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The other day I looked back at my aims for this year, it made for pretty depressing reading – as due to my hip injury I have done nothing compared with the dizzy heights of last year with its PBs and Fell Championship title.  But, in the theme of positive thinking I have put a spin on the aims here – GVS Fell series – defend my title – ok so this didn’t happenSome of the Hayfield series fell races (short, hilly ones!) – neither did thisThe Slateman (as part of a mixed team “The High Peaky Blinders”) – I managed this!  I competed in the cycle leg with an ace team of ladies and we loved it!Grindleford Gallop – I did this!  (Before the hip injury) it was great!  I didn’t love it but I did it and I now know that I could complete a marathon if I wanted to – which I still don’t!Another triathlon (sprint distance) and definitely the Hathersage Hilly again – I sadly didn’t do either of these, but, I have kept up with my swimming and feel ready for the 2018 season! Bring it on!The Grindleford Goat (the longer “Billy” course this year) – I did this in biblical weather and nearly finished off my poor husband in the process!  (sorry Chris!)Improve my Mountain Bike Orienteering skills! – Another one I didn’t do BUT, I did manage to hook up with Charlie Evans of Bikelife Coaching who has started to coach myself and a group of other ladies in Mountain Biking Skills which is awesome and I am loving it!Galloping in Grindleford

Other achievements include my ladies run coaching group and it’s success stories – many of the ladies have continued running in my absence and a few have started to join in with the more advanced speed/hill groups I am starting to do again, this is great news!  I plan to do more run coaching soon, with 0-5km type groups and some technical fell running groups.  
Another positive was completing my first 100 mile ride.  I entered the Velo Birmingham, a closed road sportive and have written an article for Totally Active Magazine on my experience – watch this space for the link to the Feb/Mar edition in which I will hopefully be featured.   

Running Update – After my hip injury at Castleton fell race in June, I have spent the summer resting and starting a strict rehabilitation routine to get me back into running.  After resting it for around 12 weeks with little improvement, I was starting to think this might be the end of my running career. Christine my physio, advised that I needed to start running again – for sanity purposes – in a more structured way.  My first attempt at a comeback was not great, I did too much too soon on holiday and it started to hurt again.  After feeling really despondent I spoke to Christine again who suggested I watch some YouTube videos (see links below) about perceived pain and the scientific research and proof about how a lot of pain actually comes from the subconscious.  It sounds daft saying the pain is in your mind – it obviously is actual physical pain but, by changing the way we think about the pain we can actually stop it in its tracks – or reduce it at least.  I am always sceptical about these notions, having being told pain is all in the head before and thinking it ridiculous, pain is pain in my book – if something hurts there is normally a physical reason for it.  But what Christine said got me thinking… actually sometimes I will catch myself thinking “my hip hasn’t hurt today” then shortly afterwards it starts hurting again.  Or, I would think “I’m going to try a run”, – it would then immediately hurt again because I expected it to.  I became sure that the pain was being caused by my perception of it rather than any physical reason, after all, I had rested it for so long, something must have repaired!  So I did two things, firstly I decided to start running very gently – along the canal or similar surface for 2-2.5kms.  I wrote a training plan to incorporate 3 runs per week (all with rest days in between) which kept at one distance for 2 weeks then moved up by half a kilometre for the next two.  This plan has worked, I have increased up to 4km and feel that I am getting somewhere now.  This week I have tried a 400m speed session with my running group and although I only did 9 of the 12 400m laps, I felt that my pace was consistent and not too slow.  My hip did hurt that evening but I expected it to.  I will now start again with my steady 4km runs and see how it feels, fingers crossed I am overcoming it both physically and mentally.  Aims for next year will be to do some parkruns in the first instance and to increase my pace again.Cycling

It’s been a busy year cycling-wise, thank God for my bikes! Without cycling and swimming I think I would be in a bad place both mentally and physically! I’ve enjoyed pushing myself on the road bike to do more distance and am now really enjoying the skills side of mountain biking with Charlies help.  As the nights have drawn in and the weather is getting worse I have pretty much hung Ladybird up for the winter – I will go out on the roads if its a dry and sunny day but otherwise i’m going to be doing plenty of bogtrotting on Pearl.  In other news…

Around this time last year, I wrote about the planned new addition to the Aspinall Household – a Hungarian Vizsla puppy, well after nearly a years wait I am so excited to be collecting our pup “Aggie” in 9 days time (not that i’m counting or anything!), so I will be keeping you updated with our training progress, unfortunately Vizslas bones take a while to develop so it will be at least a year before I can run or ride with her, but I am going to be putting all the groundwork into training her to help with the commands for when we can finally run free!Happy RunningTLFYouTube Videos –Why Things HurtUnderstanding Pain in less than 5 minutesTreating Pain using the Brain

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