Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Bump in the Road

After nearly three years without a running related injury, it was about time for that niggle to turn into something more serious. I've noticed, especially running uphill, my right Achilles getting sore, but generally when I finish the run it disappears. Then last week it didn't disappear and at the weekend it was a continual ache, and by Monday I had to stop a minute into a run.

We are in transition from one medical group to another, so frustratingly the cost of an MRI will be only $100 from 1st Jan. In the meantime I've googled and googled and came up with the likely and the hopefully not so likely. Likely; Peroneal Tendinitis, inflammation of the tendons below the ankle bone (84,000 views on you tube for one video explaining the condition). Unlikely, stress fracture, but an unusual place to have this. So it's R.I.C.E. time (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and also time to fall in love with my bike again, although this time of year, its the gym bike weekday and given the Pacific Northwest weather, weekends as well.

I can't put my finger on any reason for this injury. Google tells me hills and speed are causes, but I've been running hills, and racing all year. So I'm sure its just an accumulation of miles, and normal wear and tear.

It's odd going from 1-2 runs every day to maybe an hour on a bike and some walking. You have more time, but you also feel sluggish and don't have that great tired post hard session feeling you get after a long run, or a race. It makes me appreciate how lucky I've been to have such a long injury free run (pun intended). But I have learnt not to try and run through these things, but accept it, rest and wait. The last time I had a long term injury it led to triathlon and ultimately Ironman, which was a pretty positive silver lining on a dark cloud. I'm not sure I now have the recovery powers to go there again, or the time or motivation, but it will be good to use some other muscles for a while!

Injury is the great rest inducing, especially in runners I think, who mostly think more is better. And there's no doubt a strong correlation between volume and performance. But as you get older, less is definitely more, and specialisation better than racking up the miles.

So after a year of the best trails I've run on, PB's, wins and some amazing race experiences, it's not a bad time to have an enforced break and focus on some other endorphin boosting activities. The problem is, even this time of year, nothing is ever as good as coming back from a wet, muddy run, fatigued and aching, and standing in a hot shower, feeling that runner's high.


  1. The ackes and pains of a serious running...

    I know it's hard for people like us, but the harder one trains the 'harder' one needs to rest!!!

    I hope it clears up soon and then you will come back stronger than before...

    1. Thanks Coach. I have ice baths, strassbourg socks and all sorts going on to cure it :)

  2. Tough gig to swallow Ian, especially after such a good year of running. Holding thumbs that solid rest does the trick. Hang in there.

    1. Thanks Luke. But cant complain. Would have liked a crack at my marathon 2,50 PB but wasnt to be