Blogging has been paused because this summer has not been good blogging fodder. Racing ended with a torn calcaneal tendon at the end of June, but I'd written off the remainder of the season long before then for other reasons, unrelated to me or my racing. I probably tore the tendon because I wasn't looking after myself properly. I don't think I've been to see Gareth at Swansea Health Solutions since the Gloucester Triathlon, when he was working on the things that were precipitating the tear.
I tore it at the Pembrokeshire Coast Triathlon at Broad Haven. It's a tough course, I predicted if it were to fail it would be on a downhill section, and yes, it went as we started descending with about 4 miles to go. Increased eccentric loading, see? Running up hills makes you stronger. Running downhills is the risky bit. If you're running hills in training make the downhill recoveries super easy.
All summer I've been planning, writing and scheming new teaching. We're running a new Physician Associates course starting this autumn, and the anatomy team will be teaching the anatomy. We get the first year and have had to work out good ways of teaching and learning this stuff with limited time, teachers, resources and expectations. I think it's going to be good. If you want to read more about Physician Associates in the NHS have a read on their website here. Small group, demonstrator supported, practical, physical work making students find the answers to posed questions and problems, with a short presentation and a clickers quiz each week. But I've been writing all the worksheets for the practical stations so that's kept my head down.
We're also starting a new BSc programme (Applied Medical Sciences), which we're going to teach a double module on. We've got more students that we expected for the first year, which is making us scratch our heads, and Marci's planning a lot of cadaver based learning for that group. Our anatomy labs and resources are small and we have to work with what we've got so it gets tricky. We have planned how to expand to a much larger group the second year that this course runs, but we want to run a smaller first run through to test how parts of this will work. The students will learn more than just anatomy and should get a lot out of this if they apply themselves. We'll see how it goes.
My tendon has started working again in just the last couple of weeks. After 3 months of managing to run but hobbling along, never really knowing how each run is going to go, and clambering downstairs sideways in the mornings it's great to be able to run properly again. I've been collecting some fun data from Garmin's HRM-RUN strap and have been keeping an eye on my ground contact time, vertical oscillation and left-right balance. The healing tendon is on the right side, so my balance has been off to the right, with a slower landing and push off (longer ground contact time) and I was bouncing up and down. This week my heart rate has dropped and my pace has increased for the same effort when running. The efficiency of the calf complex, eh?
I was thinking about doing some of the South Wales cross country running series, but I might not be up for it. My run fitness is not strong. I did see that entries open this week for the Christmas pudding run. I haven't earned a Christmas pudding for ages. Maybe I'll run with a GoPro and make a video - it's a great race with a slightly crazy course.