Friday, February 23, 2018

Post Op Session Number Three

Exactly 7 weeks since surgery, and six weeks home from hospital I completed my third session of running. It was a gym session and a total of 2 Km run, 1 K warm up walk, 1 K run, walk interval, followed by 0.5 Km, walk, then further 0.5 Km run, and walk down cool down for total of 4 Km exercise. Completed session with 3 sets of leg curls to rebuild leg muscle.

Nothing spectacular at all, and a long way from any shape of fitness, but every journey has to begin with these first steps, and given the time frame involved, I can't complain. Need to work on the cardio, surprisingly, as I hadn't expected that to have been so weak, but it will come.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Starting back slowly

After being given the OK to start light running again by the Consultant last Thursday, I have done just that. Albeit very easily, very steadily, and not very far. For once listening to advice and using common sense, instead of an obvious desire to get going, and no doubt, overdo things.

Monday I went to the gym, it seems sensible to start the comeback process on the treadmill, where I can control what I am doing, and if anything goes wrong, I don't have to walk too far home :). Monday I warmed up with a 1 Km walk, then ran for 1 Km at around 6 minute pace. Have to confess it was hard. The cardio fitness I enjoy most of the time, has vanished, must check with the surgeon if he removed some of that when he cut away bits of my colon - who knew that the colon was what gave you fitness !! :).... I completed the session with another Km of cool down walk.

Today, Wednesday, I was back at the gym, and after another good Km warm up walk, I managed to run 1.5 Km, at a little slower pace than on Monday, still feeling the lack of cardio fitness, that will come, and then finished with another Km cool down walk. Actually felt a little better than on Monday, and I proceeded to do 3 sets of 20 leg curls on the machine, as I am aware that the leg muscles have also reduced in my time of enforced absence.

I am still on target to be completing a #parkrun by the end of March, the target I set myself when I was lying in my hospital bed in early January. Obviously I have walked a parkrun in the meantime, but I plan to be back and able to run the full 5Km within 5 weeks, it will be done......

Stay tuned...

This is what I want to be doing this summer...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

All Clear on the Western Front

February 15th - A great day for me.

It was a return to St Vincent's and a meeting with my Consultant to go through the histology from my surgery and see how the recovery is going. No beating about the bush, it's Good News Day. The histology came back clear, and there appears to be no sign of any nasty little cancerous bits running around inside me. Given this, it is virtually certain I will not require any further treatment, just have to allow the muscles around the colon to do their business, and look forward, if that is the right phrase, to heading back to surgery in the summer months to have the reversal down on the stoma and by-pass. After that, its just a case of regular check ups over the coming years, and fingers crossed, all will be grand. They are also happy with my progress in recovery. Another couple of weeks off work, then I can look at getting back to even more normality.

Even better, I can resume running, albeit slowly and steadily in the next week or two, although that will be tough in a number of ways, having had almost three months off, I know the cardio will be a struggle initially, but, I plan to get back to a great level of fitness, one way or another, so I will be back in my shorts soon, although, given the cold weather, that might wait another few weeks - Can someone turn the sun back on please!

Hopefully, this will mean that this blog can soon be back to recording my running progress, rather than the last few months tales. I thank each and everyone of you who sent good wishes for my recovery, it certainly helped keep me sane, and on track. For those that came to visit me, in hospital, and at home, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and thanks for all the chocolates :)...

Onwards and upwards, the only way to go from here....

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Volunteering at #parkrun

Despite the weather, it was really great to get out this weekend and play timekeeper at #hartstownparkrun for their 170th #parkrun. Wrapped up well, and managed to walk most of the course (I walked one of the two laps of the parkrun), before the run, and another day out on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Just a brief Update on life (Oh, and a parkrun!)

Obviously not a lot to report in the way of running just yet, given it's only just over 4 weeks since my surgery. On the plus side, I am getting used to everything now, and despite a touch of gout holding me back, I have started to get out and about a bit, trying to rebuild some of the muscle loss than inactivity can lead to. Mildly negative aspect is that I tire very easily, and still find myself having to take an afternoon siesta, and am in bed by 10 most evenings. Sleep patterns are not as regular as I would like, as I have to get up during the night to clear out the stoma bag, but all in all I can't complain.

