Aug 24, 2014

My run this morning was the fastest since the calf tear, and I was also running up hills more strongly. That said, there was still a bit of pain, which brings me back to the topic of scar tissue.

Once again, this is simply my take on the subject. As I understand it, when a muscle tear heals, the early phase involves laying down lots of new fibres and tissue in a somewhat haphazard way. Much of this new tissue is beneficial and leads to improved function and a stronger muscle.

However, some is superfluous. It will ultimately be absorbed back into the body (much like a surface scar on the skin will usually diminish over time). But the reabsorption process can take quite a while and can also “tug and pull” in painful ways when the muscle is being used.

Getting rid of these less useful fibres can be speeded up through massage, techniques like laser and ultrasound, or via exercise. Massage and exercise will usually hurt when these fibres are broken down, but that’s just part of the process.

For that reason, once the muscle is strong enough – because good fibres have had time to establish themselves – running with a bit of pain isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it’s a really fine line sometimes and it’s very important to be careful. If the pain is actually coming through damage to the new good fibres, this is a bad thing, setting back the healing process.

Tread warily. But be aware that there is likely to come a time when niggling little pains in the region of the original injury are nothing more than the bad fibres (superfluous scar tissue) being broken down through activity. Experience helps one to understand the difference.


On This Day


Aug 24, 2012

Distance today = 55.02 km; Total distance = 10,521.29 km; Location = Booneville, Mississippi – 34 40.661′ N, 88 33.574′ W; Start time = 0913, Finish time = 1807


It was a long day. The roads here in Mississippi are picturesque, but probably the most pedestrian-unfriendly I have encountered anywhere. There is zero shoulder on just about every road. I am constantly meandering back and forth across the road, depending on which direction the latest car is coming from. When there is traffic on both sides, I need to jump into the long grass beside the road.

Another dog decided to follow me today. After it tagged along for some distance up the road, we decided it needed to be taken back, so we packed it into the car and Carmel drove it back to its home (sorry again, Chook). As nice as it is to have friendly dogs for company, I don’t want to be responsible for it being hit by a car or getting lost.

I’ve been through some interesting places the past few days. Holly Springs is where a Civil War “event” occurred, although it was relatively bloodless, when the Confederate Army took back the town and planted its flag in the square. We had lunch at a cafe in this town square. I also passed close to Tupelo today, which is where Elvis was born and lived as a child. It is also the inspiration for Van Morrison’s song Tupelo Honey (one of Mr Reefton Humblewood’s favourite songs, along with Cottonfields and Kumbaya).

One thing I’ve noticed that’s different in Mississippi are the flags. Everyone knows that Americans love to wave the flag, but I have seen more Confederate flags in the past two days (5) than US national flags (3). Mmmmm, interesting!

It’s hard to believe, but it took just 23 days of running to get from a state bordering Canada (Wisconsin) to a state bordering the Gulf of Mexico (Mississippi). I’m certainly happy with that sort of progress.

I have a couple of milestones coming up tomorrow, so stay tuned.


Aug 24, 2013

Distance today = 55.90 km; Total distance = 25,300.84 km; Location = Nagambie, Victoria – 36 49.721’ S, 145 08.525′ E; Start time = 0803, Finish time = 1652


I had lots of company today. Soon after starting, I was joined by Darren, who was at the Asia Pacific Digital function on Wednesday night. He used the tracker to find me at the MCG on Thursday, during the Channel 7 interview. He also used the tracker to find me this morning, and ran 16.5 km with Dave and me.

Carmel, Jeff, and Guen then turned up, finding us on a very quiet back road. Carmel had bought the three of us a chunky steak pie each – the perfect food for the road. Darren finished at that point, and Carmel took him back to his car, while Jeff and Guen went ahead to find accommodation for tonight.

Soon after, Davey Drew turned up with his daughter, Mel. He’d also found us via the tracker. It’s certainly proving its worth at the moment.

Dave finished up after 22 km, taking him to an aggregate of 152 km. The rest of my day was then spent on quiet roads, through ever flatter countryside.

I ended at Nagambie, which I last visited in 2002 on the Tour de Bois. On that occasion, we rode in from the west. Reefton Humblewood tried to break away as the finish line neared, and was the first to sprint. I responded, and had just drawn level with Reefton with about 50 metres remaining, happy to ensure he didn’t get the victory. And then, out of the blue, Klitty came flying by on my right, claiming his first victory on the tour. Poor old Reefton was also passed by Dave, Robbo, and Kenny, and again failed to reach the podium.

The unassuming Klitty, never one to talk about himself, had failed to inform us of his glorious past as a former national junior cycling champion. He was even offered a place on a European team in the 70s, but declined because he didn’t think he was good enough. A successful cyclist needs a balance between ability and self-belief, and the self-deprecating Klitty was lacking in the latter. In contrast, there’s Reefton Humblewood – big on self-belief and short on ability. In fact, Reefton still holds the world record for the largest recorded discrepancy between perceived and actual ability.

Anyhow, it was great to once again see the place where Klitty got his first Tour de Bois stage win. What might he have been, had he believed a little more in himself?