The Hare & Hounds and back pain hell

I’ll start with the back pain hell.
I woke up on Monday morning and the right hand side of my lower back ached slightly.  I put it down to the cold weather we’d been having.  It was pretty icy out there first thing on Monday!  There have been a couple of Winters in the past where my back has hurt.  The worst, from memory was four years ago when I moved into my current house.  My back was in so much pain I couldn’t help with carrying hardly anything into the house and the job was left to my Dad and one of his friends.  I just stood in the middle and directed where things should go!

But on Monday I had arranged to go on a ten mile trail run with a few others from club.  A few others all from groups 1 and 2 (I’ve just moved up to group 4 – two groups below anyone else).  They had posted a run a couple of weeks back starting from near my house and I had asked for a copy of the route so that I could run it in the future.  I got one better than that though and the Ladies Captain offered to organise a more relaxed run of the course over the holidays so that I could go along and not worry about map reading and getting lost if I were to follow the route later on my own!

There were seven of us on the morning of the run and the ice was thick on the roads.  The first mile was on road so we took it pretty steady (although still faster than I would normally have run a long run!) before cutting off onto a bridleway and over the A14 towards the lakes at Stanwick.  I could feel my back was a little tight but it didn’t restrict my running at all so I wasn’t too concerned.

We made it back to the little cafe in town just short of ten miles later and crowded in for some breakfast.  I was rather jealous of those that had ordered poached eggs when my fried egg on toast arrived.  After half an hour of chating and eating in the cafe I had stiffened up and my back was a little more sore to walk the quarter mile or so home again.  I jumped into the bath and spent the rest of the day casually catching up on Orange is the New Black with Dan.  (Very addicting if you haven’t already watched this, I recommend it!)  But by the time we headed out to the pub quiz for 8:30pm I could barely move.  My back kept twinging with every step and my face kept contorting with pain.  The usual five minute walk to the pub took a good ten minutes longer that night.
By Tuesday the pain had eased a bit and by Wednesday I had almost forgotten that I had had a problem earlier in the week.  Thursday morning we headed out to parkrun on another cold day and as we arrived I could feel that my back had tensed up again.  As soon as we began to run though I forgot about the pain and had no problems at all.  As we returned to the car I showed Dan how I could flex my arms and back any which way without causing me pain – running was clearly a cure!  After a forty minute journey home in the car my back had had time to stiffen again and has been recovering ever since.  I don’t know what’s wrong.

Today I headed out on an hour long walk with Dan before lunch.  (Probably would have only taken us 30 minutes had I been able to walk at my usual pace.)  I had hoped to get an easy 3-4 mile run in this afternoon as well but am going to rest running-wise until Sunday now in the hope that my back improves again as there is a trail run I was hoping to go on then.  Dan has been rubbing some Voltarol gel into the sore area twice a day and I’ve been taking long warm baths all week.  Voltarol gel is a miracle worker.  I feel a little like Daphne from the TV series, Heroes right now.  (If you haven’t seen Heroes, Daphne has a super ability to run everywhere really fast, but when her ability isn’t working she can barely make it by on crutches.)

Tonight Dan and I headed out for a meal at the Hare and Hounds in Great Addington.  A pub we had found during a trail run in the Summer and had meant to check out ever since.

Me at the Hare and HoundsDan at the Hare and Hounds

We had booked a table for 7:30pm and I had checked out the menu online before we arrived.  (Does anyone else do this?!)  Because it was a fancy-pants menu, I admit to googling some of the dishes I probably wouldn’t have tried having not known what they were beforehand.  When we arrived, the menu for December was slightly different from the one online.  (I guess it is no longer December, so I shall let them off!)

We then proceeded to wait over an hour for our food though, which was really disappointing as there were only two other tables in the restaurant.  We received an apology after about forty minutes with an explanation that the waitress had gotten confused with our order.  We received a round of free drinks as compensation.

When the food arrived, it was absolutely beautiful.  I’m afraid I can’t remember what was in my dish exactly and it is different to what was described online.  I apologise also for the poor photos.  Camera phones just don’t cut it in restaurants with dimmed down lighting and I’m not the sort of person who takes my DSLR out on date night!

Hare and Hounds mushroom vegetarian dishI had a poached egg (after regretting not getting one on Monday morning!) potato gnocche, and wild mushroom in an amazing spinachy sauce.  I think there were also parsnip crisps with a sprinkling of cress.  It was literally a melt-in-your-mouth meal and I scraped up every last bit of the sauce.

Dan went for the steak.  (He’s predictable in every way!)

Hare and Hounds steak with mushroomsI took his watercress from him and also two large mushrooms caked in a gorgeous onion chutney.  I love having a husband that leaves his veg!

