Life is an ultramarathon

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Thursday, June 21 2012

Strained calf

Two weeks ago during my double-20km run, I spent the entire second half with a sore right calf. I believed that was due to some kind of cramp and didn't make much of it. Unfortunately, last week-end the ache was back and did not leave me. I guess I've strained my calf to grade 1, and need at least 2 weeks rest.

My plan was to run a final Thames Path recce of the Oxford to Source section, and then attempt the TSQ on the week-end of the 1st July. This might then have to wait until the week-end of the 22nd, which is becoming dangerously close to the Olympics...

Ultra annoying

Friday, November 25 2011

Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking (ULTRA) Study

How many times have I been asked "isn't running ultramarathons bad for your health?". We might soon have a scientific answer to this question. Well, by soon, I mean in the next 20 years or so...

Researchers at Stanford University have just launched the Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking (ULTRA) Study ( I have filled in their questionnaire about current and past lifestyle (activities, nutrition, illness, and obviously running), and am now waiting for the next one, which should be coming in 1 or 2 years.

Ultra study

Tuesday, October 11 2011

Life starts after a marathon...

To those who advise against exercise during pregnancy, this woman ran the Chicago marathon... just before giving birth!

Ultra life start

Thursday, April 17 2008

Peroneal tendinits?

Just as I was running an easy 10km on Tuesday, the outside of my right feet started to ache. It looks like a tendinitis of the Inferior Peroneal Retinaculum... Quite annoying as I'm starting the most important period of my Ironman training. I'm not sure what caused that, probably a conjunction of factors such as:
  • treadmill running last week
  • rock climbing last week-end
  • general tiredness
  • not drinking enough
I should be able to swim anyway, and I have to check whether I can cycle or not. Things wouldn't be too bad if I could at least cycle. I hope it's going to heal soon ...

Ultra annoying.

Thursday, December 13 2007

Broken coccyx ?

Whiteless Pike
View from Whiteless Pike (photographer: Dan)

10 days ago, during a hike in Lake District, I slipped on wet rocks and fell on my behind (I didn't have my poles). I heard and felt a little "crac", and immediately thought I broke my coccyx. But the pain was not that bad actually, so I came to the conclusion that it was probably something in my bag.
Today I'm no so sure anymore about that. Most of the time it's not painful but some motions, such as jumping, still give me a sharp pain. It can also be a bit achy while lying down in bed. Sometimes I feel some sort of cartilage cracking in the area when I sit down.

Obviously I could go and see a doctor, but I know that he won't be sure of his diagnostic. Even if he is, I'll get some general advice and anti-inflammatories anyway. There's not much to do to help with a fractured coccyx. So, why bother?

Ultra minor fall.

Wednesday, November 7 2007

Elbow bursitis

I've got a mild elbow bursitis for about 10 days. It's a bit annoying as it prevents me from climbing and tough guy training. I guess I'll need to rest it for a while. After the legs, the arms ...

Ultra ?

Friday, June 1 2007

News from my heart

Quick news. I've been feeling a bit of chest pressure lately, particularly after the 3 Forts Martathon, and decided to see a doctor. I then did various tests including an ECG, blood test and chest x-rays. Apparently everything seems normal, and the doctor reckons that given the amount of exercice I'm doing, I'm probably just over-conscious about my health. In other words, an hypochondriac ...

Ultra sort of not so well defined medical results...

Wednesday, April 18 2007

Food poisoning

On Saturday night I ate a dodgy Chinese take away that gave me food poisoning. I thought this would never happen to me... It was a sort of boiled duck full of fat and skin, and over salted, probably to overcome a rotten taste. On Sunday I was stuck in bed all day not even able to drink a glass of water in the morning. I leave you the details.

On Monday I managed to eat, moderately though. It's amazing how my energy storage took a while to recover. Yesterday I was still not very performant whilst running upstairs. This afternoon I tried a run, and I was half in hypoglycemia after 5 minutes for the entire run! That's a bit annoying, I'll have to stick to pasta every night, and better twice than once...

Ultra sick.

Monday, March 5 2007

Blood pressure...

While taking my medical certificate for the UTMB, the doctor measured a relatively high blood pressure given the amount of exercice I'm doing. It was something like 138/89 mmHg, which is at the high border of the high-normal range, sometimes also referred to as prehypertension. She started to make me feel worried about having high blood pressure. I'm not such an hypochondriac as Jerome in Three Men in a Boat, but this was told to me by a doctor...

