compare it with my left where tendons are clearly visible. Research is telling me that this could take many weeks or months to go.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


This is my healing leg

Freedom, liberation! No, it is not the start of a reggae tune, but the sweet sound of foot on ground. Janathon has taken a twist in that Crutchathon now has one leg down. Having taught myself to crutch at sub-20 minute miles, I now need to re-learn to walk, which is harder than you can imagine. As a child, there are very few words that can describe the act of walking as you learn. As an adult there is a veritable dictionary.

Janathon was today crutchathon to the post box and back. Eric came round for Coffee, cream cakes and a thrashing humbling on the playstation (his I may add....not that I'm not grateful, an ace afternoon, but too addictive for my liking!!) and then I went for partial weight-bearing (10-20%) and 200m on the crutches. I can now just flex the tiny muscle that is the gastrocnemius for the first time. Soleus? That doesn't appear to be there at the mo. I finished off the schedule with my first outing on the trainer with 4.00km on the bike. I know it is one step at a time but I am really excited now!!! Well done by the way for Jezza in the Winter Tanners.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Cast removal stage 2

Cast removal stage 2, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

Sometimes on a marathon I have a 3 stage strategy of how I feel I have done, usually in terms of time elapsed at the finish line; Best case, very pleased and minimum expectations. Today was not really much different. After shuffling around on crutches around King's hospital (I have done my mile today easily) I sat in a very busy waiting room and after peering over the top of my book (Rosie Thorpe running around the world.....a great diary to read!) I daydreamed about best, good and minimum expectations from the consultant. I was blown out of the water when he exclaimed that the cast would be coming off and that I had healed much much faster than expected. I had been expecting to be in plater for 3 months. It has just been a little over half of that time. One theory touted around a few years ago was that I was the owner of multiple spleens and healed much quicker than anyone else. Something is afoot here? Literally!

Don't get me wrong, it is painful, and weird to be walking around, albeit, with all of the aplomb of a lame dog, wincing every time the foot even gets near to the floor. It is messy. I won't put your off your cheese toastie but the skin has not shed in 7 weeks. Grim. I have an Aircast 60 brace on the way so that I can get into running again some weeks down the line. Let the physio commence!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Unused Running shoes

After the trainer wars, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

2 things sprnag to mind today. Firstly I opened the door to the hall cupboard and looked at the pairs of running shoes. Inov8, Asics, Saucony, more Asics, New Balance, Brooks, North Face and more Asics. I have quite a few shoes! In this none running period, I have a trusty Asics Cumulus on my left foot with a walking sock on my right to keep the cold from piercing my toes poking out of the end of the cast.

2 pairs of shoes, Brooks and Asics Gel Fuji are now on eBay, as they are surplus to requirements. The New Balance will follow as they were a pick up in a sale and don't feel idea on longer XC runs. I'm stripping back to basics. That is what I am going to have to do when I get back to running. I am crossing everything that I might get a weight bearing cast or even an Aircast at my visit to the hospital and x-ray tomorrow morning.

Crutchathon is great, but no substitute for running, just a mere distraction to keep me fighting fit and healthy. Janathon has been much better than willy-nilly crutching around. I have focused the body and mind to completing crutching outdoors everyday, and so far up to 2.3 miles.......and staying off the cider and wine and anything else with alcohol in. This is making me the most positive one legged South Londoner ever. There are things that I miss. Running. Work. But they will return and all too quickly.

I will feedback on the consultant's words tomorrow but knwo that I will be completing at least a mile, possibly more......

Friday, 7 January 2011

7 days of looking after myself

Well it is rude to start the NEw Year without giving up something. Without what would be building up to somewhere between 50-60 miles on a normal January week getting ready for the Tanners and the Thames Trot 50, I find that the rest from alcohol and the limitation to one coffee a day, reduction of red meat and other animal fats has rendered me rather healthy.
Janathon enters week 2 tomorrow and today was a good day. Having had a rest yesterday, I took to my local park between rainstorms and then did some serious crutching through 2 postal codes. My first half mile was in an incredible 19.52 min pace! People, puddles and some serious incline reduced this to 22.08 for my first mile which did somewhat disappoint me. Was I making excuses for going out too fast. How could I reduce my time? OK, leave the rucksack at home (but how would I carry the milk home?) switch a coat, scarf, gloves and thick trousers and a walking boot for a trail shoe, compression tights, my OMM lightweight jacket and some Gore gloves. I know why I haven't done this. Pride. I would look like a tit. You can get away with it at 7.30 min miles as one is too fast to hear the sneers and comments as one zips past like a rat up a drainpipe. So I settled back to something around 23.00min miles for the next mile on my trusty aluminium crutches. Add that to the scamper around in the evening and I have done a creditworthy 2.3 miles for the day. The downside is having a leg raised for 2 hours afterwards to allow the swelling to go down. I guess this is why the consultant has signed me off for such a while. Janathon lives on!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Friends are just ace!