The BIG plus this last weekend just passed, was that I managed to get out to #poolbegparkrun as it was #worldcancerday and I acted as tailwalker for the #parkrun and walked around with family and friends in under 50 minutes, which surprised me. I felt tired afterwards, but happy to have achieved my first step on the road to a full recovery. I've been told my the nurses that the recovery is far more mental than physical, and so I have set myself little goals along the way, the first of which was to get back to parkrun and manage the walk at least - Ticked!

I have an appointment with the consultant next Thursday (15th), and hopefully all will be OK. After that I'll be planning my return to work, and, slowly, and without rushing things, my return to running. My next goal will be to jog/walk a parkrun in under 40 minutes, and then the 30 minute barrier. All steps along the road.

A number of the friends and family who joined me last Saturday at Poolbeg.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The story of my operation... (as reported on Facebook).

Liam Mycroft
6 January at 06:01 ·
Thanks everyone for the messages yesterday. Very sore this morning, and next to no sleep, but will be cheering Ulster on later, and reading all the run reports. Love my friends xxx

Liam Mycroft
7 January at 10:25 ·
Another sleepless night in St Vincent's. At least I'll lose weight, no solids yet.

Liam Mycroft
8 January at 04:51 ·
Monday morning. 10 to 5, and awake again. Very warm here in Vincent's, and with the meds, etc., I simply can't sleep. Still very sore, but all heading the right way. Wonder what they'll have me trying to do today?...

Liam Mycroft
9 January at 05:57 ·
Tuesday morning. Bit of a set back yesterday, stomach swelled, so they have had to put a tube down to the stomach, through the nose and throat, to alleviate the pressure. It did, straight away, but it's murder on the throat. Back to the drip overnight,oh well. Onwards and upwards 😀

Liam Mycroft
10 January at 06:27 ·
Day 6 in the Big Vincent's House. Tuesday was a strange day. Started well, and was up abot after a couple of drains removed. Felt tired, so went back to bed. No solids again, but water going down well. Up again when Pau arrived, and had a good wash and change. Back in beds for visitors, and all of a sudden, projectile vomited... All over my nice new gown.... Got cleaned up again... Doc then put me on 12 hour fast, so even water taken away. .. around 11, another small bout of sickness, this time I was prepared, and having had medicine for heartburn, this might have been a factor.... Just couldn't get to sleep, eventually dropped off, only to wake around 4, damp, as my stoma had leaked.... Changed again, managed to pee properly again, couldn't get back to sleep, so here I am, feeling a lot better this morning, after an eventful last 24 hours..... Apologies if these updates are over graphic, just like to be thorough 😀... Plus it saves me having to post more info to folk when they ask via pm......

Liam Mycroft
11 January at 08:16 ·
For all you lovely people following my trials and tribulations, a very positive post this morning. Yesterday dawned with me having been on fast the previous night, and once the docs approved liquids again, that first cup of tea was gorgeous. I had no discomfort, and at last the final drains were removed, and I could move around. The physio came around, took me for a walk. As to be expected after the op, the legs were a little rubbery, but he was very pleased. Christine Mc Cann came to visit, sweetheart, and Nurse Brid from the stoma unit came to explain the post op diet etc. Interestingly, it's the complete opposite of a healthy diet, but, allegedly, you don't put weight on 😀. From then, it was a little more walking, reading, chatting and Pau brought me a fan, which was a godsend, and I managed to get off to sleep by 10, and slept till 4... Heaven..... Docs been around this morning already, onto light diet, and an amazing turnaround from just 36 hours ago. .... Once again, thank you all for your support this week, it's kept me smiling, even when down. I'm not counting my chickens yet, but that light is getting pretty bright on this tunnel....

Liam Mycroft
12 January at 07:40 ·
One week ago, around this time, I arrived at St Vincents for my op. Had hoped today would be the last day, and it still might be, or possibly tomorrow.
Nothing exciting to report really, yesterday was another good day, no drama, and recovery in full swing. Bit of a rough night, sleep wise, as the ward was noisy, so not able to get a solid sleep, so a tad tired this morning.
Looks like I won't make #parkrun in the morning then... Stay tuned, hugs to all....

