The Beleaguered Knees, which have now fully taken over from the now relatively solid Beleaguered Right Foot have become a bit of an obsession. After five days of intermittent niggling I now both look forward to and dread the first walk down the stairs in the morning, trying to analyse the ache, mark it, add it to the chart in my brain. Seems a little better, but it really hurt last night when I walked down the stairs at the Union Chapel after a charity Indian blowout. Tiredness? Booze? Stress?

According to the schedule I should have already run 16-18k this week, have only done about 4 at the session with Lara on Tuesday. Nagging nerves are putting me off. In the end I go to the gym and vent my knee frustrations onto Claire, the manager. She calmly informs me, with the easy manner of someone who knows, that it’s probably the tendon and the cause is tight quadriceps, and recommends a quad stretch involving lying on my front and thrusting my hips into the mat whilst pulling on my right foot.  Is really that simple? I get changed and try it instantly; it’s like a much tougher, deeper version of a standing quad stretch (which I now realise I’ve never been convinced by the value of, anyway). I think about a run but in the end hill-climb on one of the spinning bikes for half an hour. Legs already feel better. After showering I ice down my knee. Already, the slight twinges seem more distant. Getting there. Hey, maybe I’m not going to be permanently disabled if I run this marathon! A little paranoia is good for you, but I relate to paranoia a bit like I relate to booze; once I’ve started, I forget when to stop.

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