Paul Walters runs the London Marathon

Report from Saturday 31st January 2004

Building again slowly

I took part in the Tadworth 10 on Sunday 4th January, and finished in a time of 1 hour 30 minutes 21 seconds. This is getting on for 20 minutes slower than my best time over this course, and is an illustration of how slow my running has become. The Tadworth 10 is one of my favourite races. It starts and finishes on Epsom Downs.

On Sunday 18th January I took part in the Epsom Oddballs Perch 2000 race, which is a little further than 10 kilometres. I achieved a time of 51 minutes and 23 seconds, which again is rather slow. This was the first time I'd taken part in this race, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, although the last mile was rather hard. Again, this race starts and finishes on Epsom Downs.

I have run a distance of ten miles or more three times during January, and so have been trying to stabilize my running at this distance ready to increase the distances even further. However, I have had an increasing burning sensation from my achilles tendon on my right ankle. This happens when I just start a running session, and can also come on while I am driving a car, which is rather dangerous really. I am icing my ankle twice a day, and having ultrasound applied once a week. I don't want to over stretch it - I learned this last year when I had a similar problem.

Last Sunday I also damaged my right knee, although the knee became a problem not during my ten mile run, but afterwards when I was doing my piriformis muscle stretch. This stretch bends the knee in awkward way, and this brought on an old knee injury sustained in March 2002. When my knee hurts like this, it usually takes a week to recover, and so I have not run at all over the last week. It does feel better now.

Some very kind people have sponsored my a total of 60 in the last week. Many thanks to them for contributing towards my fund.

I am continuing to support the MS Trust, but I am still considering whether to support a local charity too. I will make this decision hopefully in the next month.

I still feel rather slow and stiff, and have niggles with my achilles tendons, my right knee, my lower back and my neck. My hope is that given time, these problems will either go away or at least not hinder my running, and that I can build on my fitness, stamina and speed. I am trying to reduce my weight by up to a stone at the moment to improve my running performance. I may well go off a drug that I have been taking for the last 10 months, and this might also help.

Many thanks for reading this. I'll post another report in about a month, so look in again soon if you're interested.

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