Paul Walters runs the London Marathon

Report from Wednesday 27th March 2002

Pulled up with injury in the Adidas Breakfast Run

This last week I rested up after the Gatwick Half, in attempt to help my aches and pains and to be prepared for the Adidas Breakfast Run, which is two laps of an eight mile course around Kingston, Surrey.

I set off towards Kingston on Sunday at 7:10AM, but had to stop for petrol. I thought that I'd have plenty of time to park and prepare myself, but in practice the parking was very slow, and in fact I only just made it to the start without any stretching or warming up.

I set off hoping to eight minute mile the course, but the first two miles were very slow simply because of the number of runners in the race - which was a good preparation for the marathon, seeing as it's even worse then. After the first four miles I realised that I was only a minute and a half off the eight minute mile time, and I clawed back the time mile after mile so come the eight mile mark I was back on target at the eight minute mile pace and time. The weather was sunny and idealic, and I really enjoyed this first half of the race.

At the four mile mark I started with a twinge in my right hip, which worried me at the time, and this pain grew and grew. I nearly stopped at the eight mile point when we were back at the start of the race (remember it was two laps), but I carried on in hope. However, at the ten mile point, although I had acheived my target time to this point and still felt good, I had to stop because of pains in my hip and knee. I did some stretches which really helped my hip, but alas the problem with my knee did not feel muscular, and so I carefully walked the two and a half miles back to Kingston.

My leg remained tender for all of Sunday and Monday, but by yesterday (Tuesday) it seemed much improved, and I managed to run a few miles before it felt a little twingey. I cycled to and from Redhill railway station today without a problem, so I am hoping that this injury will quickly heal to allow me to run long distances again very soon.

To help my hip, and my legs generally, I decided to have a fifteen minute stretching work-out each day. I've never done this, mainly due to time pressures, but I have always spent five minutes stretching after running, thinking that this was enough. Since Sunday, I've been putting the time and patience into doing an all-round routine, and last night I touched my toes for the first time ever! It's amazing how quickly my body is reacting to this new exercise.

The plan now is to run four times a week for the next two weeks, but gentle running, with hopefully one or two long runs included. I'll continue with my stretches to help my legs generally. If I get time I'll apply ice and heat to my ankles and knee too.

Sponsorship is still slow, but I hope that I will be in the Surrey Mirror this week, and so this may pick up dramatically in the final weeks. I certainly hope so!

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