Well, I promised on my last blog that I'd keep quiet for a while after the lengthy recall of the IOW ultra and I've certainly managed to do that for once 😂😂 However, the price for that is yet another very lengthy ramble trying to catch up - sorry!!
I left you all with a confirmed stress fracture about 2" above the ankle on the fibula, feeling very uncertain about what would happen about the next couple of events I had lined up. Basically, the advice was no training for 6 weeks after - 6 weeks!! I tried, I really tried but AS, even with great treatment, makes resting almost impossible. If I rest, I hurt a whole lot more which is why trying to sleep is a nightmare and I don't get much of it (fortunately I can cope pretty well on 3 hours or less a night though that's a bit frustrating as I can no longer read or watch TV as I just nod off 😂😂). I'm usually on my feet from morning until night - there's always something to do 😀 Anyway, as usual, I digress, but if it helps more people to understand this crappy condition, so much the better 😊
I'm not good at resting, so my GP insisted on me using crutches for a couple of weeks which made me a lot happier so I could basically carry on pretty much as normal (not entirely sure that was his plan but it's what happened anyway 😊). Funnily enough, that was fine until I took the weight off the ankle then it just ached horribly non-stop. I worried about losing fitness and about not being able to train - we should have been back out in the hills building up again for the 50k Chiltern Challenge next month 😕 I tried doing exercise bike work but that started winding my knees up again so basically, I was reduced to pegging around on crutches as fast as possible and at least that helped build a bit of shoulder muscle - every cloud and all that 😊
Four weeks post injury was the Westminster Mile, something I'd looked forward to for a couple of years since our speed legend Nick blogged about it. I'd started to jog a bit again after doing Parkrun regularly from January to mid April, my plan was to see if I could actually run my first mile as an old bat without stopping. I was shocked how even at Parkrun, the impact started rapidly causing problems with my neck again (it's physically a bit knackered 😂😂 - partly fused, nerves impinged on at three other levels and with pretty restricted movement) and that was only jogging 100m, walking 200m, but hoped that eventually, it would 'get used to it' and it did to a small degree - at least the post jogging headaches weren't as bad after a few weeks 😊 A very upset knee (no reason, it just kicked off) after skiing reduced me to tail running duties until the IOW, but at least that still meant a bit of running got done here and there. The ankle injury put paid to even that though and I'd only been able to Marshal at Parkrun for the month before the Westminster Mile - the last time I'd tried to jog at all was 4th March!! To say I felt a little peeved at this stupid body is an understatement! Richard tried his best to talk me out of the Westminster Mile but I was adamant - I bought the recommended ankle brace to reduce any further potential damage and decided that I'd walk it - disappointing but better than missing out. We'd signed up for the Parkrun wave and from the moment we arrived, the atmosphere was brilliant. Very efficient bag drop etc and to finally stand on the Mall was just magic (likely the only chance I'll get!)
As we warmed up and waited to start I looked around and thought there was no way I was going to let myself come last. The ankle felt OK in the brace so as the countdown started, I decided to at least try and run the first bit. Well, the atmosphere must have got to me because I didn't stop. The roadside support was superb - so many people encouraging every runner 😊 When I saw that 100m to go sign I even had enough in the tank to do a decent Kenyan finish. I'll never set the world alight but was so very pleased and proud that I ran that mile in 11:52 - the first time I'd run a mile in over 40 years! It was great to meet up with Nick afterwards too 😊 We stayed and watched the former Olympians race which was brilliant, then sat in St James' Park and had the obligatory white Magnum 😊 We walked around the lake twice admiring the wildlife before finally heading home. I'd recommend this event to absolutely everyone - the atmosphere is fantastic (especially the lovely friendly Parkrun wave) and at £8 per entry, extremely good value (great bling too!)
