Sunday, November 04, 2007

A lost week

It's been a bad week. My ankle wasn't improving so I had two physio sessions; Tuesday and Wednesday. The pain I am getting is on a small ligament on the side of my foot, but I am also getting pain on my peroneal tendon and also pain on the inside of the ankle too (the physio said these pains were a result of the tendons working harder due to the failings of that ligament). The physio worked this ligament, and also treated my other ankle (the one I inverted a month ago) too. I had heat treatment, and some inferential (electric muscle twitch machine) on both feet/ankles.

On Wednesday it felt a little better so I thought I'd try a run. Again it felt rough during the first mile, but eased off slightly. It niggled all the way around, but I did 5 miles. OK, I thought progress. I had another physio session on Thursday and had some ultrasound as well as the ligament manipulation. I found the ultrasound uncomfortable to the point of being painful on my right ankle, but completed the session ok.

On Friday I was walking pretty much normally, so I assumed I was healed. I had to travel to South Wales for work on Friday afternoon and work into the night. I got to bed about midnight and set my alarm for 6am, hoping to run for an hour and 45 minutes before breakfast and work at 9am on Saturday. I got up and changed and started running at 06:15. I had barely gone a couple of hundred metres when my foot started hurting. I hoped it would ease off after a mile; it didn't. I switched to running on my left toe because that caused less pain. At the 3 mile mark, I was pretty depressed and knew I would have to turn back and retrace my steps. Sometimes I tried running on my foot normally, but within 3 footsteps the pain kicked in. I'd go as far to say it was as bad as it has ever felt, possibly worse. I limped back to the hotel, after covering just 6 miles, showered, had breakfast and went to work. I limped around for the whole day after that. I phoned and left a message for my uncle, the chiropractor, telling him of my problems.

Today, Sunday the foot doesn't feel to bad again, but my left calf is very sore; I assume a result of running on the toe for 6 miles. Because my foot felt ok, I was genuinely going to be stupid enough to try and run again today. I drove to my parents house unannounced and was hoping to get them to baby-sit my son for a couple of hours. However, no one was home and no one came back before I left at 7:30pm (I'd been there since 3pm). On reflection this was probably a blessing in disguise. MY foot would have not magically healed in 24 hours, and I'd have been in the same boat as yesterday; limping along feeling sorry for myself. Whilst I was there, my uncle phoned back, and I am going to see him on Tuesday evening. I almost feel guilty because there is nothing to 'see', and I am now more or less walking normally. It's just the action of running that causes pain. Nevertheless he will check me out and hopefully find the cause. It may well be the ligament, or it may be tightness further up the leg, or even nerve pain caused by the usual suspect for injuries, my back.

So, with just 11 miles covered and one gym session, it feels like the week has been lost and wasted. I know I won't lose fitness that quickly, but it just feels like I will. I have the 6 dales circuit 25 mile hill run coming up on Saturday; pending miracle work by my uncle, that's looking unlikely. That said, my uncle has a habit of working miracles 9 times out of 10, so I'm fearing the worse but hoping for the best. I have got to keep the bigger picture in focus. A couple of lost weeks now aren’t the end of the world. I can pick my training back up and be fine. However, running on partially healed injuries for the next couple of months will ruin my chances of making or completing the MDS. I have to keep that in mind and don't do anything stupid.

On a different note I had a pair of the New Balance RX1441AT trainers through, the ones I pictured in the previous blog post. I wore them this week for those short runs. I actually think they may well keep out the sand. I need to put them through their paces on some dunes in Wales perhaps over the next month or so, but they stand a good chance. There is a built-in inner-sock as well as the outer gaiter.

The outer fabric is like a rip-stop type material. Providing that keeps out the sand, and I think it will, they could work. The orange gaiter, only if you hold up to the light, can you see through it, so in theory very very fine sand could get through but should be caught in between the gaiter and inner sock anyway.

They are a fraction heavier than the 1100MDS shoe 394g vs 384g - per shoe weight of course. They don't look to have the same quantity of cushioning, and perhaps don't, but in my tests this week involving some road running they felt good. They didn't feel too hard, and had sufficient cushioning; certainly a world-more than Inov8 305's etc, which I find too hard in just a few steps on the road.

One major difference I noted was grip; these new shoes have an immense amount vs anything else I've used. They have 1cm depth rubber studs all over the sole. They'll certainly come in handy for trails in the UK if nothing else. I felt sure footed on all surfaces.

I'm approaching using them with a huge amount of caution, because I am not unhappy with the 1100MDS shoes. It's the gaiter that's the hook with these. I'll thoroughly road and sand-test them as soon as possible and let you know how I get on. At the moment I am assuming the 1100MDs unless these shoes win me over in a sand test.

Here's a look at them.

That's all for now. I hope you have a good week, and I hope I have a better one too!


Anonymous said...

Rich, totally sorry about your week - absolutely shitty. I can completely understand the stress that this injury must be causing you. I had a significant peroneal tendonitis a few years ago. I know this is hard to accept, but you need to stop running. Can you find reasonable cross training (elliptical, bike, swimmming?) It isn't as good as running for what we are going to do, but it you keep reinjuring your already very inflamed tendons/ligaments, you will never escape the cycle of injury and reinjury that you are in. You can't "out-tough" this. I'm really sympathatic, your diligent training and intelligent approach should be rewarded (in my opinion). The problem, though, is reality doesn't care what we think.
I really hope you get better soon, I'm looking forward to meeting you in the desert.

LBo said...

Hi Rich, i usually read your blog on a Monday morning to lessen the boredom at work after the weekend. I'm sorry to hear you foot hasn't improved. I've been fighting off a few niggles & ITB syndrome over the past few months & have experienced a disturbing personal trait. My typical cycle is to stretch, rest, ice, & visit the physio for a few weeks then when things start to feel better, try a few short runs. Over the space of a week or so without fail(!) i ratchet up the miles & end up in the same sorry state of painful disability! Its very odd that i can even acknowledge this pattern, yet very rarely have i resolved to put a stop to it! I think William is correct in saying you can't 'out-tough' this, & it will take real effort to realise you must give it time... Save the belligerent, gritted teeth stuff for the desert when you really don't have any other option!! Get better soon. L

Steph Cooke said...

Rich, hope your uncle manages to help, I remember how frustrating it was when I hurt my Achilles. I'm hoping the same thing doesn't happen again on my next half marathon attempt.
I think if you keep cross training as you have been doing, then you shouldn't lose much fitness. Hope it is better very soon, Steph

Lloyd Biddell said...

Sorry to hear about your injury Rich, pretty gutting for you. I have to agree with the others, it sounds like you are over training. Sometimes you just have to accept that you need to rest for as long as it takes to let the body repair itself. Going out for even a few miles a couple of days later wont improve your fitness at all, but as William says can just end up aggrevating things further. I've been there and done it in the past myself thinking that I must go out for a run when I'm crocked - it just doesnt achieve anything.

You need to refocus on the end target - end of March 08 rather than where you are at now. If you take a couple of weeks off now then you have plenty of time for things to sort themselves out and be fresh for the MdS. You dont want to risk carrying on as you are and continue the cycle of injuries into early next year. Taking a couple of weeks off wont result in a huge loss of fitness, but constant piecemeal training with a cycle of injuries over several months will.

I know you have been reading my blog - and if I'm anything to go by its probably best to ingore me bearing in mind how injury prone I am, and how I ingore my own advice...!

Good luck