I then bought a blood pressure monitor to control by myself the variations over the day. First test this morning, after 1h brisk walk: 118/68 mmHg. This is well in the optimal range. Hmmm, do I really have high blood pressure, or the high speed registration and doctor's stress made it higher that day ?

Ultra not so high blood pressure.

Friday, February 9 2007

My heart

Thanks to Andy I can show you some images of the MR (Magnetic Resonance) scan I passed a couple of years ago for research purposes.


Ultra pump.

Thursday, September 7 2006

My left ankle: latest

This could nearly be the headline of some British newspapers ;)

A week and a half after the big day, my ankle feels much better. For two days it was actually pretty bad (and even getting somehow worse). I let you imagine (and particularly those who know me...) how I could feel frustrated when I couldn't even walk more than 10 minutes ! It started to heal relatively fast the following days. I then realised my knees were not very happy with me either, in particular the right one that had to absorb all the extra load I couldn't put on my left ankle during the descent. Now I can walk more, I can even run a bit when I need to catch the bus, but I think long walks and awkward feet positions are still to be avoided. I may try to go swimming this week-end. Gentle runs and climbing sessions later on, depending on how it goes. It may not be healing so fast after all.

On the longer scale now. I think it'll be hard to remain on what I still consider as a half a failure. So I've pretty much made my mind: I'll try the UTMB again next year (if I can register), although I realise it'll never be again like the 2005 edition, my first ultra and a finish. Anyway, I hope I'll be able to train more, particularly for the 'quality' sessions at specific speed. I think I'll need at least 3 to 5 proprer long distance runs (over 42km) in the hills (North Wales and Lake District) to strengthen my ankles. In fact, I started to come to the conclusion that the very rasing stride developped by running on flat surface probably shortened the ligament at front of the lower leg down to the ankle, or at least made it weaker. I may register for a marathon in early spring and a trail (most likely in the UK) a bit later. A 100km would be nice to test myself on a long but relatively fast race - any idea welcome.

I was also thinking of building a team for the UTMB 2007. It's much better to share advices and not to be stressed on your own the days before the race. Also if we register the team, we can be ranked as such, which is symbolically pretty cool.

Ultra recovery.

Tuesday, March 7 2006

A visit to the osteopath

This morning I went to the osteopath at the sport center for my hip (unlike the swimming pool, it's unfortunately not free). She moved my legs around and pressed a lot on the back of my right hip, which was rather painful. I'm now writing this entry with a bag of frozen peas in my pants :-/
I hope this will be useful, otherwise there's not much else I can do... At least it was not general recommendations such as to drink water, eat healthy and stretch after exercising.

Ultra manipulations.

Thursday, January 12 2006

2006 resolutions

Context flashback:
After a 90km run from London to Brighton on my own at the beginning of November, I started to feel a kind of ache/pain in the right hip. It sometimes starts as soon as I wake up, sometimes I have to walk a bit. It's mostly located in the hip, but sometimes runs from the lower back down to the foot. I thought it could be a sciatica. I've got the impression I'm healing very slowly. Running is still not a good idea. I can now swim 2km without feeling too bad. However, the following morning is usually slightly achy.
During the Yuletide period, I went to see my GP in France to sort it out. He advised me some x-rays. These may show a slight discopathy L5-S1, but nothing really clear. My GP came to the conclusion it was either a tendinitis or a contracture. Appart from seeing an osteopath, he gave me a bunch of general advice.

On top of my standard resolutions for the new year (namely: back to swimming, start climbing and find a decent girlfriend), I've then added most of them:
  • Physical
    • practice various sports, including circuits training and swimming to force all the muscles to work and avoid disequilibrium
    • stretch a lot, with focus on the lower back
    • rather short training sessions
    • run only one ultra in a year
  • Alimentation
    • drink a lot (of water)
    • lots of veg & fruit
    • dairy
    • fish & seafood
    • drink a little alcohol as possible (to avoid dehydratation)
I've started to follow all these rules. I'll see how long I'm going to stick to them :) . I hope to be progressively back to running by the end of the winter. I may train for a spring marathon if everything goes right, to be back to fitness. Then trail-specific training. UTMB is not that far away ....

Ultra resolutions.
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