It’s all about the Mississippi…

Posted: 18/12/2011 in Running

What? You thought I’d stopped? Nope, just restin’…

Uh-huh, a week after my last run, as I was attempting to nurse my poorly (though traitorous) knee back to health, and I thought I’d have a look out. I’ve been resting, taking it easy, wearing an elastic bandage, taking asprin (hello indigestion, goodbye asprin) and generally feeling irritated that I wasn’t out and about, and I decided it was time for a jaunt.

It’s partly frustration, but also partly due to a film I watched today, about Terry Fox, a young guy who lost a leg to cancer, then promptly decided to run across Canada (he was Canadian, if that helps to explain why Canada). Watching the footage of him running with one leg, and hearing that when he started he kept going despite his stump bleeding, I kind of felt that a poorly knee is a rubbish excuse. If you can find it (it was an ESPN film), I’d really recommend it, quite a motivational film.

Anyhoo, I realised that I need to change the way I run – there’s something funny going on with my left leg. When Righty touches down, he speeds off behind me, returning tout-suit for another go. Lefty, on the other hand pounds down, hammer-like and seems to take an age to move anywhere. It feels like all my weight is coming down on my straightened leg which, if you knew how much I weighed, might explain the knee problem.

I figured that if I gave a little more of a kick when Lefty is on the ground, that might ease things up, and sure enough. So, I was running along, trying to flap my feet in a semi-professional manner, and got to thinking of it in the manner of a steamboat, paddling along, splish-splash. The image stuck, and I realised I was talking to myself under my breath (the only way I can talk while running) saying, “Paddle, paddle, paddle, paddle….” you get the picture.

Even in the walking bits the paddleboat approach seemed to help, so I figure I’m going to keep it up and see if it improves matters any.

I also discovered I have ankles, and that they’re not happy about having some of the responsibility pushed onto them either.

The run? The sea was wild, the temperatures were chilly, the sky was clear and the night was beautiful. Astounding.

So, if you run past some portly chap in North Tyneside going “paddle, paddle, paddle, paddle”, don’t worry, he’s not escaped from anywhere, he’s just found a biomechanically efficient metaphor. Oh yes.

And if you hear me mumbling “Chuffing Willy”, well, it is cold out here.


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