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rice: food for thought

strained tendons (photo ©

How I wish this was a post about an intriguing discovery about rice and how it fuels the potential to be a better runner. Sadly not. The only RICE of any note in the past week has been Rest Ice Compress Elevate. I’m probably repeating myself with this post given my last on the subject but I’m still in a bit of disbelief with my own stupidity. Please indulge me while I slate myself again for such behaviour.


Following last Tuesday’s run I started to notice a bit of a problem. The only bizarre happening during the run was stopping to see if a very inebriated young man was in need of medical assistance or not. Other than that, I don’t recall twisting anything, landing awkwardly, or straining myself – it was just a pleasant 12 miles. That night however, I knew I was in a spot of bother with my ankle.

Specifically, the problem was in the area of the tendons from the base of the shin across the top of the foot. I’ve had it before – probably due to repetitive strain over time in periods of longer mileage. The icepack was taken from the freezer and leg up for the evening. I thought nothing more of it but the next day it was no better.

don’t do this

Two days later, on Thursday, the pain hadn’t really subsided despite sticking rigidly to the RICE routine. I thought, “perhaps this is one of those mind over matter things, my head was seizing the opportunity for a rest amidst this recent high mileage”. So, being a dumb runner, I took off to do my 8/10-mile run that evening. After roughly 3 miles, it was apparent that my return to running was too soon. I called it quits and got home after a total of 5 slow miles. I iced it up again that evening.

The week was getting away from me. Friday morning, only 19 miles completed for the week when I was meant to cover 60+ before Sunday. Runner’s ignorance and stubbornness kicked in, leading to absolute foolishness. I decided I was going to run through this ‘niggle’ and get back on the horse. I hopped on the treadmill Friday night, hoping for a more controlled surface to take it a little easier. Slight pain for about 2/3 miles then as I warmed up the pain lessened and I kept it going for just over 7 miles in total. I was pretty happy with myself, until I woke up Saturday morning.

A swollen ankle, some pain, creaking tendons, and absolutely no way I was going to run my 18 miles on Saturday. I wasn’t going to be able to run Sunday either by the looks of it.

lesson learned

Such an idiot! I should really know better at this stage than to have ignored the problem and try to battle through it. My week ended with 24 miles covered – the lowest weekly mileage I’ve covered in 12 months. Gutted and sickened!

24 miles and stuck in a week of RICE (Rest Ice Compress Elevate) testing times for the head
24 miles and a week of RICE (Rest Ice Compress Elevate) = testing times for the head

Whether or not I would have covered more miles if I had rested properly in the first few days is of no consequence. What is relevant is that I am not on my feet today and I probably could have been, had I been more respectful of the issue. Rather than one week gone awry, I now stand the chance of 2 weeks being written down. Not exactly ideal with only 4 weeks to go until the Waterford Viking Marathon – with training having gone so well recently, I was contemplating a goal time effort if the weather was agreeable.

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