I’ve tried to retain my sense of humour over this little episode and, it has to be said, things could have been an awful lot worse.
Picture the scene… I’m four miles into a seven mile Sunday morning tempo run and on the cusp of completing the biggest weekly mileage so far on my current marathon training programme.
The weather is lovely, the conditions perfect, the scenery pleasant and, to top it all off, a belter of a song has just started up on my iPod. No niggles from my troublesome right thigh, feeling fresh, optimistic, back in control and generally quite happy with life.
And then, coming down an incline, I hit something.
Probably a rock or uneven surface on the trail path, but it jerked my ankle sharply outwards and hurt. A lot.
I pulled up straight away. There was a man coming towards me walking his dog and I saw him take a sharp intake of breath before calling out ‘you alright mate’? My use of colourful language upon impact suggested not, but I composed myself and said something like ‘yes I think so, occupational hazard’. And with that, he carried on.
But really all I could think to myself as I was hopping around and gritting my teeth was…‘you absolute idiot’ (I may have uttered a more adult word). It’s so easily done, especially when you venture out on the trails, but I felt completely stupid for losing concentration and not being more cautious about the conditions underfoot.
Now the dilemma – I’m at least two miles from home, probably more. Do I carry on? The pain had eased so I started walking. That soon became a gentle jog and, eventually, full on running again back at my target marathon pace.
I decided to complete the full seven miles (I was determined to hit that weekly total) and made it home in just over an hour. There was time for a quick sit down before we had to leave for swimming with my daughter, so out with the frozen peas and a cold compress.
And hey, at least it was my left ankle – now I have injuries on both sides of my body so perhaps they will balance themselves out?
I actually felt OK for most of the morning. Then the ankle swelled up and by evening it was really throbbing. But, to be fair, come Monday the pain had reduced considerably and after another fairly inactive 24 hours it was almost gone. By yesterday (Thursday) I was back out again, run-walking a slow 5k, and I hope to be training properly by the weekend.
General feeling is I’ve dodged a massive bullet here. It could indeed have been much, much worse – it could have scuppered my Birmingham plans full stop…
So the moral of the story is be careful out there. Keep concentrating, take it easy on the trails and, if possible, invest in a large bag of cotton wool and wrap yourself in it until race day!
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