Week 13 – Unlucky for knee

Week 12. 4 runs.  No cross training. 21.5 miles run.

Well that was a week of ups and down, down, downs. I finished the week with a recurrence of the knee injury and a shock on the scales. Not cool.

The week started with a bank holiday day off work. Whoop whoop. I had a lie in then drove out to Muirkirk to run over Cairntable and Stony hill.

Cairntable from the football field
Cairntable from the football field

The first few miles are pretty flat but it was clear early on that the peat bog was saturated. Twice in the first mile I was knee deep in mud. The going was was tough and sapping on the legs. Good fun and it wasn’t long before I broke one of golden rules of life; I fell over with no one nearby to see it. Falling over happened several times during the run due to mud or the thick heather I was wading through.
The climb up to Cairntable was tough but I managed to run bits and walk bits. Felt like an achievement unlocked when I got to the top in a reasonable time. Had a seat up by the cairn and enjoyed the view.
The Cairn at the top is massive and is a war memorial. Inside the cairn a metal box is buried that contains the names of the men from the valley below who lost their lives during WW1 and WW2.

Carin CT
The memorial at the top of Cairntable

After leaving Cairntable I went north towards Stonyhill

Stony hill from Cairntable
Stony hill from Cairntable

This is where the idea of a path became imaginary and remained so till about a mile from the car. Deep bog and thick heather all the way. The climb up to Stony hill from the col was very hard going due to the deep mud. One step forward and two back. However the view from the top was amazing, as was the relief that all the ascent was over for the day. This joy was short lived as I had to walk most of mile 6 because the heather was so dense and tall.

Cairntable from Stony Hill
Cairntable from the top of Stony hill

I was knackered when I got back to the car. My hands and legs were cut from falling over. I was smiling a lot too. Great route but I would wait until the ground was a lot drier before doing it again.
Cairntable is in an area of smaller hills that get ignored by hill walkers as they go north for munros. It’s a real shame. The south of Scotland has some great walking. A lot of it feels remote due the solitude and lack of over engineered paths. I am lucky enough to live a short drive away from a lot of these hills and their smaller altitude makes them perfect for fell running.

I rested the legs on Tuesday. Wednesday and Friday I did my 5k lunch run from work. Wednesday evening my knee felt a bit sore but not too bad. After my Friday run it felt very sore and tight but I was hoping that a bit of rest and it would be ok.

I spent the weekend in Newcastle visiting friends and on the sunday went out to Tynemouth to run with Andy

We had planned 10 miles or so at a slow social pace so we could chat and enjoy the sunshine. We set off from Andy’s house and linked the beaches via stairs and rocks. All was going well until mile 3 when my knee started to scream at me. We turned around and started to run back along the pavement above the beaches, stopping now and again to let the pain in my knee subside.
About 5.5 miles I gave in and I had to walk the rest of the way back.

In week 14 I have a 10k trail race. I am hoping that with rest and stretching my knee will be ok for a slow paced 10k. The rest of the week I am planning nothing but rest and stretch. My quads and hamstrings are very tight and I think this might be what is causing the knee problems.

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