I’m one of those guys who always advises fellow runners not to be a stupid boy and to take a rest if something is not right. I’m really good at dishing out such advice. In fact, I’m so good at dishing it out that it appears I am completely incapable of taking any of it in!
Tuesday evening, I went for a regular run. All I planned was an easy 12 miles with a few strides in the middle of it. A few miles from the finish I could feel my left ankle was a little unhappy. I thought that I must have gone over on it slightly on some rough ground. It wasn’t too bad though so I thought nothing else of it and finished my run.
Wednesday morning, it was apparent that all was far from well. I knew the pain, it was familiar. It was the unmistakable pain of an anterior tendon strain. I had it about 3 weeks before the Dublin Marathon last year too. It was a light strain in the right foot then but it cleared up quickly. This time it felt worse and on my weaker side too. I applied the usual precautions of ice and elevation but to no relief. I stayed off my feet Wednesday (despite having a 60+ mile week planned).
sure I’ll run it off!
On Thursday, I was walking fine. There was a slight niggle but I thought it was just one of those things. I planned to do about 8/10 miles that evening and decided I’d go for my run. Only 3 miles into the run, the pain started to indicate that I should not continue; I turned home and wrapped up with a slow 5 for the day. I grabbed the ice pack from the freezer when I got home and rested for the evening.
Yesterday morning I get up, things don’t seem so bad again. I’m hopeful that the weekend won’t be a complete write-off and I will salvage something from a terrible week. Still brimming with confidence last night, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to jump onto the treadmill. Only to do a few miles to see how things really were of course. My thinking: if it acted up, I was already home and didn’t have to walk/run any further.
A couple of miles into the run on the treadmill and there was slight pain but not as bad as yesterday. I thought, “perhaps it’s in my head at this stage” (stupid boy). I kept running and past the point of warm-up, onto just over 7 miles before calling it quits. Happy out: I broke through the pain and got some miles in (stupid boy). I put the ice pack on again as a precaution and rested for the remainder of the evening.
you stupid boy!
Last night I didn’t sleep very well. I suffer a bit from ‘restless leg syndrome’ anyhow but the area over my left ankle kept going into painful, involuntary contractions during the night. These were magically counterbalanced by calf cramps when I plantarflexed to alleviate the initial pain. I knew things were not right.
This morning I woke up to a swollen ankle, the likes I have not seen since I once twisted it badly as a kid. There goes the weekend miles! In fact, there goes most of next week more than likely. I see lots more ice in my near future.
What kills me most is that this injury was obviously something I should have heeded but either through ignorance, ego, or defiance decided that I could progress in spite of. What should have been a tame week could now be turned into 2 weeks of almost no mileage. Next time I’ll just have to speak to myself in the third person!