Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Go Sophie! Running The London Landmarks Half Marathon for Tommy's!

Sophie Hughes is a wonderful member of our front-of-house team here at the Octagon Chiropractic Clinic. Here's her running story...

"Two years ago I started running as a complete and utter novice. I had no experience at all and no idea how to do it. But I knew how to put one foot in front of the other and gym membership seemed like a waste of money so I thought, optimistically, ‘I’ll give it a try.’ Nine months later I was faltering. I didn’t run regularly and I was struggling to even be able to cover 5k. So I signed myself up for a New Year’s Eve 5k fun run and, frankly, a running monster was born. Not a fast monster, or particularly competitive monster but a little Welsh running monster nevertheless. I started to run 4 times a week without fail and was training for a 10k race. I got the 10k done, better late than never, in September 2017 at the Cardiff 10k. If was a wonderful event, I was pleased with my time and was on a bit of a running high and then...I stopped.

In the 5 to 6 weeks that followed I ran maybe 3 times. The motivation I’d been putting in place for myself in the form of training for a race was gone. ‘So’, I thought, ‘Maybe I should sign up for a half marathon?’ This seemed beyond me. 13.1 miles. 21 kilometres. ‘So’, I thought, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t sign up after all!’ But I couldn’t escape the idea. I, irregularly, browsed the internet to see which events were far enough away that I could sign up and pretend they weren’t happening. Then it landed in my lap. The inaugural London Landmarks Half Marathon, being run by Tommy’s, The Octagon’s nominated charity. So I mentioned it to Steve [Octagon owner and Chiropractor], who thought it was a good idea. So I signed up in the middle of October and then promptly forgot about it for a month. Then I realised I needed to raise £100 for Tommy’s by the 1st of December in order to keep my place in the race and since then it’s pretty much been all systems go!

I started training gently in December with the intention of really getting down to business in the New Year. And that’s how the plan went for a while. I was a bit rusty after my Autumn hiatus but soon got back up to my familiar 10k distance and then it was time for the real leg work (pardon the pun!) to begin. It all started so well! I did a very encouraging 12k off the cuff one day that felt relatively easy and it all appeared to be going great guns. Then this happened…

I was attempting 15k. At 8k, on Kew Bridge, I stopped to adjust a twisted sock of all things and at that moment, what can only be described as an almighty spasm made its way through the top half of my right leg. For about 2 minutes I was in too much discomfort to even walk but then I managed to hobble for a while and eventually work my way back up to a run. But the running was short lived. As you can see from the pictures above my time per kilometre after 10k drops dramatically. That, reader, is because I was walking. Or limping. Or sitting on a wall.

What a mercy then, that I work in a chiropractic clinic! I promptly booked in to see Hazel who gave me an incredibly thorough treatment which left me slightly uncomfortable for about a day but then seemed to get rid of the pain entirely. Hazel also recommended ice on the knee (the old classic!) and foam rolling. The picture below is of my new foam roller from Physioworld. It hurts but I love it!

After a couple of days I attempted 5k. Slightly uncomfortable but doable. Maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all! But you guessed it, I spoke too soon. On my next run, I tried a run from Acton to Richmond and this time it was my left knee that internally shouted, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PASS (the 10k mark…).’ Back home I hobbled (by hobbled, I mean via a very inefficient weekend TFL service) feeling quite despondent. At this point, the Half Marathon was 5     weeks away and with 2 injured knees I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Since then I have been seeing both Hazel and Karen at The Octagon, twice a week, and we are slowly but surely getting there! I was told to rest for a whole week (!) while stretching, foam rolling and icing both knees. I’ve also been sworn off the love of my life, high heeled winter boots, because of the strain they cause to your knees.

A week went by and I tried runs on consecutive days, a 4k then an 8k. Both runs were painful but bearable. I could do the race feeling that way but could sense that it would probably cause some damage and also, I’m fully aware that 21k is a lot further than 8! Then the snow came so I was put on another week’s rest, this time by Kismet. Kismet must have known what was going on because the runs I’ve completed since the snow cleared have been my first runs in comfort for over a month.

We’re still not quite there with the pain, I’m incredibly behind with my training and I only have ten days to go! Race day is 25th of March and it has to be said I’m really nervous about it! I’d wanted to cover the whole 13.1 miles at least once before the race and that’s definitely not going to happen now. My new plan, instead, is to get a 2 hour run done sometime between the 15th and 20th, as my longest training run and then rest until the 25th. What will be, will be!

Will my knee hold out? (Fingers crossed) Will I make it over the finish line? (I have to, people have given me money!) Will I enjoy it? (Hopefully) Will I meet my £500 fundraising target? Yes, with your help! Here’s the link to my Just Giving page Every little helps! Go on, sponsor me, I’m injured!

Thanks in advance :-) I will write another blog once I’ve done the London Landmarks Half Marathon, in whatever fashion (running, walking, crawling?) to let you all know how it went!"

If you're in marathon or half marathon training and need to see a Chiropractor contact us here. 

We also offer free 15 minute consultations where you can find out if Chiropractic is right for you.