Injury Setback

Week 3 – Base Training
w/c 03.06.2019

Recommended mileage: 20 miles
Actual mileage:  14 miles
Well, what can I say? I’m absolutely gutted but trying to stay positive.

The week had started well, I’d done a hills session on Monday followed by a day’s rest before managing a steady four miler on Wednesday in celebration of a) Global Running Day and b) to christen my new trainers that Ruth had got me for my Birthday. Despite feeling a bit clumpy, Strava recorded one of my fastest ever times for the route, so I was more than happy with how they performed.

New shoes with Hickie’s laces

Instead of club run on the Thursday, I’d posted on the club Facebook page that I’d be doing my normal 10k lap of the Lickey Hills, a country park in South Birmingham which is pretty much on my doorstep. The run has it all, some tough ascents, fast descents, 360 degree views of Birmingham and Worcestershire and trails through woodland and the park. Although the Lickey Hills aren’t huge at 524 acres, there is a great 6 mile figure-of-eight loop which I run regularly. For the first time ever though I’d decided to run the route in reverse.
I met up with Suki, Paul, Helen, Hannah and Maria at just before 7pm who had agreed to join me for the run. We then proceeded to run the 10k route in reverse and although I’d run the route numerous times in the past, for some reason it seemed foreign when running in reverse. Anyway, I’d somehow managed to lead the group on course and returned to the starting line just shy of 6 miles. Now, as Strava doesn’t lie and is often the case with runners, we decided to do an extra short loop to make the distance up to 10k. It was here that it all went wrong. The loop consisted of a bit of a long slog uphill before a short, sharp decent back on the straight to the finish. I was in conversation with Helen and probably not paying as much attention to my surroundings as I should have been when I suddenly turned my ankle and heard the dreaded ‘crunch’ sound of either bone or ligaments. It was agonising and I knew straight away it was a serious injury, the swelling pretty much came out straight away. I’ve always suffered with ankle ligament issues since my footballing days and I once tore ligaments in a local trail race – the Wasely Wobbler in 2016 – just a few hundred yards away from the finish line on the final decent. On that occasion, I asked the marshal’s to carry me through the finish line so I didn’t DNF and at least got a medal!

Luckily, I had the group with me and between Suki and Paul, they managed to carry me back to the car. I often dismiss Ruth’s concerns that I regulaly run solo and if anything did happen I’d be stranded on the hills or in the woods with no-one around to help. This really bought it home today as there was no way I would have been able to hobble back up the hills on my own – so thanks guys! Once back to the car, Suki drove me to the hospital via home whilst Paul followed in my car.

I was in A&E for nearly 5 hours, and was finally x-ray’d and diagnosed by 2am. Luckily for me the x-ray confirmed no break, just ligament damage. I was given another appointment for a week’s time to ascertain the severity of the problem as my ankle was too swollen to confirm. 

I had a pretty restless night but had plenty of time to reflect. LiaD is 5 months away so is still doable but deferring wouldn’t be the end of the world. A&E was extremely busy last night and some of the patients looked in a bad way. I was saddened to see the number of poorly children or elderly needing help. My injury was self inflicted and will heal. I keep telling myself to stay positive and so far I am. As runners injuries are common place and as frustrating as they are, they’re rarely life threatening. If I have to defer a race or two, then it’s not the end of the world.
So for now, my main focus is not on running, not on the ultra but resting, recovering and rebuilding the ankle. I’ve self certified off work for a few days (my role involves a lot of driving) so will use this opportunity to R.I.C.E – rest, ice, compress and eat… I mean, elevate. Then I’ll come back stronger and more determined!

The Lickey Hills Gang 

Leading the run
A&E was busy

Finally seen and diagnosed – I’ll be on crutches for a while but no fracture

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