In which I talk about holidays, injuries and foam rolling

You might have noticed it’s been awhile since I wrote a blog post.  It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, in fact it turns out that I have so much to write about that I haven’t been able to write about anything! So many ideas; so little time!

But between holidays and injury I haven’t done much running lately, though it’s high time I wrote an update, so here goes!

I had two holidays this summer, one when some family came to visit me and a second when I went home for a family wedding. The first holiday I got no running in because we really were quite busy and got a heck of a lot of walking in anyway. (PS If you’ve never travelled the length of the UK by train, I highly recommend it.  It’s beautiful!)

For my second trip, the one home, I was determined to run as often as I could. I was on holiday for 13 days and there would be lots of opportunity to run. I was staying with family in the middle of nowhere near a lovely ‘loop’ of part residential, part country lane that was exactly 2.5km. Perfect for getting some holiday running in.

Given the jet leg (there was a 7 hour time difference after all), it’s no surprise that I was up before dawn each day. What better time to go running then eh? When everyone else is asleep and the sun is just coming up? Like I said, perfect. And it really was.

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See what I mean? Such peaceful, beautiful countryside to run in! Each morning I was wide awake with energy to spare and really enjoying my runs.

Until I got injured. I was halfway through the ‘loop’ one beautiful morning when I stopped to take a photo (the sun was so orange that morning!), and when I started up to run again, I mean the very next step I took, I felt a POP in my right calf and a searing, cramping pain took over my leg.

It took me a moment to get my breath back, and then I spent some time massaging and trying to stretch my calf so I could at least limp home. And limp home I did. I could not place my foot flat on the ground my calf was so contracted.

I usually get these cramps in the middle of the night, so to get one mid-run was worrying to say the least. I got home, still trying to stretch and put some muscle gel on it. Gradually, over the next few days it improved enough I could walk without limping, and I did walk a lot, though I wouldn’t risk another run.

I can’t even tell you how frustrating it was. I had been enjoying my morning runs much more than I had expected to!

That’s not the last of it either. When I got home from my holiday, I ended up with a cramp in my left calf (middle of the night again), as if it couldn’t bear to be left out. How frustrating and disappointing and painful!

The first calf cramp was on 14th August and it’s frustrating to report that I’m still plagued with them. Just when I think everything is fine and I try to run again, it flares up. On my last run I had to cut it short as I was feeling the right leg tighten up so much I thought it was going to cramp mid-run again.

So, in a ‘last resort’ sort of moment I bought a foam roller . Yes, a foam roller! I’m going to try using that to loosen whatever it is going on with my calves. I hope it helps. I hope I can get back running again and soon. I have a race coming up, 5 miles, and I will need my legs in good working order! Using the foam roller is, as you know, not easy. Especially for someone like me with a weak core and arm muscles! But, I’m doing what I can and keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll work!

In the meantime I’m still working out with my personal trainer, and still getting walks in, but it’s not the same. I want to run!

What’s your experience with running on holidays? Any tips for using the foam roller? I love getting comments so please, share your thoughts below!

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