The Good, the Bad and the Wobbly 29 APRIL 2014
Good news is I’ve worked out why my left calf is constantly on the verge of being strained.
Bad news is, I can’t do anything about it for the next 6 weeks!
Wobbly news is that my cart is all out of whack, skewed only ever so slightly, but it’s not running straight.
The arms that hold the front wheel in place must have been bent slightly when I was run over and the front wheel was crushed. The replacement wheel no longer sits perfectly horizontal and it always wants to pull off to the left – straight into the way of oncoming road trains and any other passing traffic!
It’s been so heavy that I’ve had to use two arms to push it most the time, whereas I prefer to push with just the one arm, my other arm swinging freely – as close to natural running as I can make it while pushing my kit. Now that
I’ve almost worked my way through 23 kg of food and was running low on water (as planned) it’s light enough to push with one arm. However I can’t control it with just one arm as it wants to pull off to the side. To test this I got up to speed pushing it along the white line at the edge of the road, then let it go. It should have rolled on in front of me until slowing down until I caught it again.
Results? After running just 20 steps my cart was no longer in front of me but half a foot to my side!! So in 20 steps forward it’s moved 2 steps sideways! Or to put it another way, since Perth I’ve run over 1000 miles forward, but my poor left hip, ankle and knee have pushed that cart 100 miles south at the same time or I’d be well north of where I am!
That’s a very unnatural thing for the body to do, running with two arms locked is weird, and strains the back, but I could handle it for a few days each week while water weight was high, but running diagonally for thousands of miles is asking for injury, even without the cart! I don’t see any way I can set it straight, I can’t even work out if it’s the arms which hold the wheel, or the box that the arms attach to or the axle of the back wheel or the angle that the arms come from for me to push which is out of shape. Or perhaps it’s a small combination of each.
Sadly, it’s certainly not a case of whack it with a hammer and “that’ll do it”. It seemed weird that after running millions and millions of steps at a far heavier weight, without complaint, that my calf would now begin protesting at running along when I weigh over 15% less than when I started.
Hence, it’s also receiving 20-30-% less strain (depending on speed) with each foot strike. I’ve turned to using self acupuncture to control the trigger points which are constantly building in the left calf. It’s very tough to shove needles in yourself, let alone deep into the belly of your muscles, but it works well, and it might keep me from becoming seriously injured. All the muscles around my left hip are constantly tightening like piano strings and need to be stretched every few km to control the pain and move normally.
When I reach Sydney I will be putting the cart into retirement and picking up my buggy again, which I sent ahead from Perth. It’s such a shame as I love my cart! Also I don’t really want to have to run 10% extra in a country as large as Oz – those miles won’t even count towards the total!!