As I sit here on Monday evening, rewatching Death in Paradise, I find myself thinking ahead to the 4th September and I realise we are only 14/15 weeks away from the start of the ride. I try to work out where the time has gone since I signed up last September, but I am at a loss. I only know the majority of that time has been spent in the most severe of lockdowns!!
Anyway, leaving lockdowns where they belong, in the past, I continue to look ahead. Of late, my mind has almost always been on the ride and the training. Constantly, thinking What training do I have today/tonight? Do I train at lunch or post work? What food do I need to bring? What time shall I have lunch so to remain well energised? Rain jacket or Gilet? With training touching about 250-300km a week, it is beginning to take over a little.
Furthermore, when I am home and taking a scroll through my social media, I am also kept updated with how everyone else is getting on. 100 miles here, 150 miles there. I’m left with a slight niggling question of: am I doing enough?
Regardless, there is no time for second guessing or training to other peoples reaquirements. The time is now and all I can do is keep the wheels turning.
There is only one problem.
Whilst out cycling one lunchtime I felt a tweak in my hip. My left hamstring suddenly felt extremely tight and ‘fuzzy’, and the muscles in the back of my knee went weak.
I engaged a physio almost immediately. I have ignored tweaks and pulls before and have the experience to know better than to ignore another tweak.
From what I can make out, Piriformis Syndrome is where the Piriformis muscle, located underneath the glute muscle, and running from the hip towards the dimple at the bottom of the spine, becomes aggravated to a point of enlargement, tightness or spasms. The other problem, is that the sciatic nerve sits really close to this muscle and can be affected when the muscle isn’t working correctly, resulting in pain and discomfort down the leg to the calf muscles.
Annoyingly then, my training plan has changed and is taking a different form to many other participants who will be completing the ride with me in September. Whilst everyone else is out on the road, clocking up miles more regularly than not, I am presently limiting my riding to 2/3 light sessions a week. 2 on the turbo and 1 outside. A large change to recent weeks. On top of that I am now doing 2 hours of physio a day, desperately trying to get this issue ironed out as soon as possible.
Historically, I have been terrible with completing Physio programmes. I think mainly because I didn’t get into a good regime with them. Possibly because I didn’t see the longer term benefit. This time is different!
I have sorted a regime and have the motivation to get it done. Each morning, I take Winston for his morning work and upon return I move the coffee table out of the way, stick on a Death in Paradise episode and spend an hour doing my exercises. I repeat this again in the afternoon after work.
Despite some serious clunks and pops with initial stretches, early signs suggest improvement, the ‘fuzziness’ in my hamstrings seems to be receding slightly and my hip feels like it is returning to normal. I am just hoping that a week or two of targeted physio work will lead to a speedy recovery. If not, I fear I will know every word of each Death in Paradise episode ever written. Something to be proud of? I think not!