I have been really lucky. The best thing about not being able to get out and about has been the huge amount of visits that I have had from friends in the last month. Today was no exception. I think in total there has been 22 people around since Christmas, some 2-3 times! I have really really appreciated it.

Today I managed to get out for a brief tempo-crutch run. I wanted to get to full speed after a warm up of crunches, stair reps and leg lifts. A lap of the road to the post box and back. A short taper before a longer crutchathon tomorrow. Diet-wise, it is 6 days of no alcohol, lots of fruit and veg and feeling very positive. Cast number 5 goes on when I go to hospital on Monday.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Toughening up

My 2.05 miles yesterday was followed up by a 1 mile crutchathon the the shop to get milk and plenty of fruit and veg. I am close to achieving 23 minutes for the mile. I should have a go at it in the next few weeks. Aside from the mileage I have been building strenght with crunches and reverse crunches, dips, leg lifts, superman and stair reps. I am feeling like the core is developing and I am really enjoying the no booze, reduced caffeine and low fat, high veg and salad diet.

Tonight I am going to sit and coach Susie through some core strengthening exercises to improve her style and technique. Running by proxy is as good as it gets at present. I love it! Coach UltraBobban!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Exorcising my Demon

Off I went today for a little bit of fresh air. Off to the shops to get some teabags and perishables. It was a bit embarrasing yesterday afternoon as we ran out of tea and had 8 visitors pop in throughout the day, including Chris and Penny, or should I say, the new Mrs Chris, tanned and fresh back from Malaysia and Australia. Also great to see Tom and Jessie, Glen, Sue and Tiaghe and also Keith!

Anyway...I digress. I thought that I would take a detour to visit the place where I skipped over in the ice and broken the leg so badly. It was under the railway bridge. Anyway I have no animosity for the structure, or the tarmac underneath and the ice is long gone. Non-event really! Anyway I have been busy trying to gain some fitness. I managed two outings today, with plenty of tea in between! I did have to rest and raise the leg for 2 hours after the first leg. Daily crutching; 2.05 miles. I have had my leg up for another hour and it is very painful. I will sleep well tonight. Janathon day 4 successful

Monday, 3 January 2011

Team Janathon

We all appear to be at it.

I have completed 1.2 miles on crutches today. I have seemed able to crutch at an increased speed. It must be the stair-reps that I am doing. Like hill-work, stairs appear to good for the crutch-gait. Improving VO2max has been at the forefront of improving fitness through injury. i overtook people today, coming around Crystal Palace Triangle I slipstreamed a man with a pram and then overtook him. I then overtook his wife, then two old men (I think they were in the V50 class) and it felt amazing. After a food break, I set off for leg 2 of my mission, circumnavigating car parks, fartlekking across in front of the cars. I needed to improve the speed. It felt great.

On top of this, Beardo (pictured) has joined the Janathon spin-off, Dry Quarter! day 3 and going strong!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Janathon 2011

I have joined Janathon 2011 not as an Ultra Marathoner, but an Ultra-Crutcher. Using the Loftstrand Crutches I will be negotiating a mile a day until the end of January to develop my fitness and increase VO2max. Hopefully when I return to King's College Hospital on Jan 10th I will have another cast and possibly a weight bearing one. How exciting!!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Out with the old

40 Cans of Fosters and a Pie, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

2011. New Year. New start......

OK well I still have a broken leg. Having said that I am visualising 2011 as being the comeback year! I have put together my cross trainer machine today although will not be able to use it for a few weeks until I have a weight-bearing plaster. I will be able to count the calories, update the spreadsheet and think about getting back to recovery. One small step on this is that George, Eric and I from Dulwich Park Runners have decided to go alcohol free for a time. Last year we completed "Dry Jan". This year is infinitely more ambitious......"Dry Quarter". There will no doubt be updates on this but alcohol is a "bone robber" and slows down the healing process.

Instead, a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and Iron. Now where is that Ocado van?