Liam Mycroft
Yesterday at 08:23 ·
Woo hoo... The day we've all been waiting for... Going home.....
After 8 days in Vincent's, pleased to report that the last three have seen a superb upturn, and everything is grand, and they are sending me home. Obviously, the recovery has only just started, and it will still take a few months to be back fully fit and healthy. I will have to come back later in the year to get the stoma out and ensure all goes back the way it should, but the worst is over.
I really appreciate all the support from everyone here, it has helped immensely to keep me going. One thing I'd like to say to friends who work in the health service, whatever country that may be, I thank you for your service, from the bottom of my heart.
Apologies to anyone who felt I was a little OTT with all the details, but it helped me, and saved me repeating myself 29 times. So, Thank you all once again, and, don't worry 😀 😀 😀, I'll still post about the recovery process over the months to come, just not every day 😀 😀 😀 😆


Monday, January 01, 2018

That was the Year That Wasn't!

January the First, 2018, and I think it's pretty fair to say I'm, glad to see the back of 2017. Didn't quite go to plan... At the start of the year, the #FarewellTour was planned, and the intention was to finish off the year, retired, and lining up for the San Silvestre Road Race in Buenos Aires, having emigrated to the sun. Along the way I had a number of races that I hoped to run, some for nostalgia, and some for the first time, having never got around to running them in the past.

The year didn't start too badly, and one race I was very glad to get into and head to, was the Ballycotton 10, down in Cork. I may not have been as fit as I would like, a continuing saga all year, especially when compared to 2016 when I was lucky to stay injury free and reach a 10 year high fitness level. Little did we all know when we crossed the finish line at that 40th Ballycotton Race, that this would be the last time the race would be run, a sad loss to the running scene, not just in Cork, but in Ireland generally. I slogged around in just under 87 minutes, but loved adding my mug and t-shirt to the collection, they will be treasured.

I picked up an ankle injury after Ballycotton, and this has continued to plague me all year, and still is. As a result, I could only run every other day without any difficulties, but, as I was on my #FarewellTour, I carried on, regardless, albeit not improving my times, and generally running with discomfort for the year.

One of the highlights for the year was running a couple of "trail" races under the Born2Run banner, at Malahide and Bohernabreena. I have avoided X-Country and Trail Runs in the main over the years, having broken an ankle many years ago running the East Lancs Cross Country Championship, with the uneven surfaces always making me run more cautiously on XC, and therefore slower. While the Malahide run was mainly grass and path, the Bohernabreena run was up and down, around and around, the reservoir out there in South Dublin, it was tough, but actually very enjoyable, and I enjoyed the craic at both races, with times being irrelevant.

One of the last Highlights of the year was heading to the west, and Dingle, for the Kerryman Dingle Half Marathon. It lashed with rain, the course was hilly, up and down the roads of the peninsular, and there were next to no spectators on the course, except for the hardy souls who braved the elements to yell encouragement along the way. Thank You. Despite all the that - I loved it. The scenery is spectacular, and on a clear day it would be even better, although, somehow, the rain made it more real. Didn't enjoy the walk back into town from the bus drop, but, as ever in running, the camaraderie of the other runners involved was second to none, and the Shirt was impressive too.

The week after Dingle I ran a decent 5K in a BHAA Race in Kildare, clocking a seasons best 24:14, and found out that I had won my Handicap Section of the BHAA Races from 2016, which ended up with a €60 windfall. Three weeks late, I had a disasterous run in the Rathfarnham 5K, some three minutes plus slower, and feeling terrible as I ran, which I couldn't explain. A couple of weeks later, we headed to the US for a holiday, and as luck would have it, the Brooklyn Rock n Roll Races were taking place the weekend we were to be in New York. Wasn't up for the Half Marathon, but teemed up with an old friend, Vincent Cloud, and we ran the 5 Miler. Although my time of 43:20 wasn't that special, I placed in the top 15%, on a tricky course, and if I had been running as well as 2016, I would have been a top 50 finisher. Not sure if that is an indication of how well I was running that year, or the standard of competitors on the day, but I'd take it.

