I have been relatively lucky over the last 20 years when it comes to injuries. Even after 10+ years of regular rock climbing, a couple of popped fingers and a suspected cracked rib after a 30ft ground fall are the worst injury examples I can muster.
I did suffer Achilles problems over the last 2 years, but regular stretching and warm ups seem to have solved that issue. Sprained ankles are another runner’s bear bug, but usually a week off training gets you back to normal. However, occasionally you do suffer that ‘nasty’ sprained ankle, the one that when you go over on your ankle your first reaction is ‘shit, its broken’. Luckily I have never broken an ankle (touch wood), but I probably have came close a couple of times… and again, after a few weeks rest and you’re back to normal.
However, two weeks ago I manage to have one of those ‘shit, its broken’ moments while out trail running through Clandeboye Forest. My right foot went down a shallow hole. One of those holes that were well covered with leaves and certainly you weren’t expecting to find. I even heard a ‘clicking’ sound as my foot twisted. Not nice, but at least I was fortunate to be located in the middle of an empty forest as I was hopping around like a screaming girl (sorry ladies) … of course, shouting all the Profanities of the day. I really did think it was broken this time, but after about 5 minutes of heavy breathing I managed to stand and place my weight in the foot ok. It was still very sore, but at least it felt that it wasn’t broken and I made it home without too much problems.
Two days later and my foot was still quite sore. I was able to walk on it, but sideways movement was still a ‘no, no’. I decided to get it checked out at A&E and luckily my second assessment was correct…it wasn’t broken. However, the doctor suspected I had a slight tear in the upper tendon that attached to the forefoot….not good. Heavy strapping and at least 4-6 weeks of no running was the outcome of the visit….definitely not good.
The strapping come off a few days later, but I haven’t been able to run and still wont for a couple of more weeks. The recovery period I can deal with, but this injury could not have happened at the worst time. …..so many good races I’m missing!!!
I missed the first round of the Long-O series back on the 13th and I missed both the NI Sprint and Night Championships held last Saturday, both held up at Coleraine. The weekend coming is also not looking good as the Spring Cup is on Saturday and the second round of the Long-O series at Carlingford is on Sunday. However, my big upset is I had to pull out from the High Peak Marathon. Running 42 miles was not going to help my recovery. Luckily Jonny Gallier has step up and seem very happy to take my place (it wasn’t hard to persuade him to do this classic race, especially when entries are limited), so the team (Rowan, Taryn, Barry and Jonny) are still heading over on the 4th March to Edale, which is great news and I don’t feel too bad about dropping out now. It’s still a big pity as the 4th March is my birthday and it would have been my 3rd birthday on the race course.
One thing I have learnt over the years is recovery means recovery and even if you have to miss a few races there are always plenty more to come. My goal is hopefully to be fit for the final Long-O round on the 20th March – fingers crossed.
Some good news is that I managed to get out on the single-speed bike yesterday for a ‘casual’ 40km ride around the local roads. It felt great to get outside again and my foot didn’t feel too bad, so fingers & toes crossed I’ll be back running sooner rather that later.