Injured but not out

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When it comes to injuries I am a one woman Black Caps (NZ cricket) side – if it can be pulled, torn, sprained or bruised, there’s a good chance I’ve done it. So it came as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I injured myself while training. I will add that most of these mishaps over the past 25-odd years have been as a result of bad luck (although I will agree that using a skipping rope on a rebounder – it was the early ’90’s – wasn’t such a sound idea).

After weeks of little action, I found myself having an autologous blood injection this week. In everyday speak that means they take blood from your arm and inject it into your torn tendons, with the assistance of ultrasound, to help the healing process. It would be fair to say that, while not an invasive or lengthy process (and a big target when it comes to my upper hamstring region), I haven’t been very comfortable for the last few days.

Let’s hope it helps because I’m not sure my aqua jogging will. Note to self, no matter what anyone tells you, use a belt until you know what you’re doing. I looked like a marker buoy in the Wellington Harbour during a storm. ‘Twas not pretty.

In the interests of healing and giving myself every chance of actually crossing the finish line, I have temporarily given up alcohol. I’m not sure if it’s because it is summer or because I have a serious issue with fermented grape juice, but it’s not easy. I can say with confidence that my pre-marathon reci will include champagne store scouting.

My classes at Wellington High start this week and I’ve been pulling out recipes to teach. Here’s a current summer fav that couldn’t be simpler: Panzanella.

  • Rub the sides of your serving bowl with a clove of garlic.
  • Tear about half a loaf of day or two old dense bread (I like soudough, but use what you have) into chunks and put into the bowl.

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  • To the bread add about 600 grams of roughly chopped tomatoes – use a variety of tomatoes if you have them.

  • Then throw in a tablespoon or two was rinsed capers, a finely chopped medium red onion and lots of fresh basil leaves. Gently combine with your hands.

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  • Dress with a generous splash each of good quality extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with cracked pepper and sea salt – do taste first as the capers make it reasonably salty.

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  • Carefully mix all ingredients together and stand salad for at least two hours to let the flavours mingle and soak through the bread. (We often have leftovers for lunch the next day.)

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  • Enjoy with a glass a sparkling mineral water!

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