Then the wheels fell off.......

OK, it hadn't been a great year, nursing the ankle injury, but I was getting around, was able to manage 18 #parkruns over the year, including new runs for me in Rostrevor and Poolbeg, a fair number of races, and some highlights as indicated above. My Saturday morning posts on #RSP seemed to have gained a little following, and at least I felt I was still contributing to the running community here before I set off for pastures new.

Friday October 20th, I handed my retirement notice in at work. The plans were being made ready, and we were looking to be heading to Buenos Aires the week before Xmas. Then, the following Monday, the week before the Dublin Marathon, I received a phone call from St Vincents Hospital. I had been having an MOT done during the year, just routine tests to make sure I was in great health before leaving the country. Just before we went to the States on holiday I had been to Vincents and had a colonoscopy, at which, four polyps had been removed, nothing serious, or so I thought. The phone call was from the department asking me to come in the next day to go through the results of the examination. To be honest, I didn't think too much about it, but when the consultant told me that one of the polyps had come back from histology showing a cancerous tumour, albeit small, my heart, and our plans, sank.

I won't go through all that happened again, if you read my previous missives, I explained it there. Suffice to say, all I heard was the C word, and I did have a few weeks of anxiety as I awaited the results of the follow up CT and MRI scans. Yep there is a trace of cancerous tissues floating around, and I will have to have an operation to tidy up the problem. Work were brilliant, ripped up the retirement notice, and I awaited a date for the operation.

My running took a back seat from then on. Sure I have managed a couple of #parkruns, and the Run in the Dark, but I've also managed to put on over 5 kilos in eight weeks, which will take some time to shed once I am back on my feet.

Thankfully, as the New Year commences, I have a date for my surgery, this coming Friday, January 5th, and I'm told the recovery period will be 10 to 12 weeks, although I hope to be out and about well before that. Obviously this will mean a long period of no running, which might actually allow my ankle to heal, and I will have to be very careful of my weight on my enforced lay off. If 5 Kilos will be hard to shake, 10 would be a nightmare.

I admit I have been very lucky. The cancer was relatively small, and at a very early stage. It was caught, and was/is being dealt with, which should result in a clean bill of health going forward. Being positive, we plan to remain in Ireland for the best part of 2018, so once I am back able to run again, I may just start part two of my #FarewellTour, and maybe manage a couple more of those races I didn't manage to get around to in 2017.

To all my friends from #RSP, from my Wednesday Night Ranelagh Run & Beers gang, from Lust for Life, from Kickrunners 30's Club, and the Hashes around the World, not to forget my family and friends from all four corners of the globe, huge thanks for all your best wishes over the last couple of months, lets hope that 2018 will be a far more positive one, and I wish everyone, health and happiness throughout the coming year.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The real reason for the hold up on the #FarewellTour

As promised, a little note to bring things up to date, and let you know why things have been put on hold for a wee while.

After the Dingle Trip in early September. I ran my last BHAA race of the season over in Newbridge, for the Pfizer 5K. A great flat course, and a reasonably decent time of 24:14, so things were looking up. This didn't last too long, as the following week I had a mare of a run in Rathfarnham, and things were slipping off the rails. I passed on the Dublin Half Marathon, and the ankle niggle, and the core issue really began to become more of a problem, and one that would need a break from running. Difficult to take a break when you're like me, and enjoy running and racing so much, but needs must.

We took a wee holiday over to the US in October, and I took part in the Brooklyn Rock n Roll 5 Miler, which was great fun, and although my time of 43:12 wasn't spectacular, it was an enjoyable, if hilly, run, and a few more runs in Central Park while in New York certainly had me smiling when we flew home, hoping I could get back into running well again.

Then the Big Story Hit!

As part of the retirement and emigration plans, I have been having a series of Health MOT checks, with everything coming up rosy so far. Just before we went to the US I had the last of my checks, a colonoscopy, and on returning home I got a call into the hospital to go through the results. Then the proverbial hit the fan. They had found a small amount of Cancerous Cells in a polyp that they had removed, and the histology had shown some vascular transfer into the bowel. !!!! To say the least, I was in shock..... More tests were to be needed, including a CT Scan and an MRI. For a few weeks my head wasn't quite in it, as I awaited the results.... Running took a back seat, and to be fair, most things did, and I apologise if I was short with anyone at the time.

