Sunday, November 18, 2007

Normal service is resu...*!snap!*

After 10 days off running completely I stood on the treadmill at the gym on Tuesday a little nervously. I did a 5 minute fast walk, just to warm up the muscles a little, then turned up the speed to 12k's and did 30 minutes with no problems; no foot pain at all. Good news. I did further hour in the gym strength and core stability too.

On Wednesday I planned a 5.5 mile trail route. Now all of my running after work is in darkness of course. I dressed up warm in running tights, a Helly Hansen top and a windproof top too. I also ran with my head torch as well as some high visibility strips. I set out over the fields, wary of my footing of course. The weather has gone much colder in the last couple of weeks and despite the clear evening it was foggy everywhere! I'm sure everyone has driven in fog? Well you know what happens if you turn on your main headlight beam? It just lights up the fog and you see less. Well that's the problem I was having. There was no fog at all, but my head torch was lighting up my exhaled breath in the darkness, making it tough to see where I was going. I did find it mildly amusing initially, but then tried breathing out in odd directions so as not to catch the light. Anyway, that was a minor issue. I was finding that the rougher uneven ground was niggling my foot and it did concern me. I found a better path and made it home no problems.

On Thursday I planned a 6.5 mile route, but decided to take in about 60% road to ensure even footing and not upset my foot. This was very successful and I had to stop myself from running on further as I felt so good.

I did my usual gym session on Friday. On Saturday I planned a 9 mile trail and road route; probably 50/50. The latter part of the route was in a wood on a fairly good path, which was at this time of year covered in fallen leaves. My run had gone well, although my foot had niggles from time to time. Strangely I noticed the pain went away when going up steep hills, so I leaned into my run a little to simulate the position. This worked well and I was heading down a steady downhill path in the wood around the 6.5 mile mark, feeling pleased that I had turned a corner and the injury woes were behind me. My right foot (the mostly good foot) landed on the leafy path, which must have hidden a large stone or small brick. My ankle inverted sharply outwards with an audible *SNAP*. I brought the leg up instinctively and keeled over onto the side of the path, hurting and cursing as you can imagine. The amount of times that I have inverted that ankle is beyond a joke. If my foot would have landed an inch to the right or left it would have been ok. As I lay on my back nursing my ankle, thoughts of 'well that's the next few weeks lost' and 'I won't be doing the Round Rotherham in 3 weeks' etc.

I sat for a few minutes until the pain subsided and got to my feet. I could stand and bear weight ok, so nothing broken, and walking slowly initially was ok. I ran on again but it hurt, especially where my foot landed on a slight angle. I decided I would have to cut to the shortest route home which was still another 1.5 miles. I half ran, half limped home feeling sorry for myself and cursing my terrible luck. I got home, took ibuprofen straight away and got an ice pack on it straight after a shower. As always with sprained ankles they get worse when you sit down, as they seize up. I put on a compression sock and also dug out an old neoprene ankle support. I stayed off the foot as much as possible on Saturday, and continued with ibuprofen and ice packs.

So, Sunday's planned run lay in ruins. I kept the compression sock on overnight and have iced it again today. I can walk on the ankle albeit it slightly slowly. It's one of those injuries that will probably only stop me running for 2 or 3 days, but it will have no doubt weakened all the muscles and tendons that I have been working hard to strengthen. I hope to be back running on Wednesday, but only time will tell.

I have been told about an event next Saturday night near Stratford. The location and route are a secret to stop people reccying the route in advance. It's 20 miles and starts at 11pm. I am tempted, assuming my ankle heals quickly, although running around in the dark could be asking for trouble couldn't it. I had planned to do 20 miles next Saturday, and another 20 on Sunday; to remind myself what extended mileage multiple days effort feels like. I'll update in the week and let you know what I'm planning. I've got to be careful, because I am taking part in the Round Rotherham 50 miler on December 8th. I see this as my key milestone for 2007, so I must be fit for it.

I'll think on it, and update in a few days.

Other news, I have myself another week in Tenerife for training, just before Christmas. Assuming that the Teide (The isalands volcano; 3,715 M (12,188 FT)) has no snow on the ascent, I will go up it again. Alone this time (my father came last time, see the post here), and i'll run as much of it as is feasible. I'll also do a few other trail/mountain routes. The weather is usually mid 20's so it should be a nice week.

Have a good week.


AndrewM said...

I know that for me, running in the dark on rough ground or even unlit roads is going to catch me (my ankles) out sooner or later. I stick to roads with street lights.

It's boring and jarring but better than sprained ankles.

Good luck.

Steph Cooke said...

Good luck Rich I can well imagine how frustrated you must be feeling! Hopefully things will settle down well before the Rotherham 50.