Thursday, May 31, 2007

A bit of Bliss (Debbie, that is!) and a bad back

Pleasure/pain, Yin/Yang, happy/sad, you get my drift?

Well, last Friday started really well. I'd emailed Debbie Bliss to let her know that it was her 'SoHo' yarn that I'd used to knit the scarf in the London Marathon. I didn't really expect to get a reply as none of the other manufacturers I'd approached had bothered so I was very pleased when not only did she reply, but she also offered to make a donation to Alzheimer's Research Trust

Even better was that she was actually coming to run a workshop at Laughing Hens the very next day. Well, I quickly emailed Nicki to ask if she would mind if I came along before the start to meet Debbie and she very kindly agreed (I promised not to take up too much of her time as that wouldn't have been fair because there was lots of preparation to do). I wished that I could have joined the workshop but we had other plans for the day. Hey ho, maybe next time. Mike came too and became chief photographer so here I am with Debbie Bliss with some of the laughing hens in the background. It's not every day that you get to meet an internationally renowned knitwear designer!

Of course I could hardly visit a yarn emporium and come away empty-handed so I left Mike happily chatting to Debbie's husband and nipped off for a rummage. I came away with a Strawberry Tea Cosy as we're having a 'strawberry tea party' in our village at the end of June, in aid of the village church and it just seemed perfect. It shouldn't take long to knit and I'll donate it as a raffle prize.

Here comes the pain.......I spent most of friday out in the garden on the ride-on mower; 4 hours to be precise (Mike hadn't had a chance to mow for nearly 2 weeks and it was looking like a field). Now that may not sound like much work but the machine is designed for a man and I am a woman and not a very tall one at that. As a result my sitting position is not very good, my back is not supported and I have to strain to reach the pedal. By the time I'd finished I was just a bit stiff in my lower back. I was very uncomfy in bed the whole night and tossed and turned with the whole of my right side aching like mad. When I got up to go for my run the next morning I knew I wouldn't be doing any running - my Illiotibial Band was grating, my piriformis was very tender, my hamstring was tight and my lumbar spine was very tender. When I sat down I got sciatic pain shooting up my leg and bum. OUCH and DOUBLE-OUCH.

As it was only 3 weeks until my next marathon I was very worried. I do have a weakness on my right side which is from an old riding accident nearly 30 years ago - these things come back to haunt you as you get older! After the initial shock (and a certain amount of sulking and grumbling) I realised the only sensible thing to do was cancel any plans to run for a few days, take ibuprofen to reduce the swelling, stretch and ice all the affected areas. I didn't rest too much as I am a firm believer in 'active recovery' and have learnt that my back heals much quicker if it's mobilised.

On Tuseday I took a few tentative running steps and everything felt reasonably comfy so I trotted out for 5.5 miles. There was just a bit of residual soreness but nothing too bad. Yesterday I managed 8 miles and today I've just done 4.5 miles without any discomfort so I'm hoping it's healing now. I'd love to have a sports massage but will have ot wait as Mary Massage Lady has gone to France on holiday (how inconsiderate!).

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