Thankfully, I received pretty good news last week, and the cancer cells left are minimal, and while I may need a little surgery to clear things, followed by more scans, it seems I am pretty clear, although there will always be a risk, albeit low. I kept all this from public knowledge until I got the positive results, and thankfully, the scare, although very real to me, was, on a scale of 1 to 10, at the bottom of the scoring charts.

What this has meant is that we had to delay our departure into the New Year, as I want to be completely clear before we head away. With little running in the anxious time, and a lot of stress eating, I managed to put on 5 Kgs and starting back to running has been tough itself. I ran Poolbeg parkrun last week, and as those that know me saw, it was a struggle to get round, and 28:41 was a tough effort. A couple of gym sessions this week and Hartstown parkrun in a 2 minute faster time have me on track, but the ankle niggle is still prevalent, so the journey back to fitness will be a long one, but thankfully, that is the only tough journey I have to make in the next few months. Next stop, Run in The Dark on Wednesday next, anything under the hour for the 10K will be satisfactory.

So, there you have it - The reason for the Delay, and poor running - Putting this behind me now, and looking forward again....

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Must get around to sorting out this #Farewell Tour

Have been very slack at posting updates, mainly due to the fact that I haven't done a whole lot of running in recent weeks. Suffice to say that our departure from the Emerald Isle has been put back a little while, into the New Year, so I will get a few more runs in, I hope. This weekend I'll be at #Hartstownparkrun for their 3rd Birthday, and I'll try and give a full update on where my running is at on Sunday. Until then.........

Monday, September 04, 2017

We roll into September

Before you know it, summer has been and gone, and we are into September. Quite a few races run since my last post, and also three weeks off running as my niggle became more of a problem, but I'm jumping ahead.

Since the last post, I have had some ups and downs, but of the story of life I guess. Just as things start to be heading in the right direction, something happens to throw you back. After the Fingal 10K in late July, I was gearing up for the Dublin Rock n Roll races, with a couple of 5K's and a 10K due in Dun Laoghaire, this being one of the races that was on my list of To Do races on the #FarewellTour, the DLR Bay 10K, as I'd heard good things about this one, a challenging, but quick course. Best run of the month was in the BHAA Fire Brigade 5K out in Marino, where I ducked under 24 minutes again for the first time this year, clocking 23:52, and leading the Revenue B Team to a Team Prize on the day, certainly going in teh right direction.

As you know by now if you have been following my posts here, and on Facebook, I am a great advocate for #parkrun, and as well as running these 5K's on a regular basis, I also volunteer when I can, to give something back. I managed to combine the running and volunteering over at #Hartstownparkrun at the beginning of August, by acting as Tailrunner, ensuring that everyone gets the same experience, and finishing in style. It was great fun doing this, and I thoroughly recommend this to others to help in this way.

But back to running, and the DLR Bay 10K. I had been told that there were hills.. Well, there were a few bumps, but nothing severe at all, and I had a good run, despite the niggle in my heel still causing a wee concern. I ran 52:41, within myself, and although down on last years 10K times, I was happy with this leading into the Rock n Roll Dublin 5k and Half Marathon the following weekend.

The 5K went well, like last year, running comfortably, and easily, clocking 24:12 on the Saturday morning, and all augured well for Sundays Half. Between the 10K and the Half, there was a great turn out from my Wednesday night Run & Beers Group, and I was quietly confident of having a good run. Things didn't quite go to plan..... I started well, running 25:06 for the first 5K, and I was feeling strong, and starting to think I could crack the 1:50 mark.. Unfortunately the heel niggle suddenly decided that this was the day that it would become a problem. Somewhere around Kilmainham it suddenly became painful, rather than a dull ache that was hiding, just bubbling under. It came to the top... I tried to walk it off, but each time my left foot hit the ground, the pain became sharper. Despite that I still managed to clock two more Km's at just over 5 minute pace, but, the pain was very uncomfortable, and I decided it wasn't worth risking further damage by running another 11/12 Kms, and as the 10K race is 95% on the same course as the Half Marathon, I was able to divert to the finish of the 10K, cross the line, and even get the medal for completing the 10K, actually recording a half decent time of 54:40, despite the walking to ease the pain. The disappointment was only partly put to rest by heading to the Beer Market later in the afternoon for a post-race party with the Run & Beers gang, many of whom had great runs earlier in the day, in both the 10K and the Half Mary.

