20 days

It’s been 20 days since my last run. Nearly three weeks. it feels like much longer.

I’m hoping (not hopping) I’ll be back out there tomorrow. I tried running for a bus the other day and breaking out into a gentle trot did not make my thigh muscle tighten with such force it felt like a crochet needle had yanked it up and out.

My ITB, hip muscle tightness thing got too much back on June 10. Walking became naggingly painful, never mind running. Running seemed beyond possibility.

And so I began and continue to practice a series of exercise designed to stretch and strengthen by lack-lustre leg muscles. And so I have become every so slightly obsessed with clams, squats and a handful of pilates-style movements which require an extraordinary amount of focus.

All diagnosed by running trainer, Adam, who has also been putting me through my paces in the gym. This week I’ve been wobbling on a bosu ball while pushing up dumb bells, wobbling on a bosu ball while doing leg raises, wobbling on a bosu ball while doing squats… you get the plot. The idea is to work my core while I try to balance and do other things. It works. I can feel my stomach muscles twitching while I try to not topple off.

But in other news, what else have I been doing? Our university launched Bolton’s first Arts Festival which ran for five days but started with our creative degree show.

waiting for the show to start

Hundreds pack the SLZ, waiting for the Arts festival to be officially launched

Tuk Tuk by Aimee Coffey

Art takes all shapes

Textile Surface Design

I especially like textile surface design’s show – always gorgeous

textile surface design

Bit of detail from the frock above

cars on fabric

I’d wear this – with a vest underneath, of course

I’ve been working like the dog in a Hard Day’s Night, but there’s no pictures of that because it’s all a bit dull.

I did have a day off last Monday, walked up to Didsbury and bought an Ernest Hemingway book about living in Paris, which I am enjoying a great deal. And, for a change, it wasn’t raining. it’s been raining a lot.

Look not raining

Look, not raining!

Simons Bridge, Didsbury

Holiday by Chanel

Painting my nails

For the want of something to do I painted my nails this cheery shade of scarlet-orange which is called Holiday if you fancy it. I like Chanel polish, beautiful colours with a tasteful finish when they dry. None of that disco twink.

Jo and baby Rebecca

Jo and baby Rebecca

And yesterday I went to see my colleague’s first baby, Rebecca. Who apparently sleeps all day and is awake all night – sounds like she’s a teenager already, but she’s just over three weeks old – just a bit older than my nagging hip, ITB injury thing.

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Hippy, hippy ouch

I’m sure I’m not alone in having a weakness round the hips. Common in women runners, apparently.

Mine stems from having one leg longer than the other and so my left leg gets a disproportionate pounding when I run. That means tighter muscles in that leg and that hip.

The very brilliant runner’s world has some exercises on its website which are just great for hip flexibility.  You’re looking for the MYRTL routine, you have to dig about a bit, though the perky nutrition women are worth listening to – watch you don’t get blinded by those dazzling white teeth though!

The guy races through them, and you need to do 10 not three, but these will be great for me and I’m going to give them a whirl. I’ll let you know how I get on.