The Road to Recovery

Week 4 – Base Training
It’s been a week since turning my ankle and cabin fever has set it. I mean, what did I do before running? Before kids, I used to embrace sofa days watching box set after box set without a care in the world. Weekend TV now consists of Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig and Blaze and the Monster Machine which we try to discourage as much as possible.  Now, even after a couple of days I’m climbing the walls itching to get outdoors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great being around the family but with such awful weather outside (ahem, its June, what happened to the British summertime?) we’ve been stuck indoors and there are only so many games of Junior Monopoly, Labyrinth or Crocodile Snap that you can play in a day, as lovely as it is!  I’ve averaged 4-5 runs a week for the past 5 years so it’s going to take some getting used to, even in the short-term.  As a family, we’ve never been one to stay indoors, we try and get the kids out for a walk or an adventure every weekend. It’s how I justify the Sunday morning long runs. I leave in the early hours so I can get back shortly after the boys have been fed, washed and dressed. We then do something together as a family in the afternoon. 
I’d self certified off work for a few days and had been doing as little as possible to minimise the damage and ‘RICE’ing’ as much as possible. Ruth had been a godsend, waiting on me hand and foot and the kids have been doing their best not to jump on my ankle as much as they usually do! It’s difficult trying to explain to a 2 year old that daddy’s foot, all bandaged up, is not a seat to sit on, a target to step on or a climbing frame to clamber up!  I’ve filled in an on-line self referral form at the Princess of Wales Physiotherapy unit in Bromsgrove (handy as its only a ten minute walk away) so should have an appointment within the next week or two, after my reassessment at the hospital on Friday. 
On Sunday Ruth insisted we went for a walk around Upton Warren Lake, (I think I was a bit grumpy), ok, so when I say walk, we went and sat in the outside Beach Bus for some fresh air, a cup of tea and biscuits for the boys. It’s usually a 5 minute walk from the car park to the Beach Bus and I must admit, walking on crutches is hard and tiring; so much so that it took me about 15 minutes!

Pretty cool Beach Bus – reminded us of Betsy Blue

It was lovely to get some fresh air but after about 20 minutes the clouds had circled above like vultures and with the heavens about to open, Ruth and the boys made the decision to make a run for it back to the car. I followed behind on my crutches and within seconds, we had a torrential downpour. It took me 8 minutes to get back to the car, soaked through to the skin but at my least my crutch skills had improved!

Just before the heavens opened

On Monday, I’d taken delivery of some running gear I’d ordered the week before with my Birthday money – oh the irony – receiving kit when you’re injured! Anyway, I don’t plan to be injured forever so at least I’ve got this lot to look forward to when I’m back pounding the roads/trails. Not all my usual brands but I’d read some good reviews and they were (relatively) cheap so thought they were worth a punt…

Inov-8 Rocklite 285’s
I swear by Inov-8, it’s one of my favourite brands and it’s never let me down. LiaD has a fairly
intensive kit list (will do a separate blog on this shortly) and carrying lightweight, reliable gear is a must if you’re going to be out in the fells for anything up to 24 hours.  I currently wear Inov-8 X-Tallon 212 which I love, but was looking for a second pair to wear alongside these.

Inov-8 Mudclaw 300’s
I ordered the Mudclaw’s to do a direct comparison against the Rocklite’s with the intention of returning one but in all honesty, I’ll probably keep them both. My initial opinion is that they are completely different shoes but each has its advantage dependant upon the terrain and distance.  Plus you can never have enough kit, right?

Salming Distance 3
OK, so these were a gamble. I’d never heard of them until I stumbled upon them on-line and read some reviews. They’re a Swedish company who focus on stripped back, minimalist and lightweight running gear. They have a 5mm heal to toe drop and weight just 8oz.

Salming Speed S1 
Another gamble, the speed version shoe weights 7.7oz and is designed for track and shorter distance races.

Hilly Revive Compression Calf Sleeves
I’ve never worn compression calf sleeves before and bought these to test out on both runs and post-runs to aid healing and recovery.

Inov-8 All Terrain Running Visor
I’ve never been a full cap kind of guy, I find my head overheats too quickly. I own a black visor which I mainly wear in the summer to keep the sweat out of my eyes but that’s about 5 years old and has been used a lot – I’ll say no more, this is its replacement!  First impressions are its extremely lightweight, just like my other Inov-8 gear, which I like.

Inov-8 AT/C DRI Release T-Shirt
It’s Inov-8, it’s lightweight, it’s breathable. What more can I say…   

Birthday prezzies! 
Birthday prezzies

I returned to work on Tuesday, albeit working from my home office. I’m still unable to drive but their’s plenty of emails to answer, leads to chase up and generally catch up on the things that get put to the bottom of your to-do list. Also, my home office is a log cabin at the end of the garden so leaving the house for work also helped with the cabin fever and got me off the sofa! It also enabled me to continue to R.I.C.E my foot properly which by now was bruised and swollen but I took that as a good sign – it was healing!

The bruising and swelling after day 3 

Friday soon came around and I had my follow-up consultation at the hospital.  Although I was feeling slightly apprehensive, personally I felt that the ankle was healing well (albeit it had only been a week) but I was still non weight bearing and wanted reassurance and some kind of recovery time-frame from the experts. The doctor did a quick assessment of the ankle, prodding away as they do before taking me to see the scan of the x-ray. He confirmed it was a grade 2 tear, but more worryingly at the time, there were several loose bone fragments in and around the ankle, maybe as a result of past football and running injuries rather than this current injury. Either way, as they has caused me no previous issues, he suggested just leaving them in there. That was fine by me.

The doctor was great, easy to talk to and very honest with his assessment. I explained that I was in training for an ultra and the required mileage I would need to be doing over the next three months and he reassured me that I should be able to commence gentle jogging in as little as 3-4 weeks – but maybe double that for trails/off-road due to the nature of the terrain. He also recommended physio to build the ankle back up, which as it happens, I had received a phone call from the physio the day before to confirm my first consultation on Monday. Great service all round.

Lakes in a day is back on….


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