The ankle and neck really made their presence felt for a few days after that but meh, that's life - it was so worth it 😊
Next was to try and get everything settled for the HU5k three weeks later. After another couple of weeks of no training, the 6 week post injury mark was up so irrespective of how it felt, training was going to resume and we really needed to get straight back to the hills. 8th June, miserable, grey and damp (perfect walking weather really 😀) saw us take on a 14k route incorporating Leith Hill (highest point in Surrey) and the adjacent Holmbury Hill. Got to say that the ankle ached from start to finish, but didn't worsen again until next day. I walked it without any support so I could gauge how it was doing. It was also my first time using walking poles and as have to say I'm very impressed how they help on the uphill sections and reduced hip pain 😊 Maybe a little ambitious for a 'first walk back' but you have to start as you mean to go on 😂😂
Holmbury Hill - the heavens opened just after I took this
View towards the south coast from Holmbury Hill
Loved 'snacking natural' en route on the wild bilberries
Stats - 14.05km in 3:28 with 378m of elevation - disappointingly slow, but a start nonetheless 😊
The week after that (last week) training was reduced to a very slow local amble (only 6.09km in 2:19!!). The reason was that two days beforehand, Richard had a very peculiar an worrying funny turn while I was out. He developed a huge sense of unreality, couldn't make sense of words and his blood pressure shot up to an unbelievable 199/98 😬😬 His memory of the day has all but gone but it was very scary - the first thing that occurred to me was that it could be a Transient Ischaemic Attack. The GP also thought the same 😕 He was immediately put on statins, told he wasn't allowed to drive until tests had been done and mustn't do anything very active in case a small clot was still lodged in his carotid artery. It really wasn't a pleasant week last week - very scary times 😕 Many tests were organised but couldn't be done until Friday morning. By Wednesday he was climbing the walls, so he wanted to go for a gentle local walk, on which I let him set the pace so he didn't feel under any pressure. HU5k was scheduled for me on Saturday and it seemed that would be off the cards. Didn't matter really, all I wanted was for him to be OK. Friday eventually came and after four hours at the hospital, he was given the all clear, told he was very healthy for 65 and immediately taken off the statins. It seems that he'd likely suffered a severe anxiety attack and as you can imagine, the relief was absolutely HUGE! It hadn't ever happened before but to be fair, he was very stressed week before it happened. This is the kind of man he is though - he rang me from the hospital and told me to pack my kit as we were going to Hawkesbury in the morning 😊
So the HU5k, another event I'd thoroughly recommend - brilliant atmosphere, brilliant to meet up with my lovely Buzzer buddies again and brilliant to finally meet Helen 😊
It was hot - boy was it hot! On with the sun cream (later wished I hadn't - my eyes still sting at the memory 😂😂). I'd agreed to walk the course with John, a Buzzer who's been on the injury bench with really bad back issues for quite some time). No ankle brace this time as it had been recommended I try CompressSport calf sleeves, which have 220 silicone 'buds' around each ankle and are designed to help rehab shin splints etc. The ankle had been aching all morning, but as soon as I put those calf guards on, the aching stopped (then returned later after I took them off so it shows they work well 😊). John and I decided before the start that we'd both rather adopt a run/walk strategy rather than just walk as it was also the day of the Realbuzz Great Oggie Run, raising funds in green for the Downs Syndrome Association, so a great day to try a bit harder 😊 We had a great time out there despite the heat, chatting all the way round and again, a race with tremendous support from marshals and the public. For the first time ever, when I could see the finish line and tried to speed up a bit, there was absolutely nothing left in the legs 😕 Maybe the heat, maybe because I hadn't had any carbs since the previous evening, but just maybe because I tried harder than ever before. My best previous 5k at Parkrun was 40:55. On Saturday I managed 38:10 on my Runmeter which was started well before I crossed the start line and stopped well the finish (it did take a while to shuffle to the start as we started very close to the back). Although the official time was given as 38:13.5. I'll take the 38:10 with a clear conscience 😊
After crossing the line I literally sank to my knees and poured the bottle of water I'd been given over my head - never felt so hot in my life! So now I have something to work towards at Parkrun because I know I can improve some more 😀 After that, back to Jim's for a great catch up and huge thanks to you Jim and Anna for your tremendous post race hospitality.
The journey home was tedious - an accident on the M4 meant it took 2:40. We had a charity event at Chessington Zoo to attend in the evening too, supporting our youngest (Ben) and despite us being late and tired, we really quite enjoyed it 😊 Richard said that once we were in HU, he really wishes he'd have entered as well, so on Sunday, we both entered for HU2018 and I, for one, can't wait to do it all again 😊
The ankle has behaved much better using the new calf sleeves so now I feel much more confident about the Chiltern Challenge next month (and also totally inspired by the gargantuan achievement of our two Dave's at the weekend!). Tthe physio said 12 to 15 weeks for the ankle to heal fully. On July 15th it'll be 11 weeks post injury, and with the lack of training it'll certainly be a challenge, but I feel mentally very ready for it already 😊😊
This coming weekend we're going to see life from the other side, helping to register participants and do checkpoint duties at the Montane Spine Fusion and Flare races starting up in Edale - really looking forward to that 😀
My fundraising page for NASS runs until my last challenge is complete in October and is at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/KathyMiller3 (just in case you can spare a few bob - - it always makes me try much harder 😊). Apologies for the huge blog again!
Happy training everyone 😀😀
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