For dessert we both went for a hazlenut topped dark chocolate tart with a scoop of vanilla icecream.  This dessert was different from the online menu and also the one we ordered from.  Good job we weren’t allergic to nuts as I don’t think they were mentioned on the menu, but there sure were a lot of them on the tart!

Hare and Hounds chocolate dessertWe had a lovely evening out, although it was rather disappointing having to wait for our meal for so long and having to rechoose from the menu after I had already settled on what I would like from the online menu before arriving.

Do you ever check out online menus for restaurants before you go out to dinner?
Any suggestions on how to cure my back pain?
 I’m open to all suggestions!  :)

 

14 thoughts on “The Hare & Hounds and back pain hell

  1. I don’t know how you managed to run at all with all the ice that was around on Monday morning! It looked like a frozen wasteland up here.

    Is your back pain lower or upper back? If Voltarol is helping it then it sounds like a muscular issue rather than spine or nerve-related, so I was thinking perhaps a sports massage might help if you can find someone? I really hope it improves for you soon.

    I used to love Heroes! I wish it had continued with the same level of quality as the first season…I guess they just ran out of ideas a little too soon. It would have been lovely if it had gone on to become as big as Dexter or The Walking Dead…or even LOST (despite the maddening ending), but I suppose it just wasn’t to be.
    Jess recently posted…11 reasons to start Les Mills classesMy Profile

    1. I’m not sure I would have been so keen had the whole run been on the roads. I did breath a sigh of relief when we turned off onto the bridleway!
      The pain is in my lower back on the right hand side. Dan said similar to you in that it sounds muscular. I’m hoping to get an appointment with a physio later in the week if it’s not improved at all. I feel OK this morning but am going to try an easy run out with others and see if it plays up again this afternoon. (Fingers crossed it doesn’t!)
      We loved Heroes too. Rubbish ending though – in fact that whole last season was rubbish. We’ve not tried The Walking Dead so perhaps that’s one for us to watch next. House of Cards has also been highly recommended to us. So many series…so little time!

  2. Sorry to hear about your back woes – it’s the worst! I know when I experienced some lower back pain last year the only thing for it was rest (ugh!) but I also went for a cheeky shiatsu massage and that felt amazing. So I say, treat yourself to a massage! And yep – I always check the menu before I go to a resto – it’s like peeking at presents before christmas 😉
    Cat recently posted…Should You Make a New Years Resolution?My Profile

    1. Massage is on the cards for later this week I think! I’ve had a frustrating few days of not really being able to get much done. I’d planned on really sorting out our spare room over the holidays but I can’t bend or lift and it was a waste of time even trying the other night.
      Love the comparison of checking the menu being like peeking at presents before Christmas…spot on! 😛

  3. Sorry to hear about your back pain. I like Deep Heat for it, as I think it helps to relax the muscle. I get a sports massage once a month now as I was getting really bad shoulder pain- sometimes when I ran, or when I was driving- hard to explain but the massage really helps.
    I always check menus before we go somewhere to check that I like the veggie option.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…White towns, grey rocks, blue skiesMy Profile

    1. I’m yet to try Deep Heat, although I must admit the smell does put me off a little!
      Dan has been massaging my lower back for ten mins or so when he rubs in the Voltarol gel and I do feel the difference from that. Would be even better with someone who knew just where to massage. I think it’s on the cards for this week.

  4. Back pain sucks majorly! Sorry to hear you’re suffering. I think my injury woes with my knee has been down to my back. And only on one side. I just try lots of stretches and sometimes a bit of foam rolling gently.
    I love looking at restaurant menus online. It’s how we choose where to go. I quite enjoy doing that as it makes me really look forward to the meal haha.

    1. No way! It’s a lovely little pub and the food was amazing when it came out.
      We found it during the Summer when we started and finished a trail run from there one night and went in for pints afterwards. Everyone was very welcoming to 20 sweaty runners and Dan and I mentioned then about checking out the food later on. You must know the area I live in now very well then. We’re only a five minute car journey from the pub.

  5. Sorry to hear about your back pain. Does a hot water bottle help at all? I cricked my neck in the summer and I ended up just waiting it out but the heat helped a bit.

    I always try to check out the menu before I arrive. We’re off out tomorrow night actually and I will shortly be checking the menu out – I am not good with too much choice!
    Steph recently posted…New yoga leggings see the light of day!My Profile

    1. I don’t actually have a hot water bottle. :( We do have an electric blanket though and I have been putting the hairdryer on under the duvet for short bursts to make sure my back stays relatively warm and doesn’t tense up due to the cold.
      Hope you have a nice meal out tonight! :)

    1. I do have some epsom salts in a pack I got at Christmas actually. Worth throwing them in to see if they help.
      Youtube is always my go-to guide when I want to learn some new yoga exercises. I’ve taught myself loads of things from watching videos for technique.

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