I was pretty baffled by my knee pain resulting in a premature exit from Saturdays Northern XC competition. Fair enough I had suffered a bout of cramp at Simonside a fortnight earlier and then from a strained calf toward the end of run at the Devils Burdens run last weekend, but the calf had recovered quite well over the following week, so this knee thing was a mystery.
I've only been a DNF statistic once before in the 7 years I've been running competitively. I had been out on the bike the day before for 20 miles, but it was a slow easy ride so no cause there, surely.
Rather than doing my usual long Sunday run I went out on the bike for another quiet steady ride. Those lads at Breeze Bikes had got the machine working a treat and I was still going nicely along the damp, leaf strewn lanes after an hour. There were plenty of bikies out. I got back to the house with 30 miles in the bank and sponged the machine down with warm soapy water. Later in the afternoon the knee pain was still there and I suppose the giveaway was that it had spread from my left knee to my right knee as well.
On Monday it was looking like I would have to give the Scottish Masters XC at Kirkcaldy this Saturday a miss and I contented myself later in the afternoon (after a meeting) with nipping into Northern Runner to get a new pair of fell shoes. The Salomons have been great for the last 14 months, but at £80 a pair in other shops, I opted for a pair of Walsh's which I'm sure will do the job. It was during a conversation in the shop that it was suggested that the bike might be the problem and, more specifically, the position of the seat. I nodded at this sagely, after all, I am an ex-bikie and know all about this sort of thing. But as I passed over my cash and vouchers, the latter a prize that I was advised dated from 2008, I realised that the seat did feel a bit low and I'd spent no time ensuring it was in the right place.
I thanked Mr S for his advice and accepting the antique vouchers and, getting home, checked the saddle position of the Ridley, comparing it to my old track bike. It was an inch lower and about 2 inches further back. It all made complete sense then and I felt like I should be wearing a cone with a big 'D' on the front. To celebrate this breakthrough I popped a couple of brufen and went out for a 6 mile run with the crowd (but without the 6 minute efforts!) which passed without incident. I'm pleased to say I've adjusted the saddle and just might manage Saturdays run. Auntie Aggie gave the bike the once over and thinks the saddle 'might 'do me a mischief' but I told her I wear plenty of padding. She likes the colour but said it's not the bike for her as it doesn't have a basket, and in any case she's no masochist, she'll stick to her Raleigh shopper, thank you very much. I guess I should be thankful.