Despite my desire to run as many races as I can this year on the #FarewellTour, I knew I had to rest the heel, and so I took a couple of weeks off, missing the Frank Duffy 10m race, an old favourite of mine, but managed to volunteer at #parkrun a couple of times, which helped to ease the burden of no training. After two weeks, I needed to see how I was recovering, as Dingle Half Marathon was only a week away. It wasn't looking good. On pre-race Monday, the heel was really sore, and the race was in doubt. Maybe it was in the head, because on Tuesday it felt fine, and so on Wednesday I ventured out with the R&B Gang, for an easy 5k, and while the heel held up fine, my cardio was an issue - That old adage that you lose very little fitness in two weeks may be true, but two weeks and two days - Oh Boy!....

Thankfully, Thursday dawned with no reaction from the injury, so it was off to Dingle we went, and on Saturday morning, Nazli from the R & B Gang and myself lined up with a couple of thousand others, including many running friends from #RSP and #LustforLife, and all points around the country. If you've never been to Dingle, it's about as far as you can get from Dublin, before hitting the US or Canada. The West of Ireland, the peninsular in scenic to put it mildly, and although we didn't venture into the Bay, there is also a dolphin, but that's another story!

We arrived on Friday afternoon, in glorious sunshine, but Saturday morning was a different tale, with rain in the air, and as the forecast had predicted, it came, gentle, but dampning. I obviously hadn't been able to get the right training in for this race, but had a plan in mind, to run/walk the race, expecting the ups and down of the undulating countryside around Slea Head on the peninsular. Generally, the race went according to plan, running 4km, then walking 200m, and keeping that general pattern up, with exceptions such as turning one corner on the coast road into a Head wind that could knock you down if you were much lighter (I walked that bit too!), but then, turning another corner, heading on a down hill stretch, the wind was behind you, pushing you down at almost breakneck speed. My walk/run method had the desired effect, and while my time shows 2:03:20, well outside what I would have hoped for before the injury flared, it was actually a time I am very happy with, given what the last few weeks have been like, and the way I was feeling only 5 days earlier. The race finished in a pub, Krugers, in the middle of nowhere, and they bus you back to Dingle town, as the Full Marathon heads back into the hills, and the rain, and full marks to everyone who continued on, as the rain turned from that drizzle, to a heavier downpour. Despite all this, those we met in the evening who had run the full distance had really enjoyed it, you didn't hear a bad word said about this race, and although I may be on the other side of the world next year, I would certainly love to come back and face the challenge again one day - Highly recommended...... Nazli had a great run, clocking well under the two hours, around 1:53, and another friend form the #RSP group, Gary Mason, finished 23rd under 1:30, in very trying conditions. Hats off to everyone.....

As I started off by saying, we are into September, Autumn just around the corner here in the Northern Hemisphere, and recovery from the Half, with no side effects from the heel, see's me planning ahead for my last few months in the Emerald Isle. Next up is a 5K in the BHAA series this coming Saturday, with the Dublin Half Marathon on the 23rd September following. All being well, I can get back some of that lost fitness and be back under that 2 hour mark for that. I think it will be very unlikely that I run the Dublin Marathon now, as I simply haven't got the mileage in my legs. While you can get away with that, to an extent, for a Half Mary, the full 42 Km (26 miles for my American followers!) is another story. Early October sees a holiday to the East Coast of the US, catching up with some old friends, and family too, as Paula's brother and family will be in New York, and would you believe it, the Brooklyn Rock n Roll Half Marathon is on the weekend we are in New York - I mean, you have to really, it would be rude not to........

I'll leave you with a few pics, and a tune from one of my favourite bands - As they say, Until the Next Time..... - Just click on those last few words......