I wasn’t going to bother with a post for this disastrous week, but I’ve had time to reflect and actually, it’s probably not so bad to blog about the experience. Also, if you have been following the blog (thanks!) you deserve to read about the week I had to stop running altogether!
This was the plan….
Training Schedule – Week 11
- Mon – 5 miles easy
- Tues – Rest
- Wed – 8 miles easy
- Thurs – 5 miles easy
- Fri – Rest
- Sat – Rest
- Sun – 18 miles long slow
In week 10, I reported that I had developed a niggle in my right calf/shin. It seemed to be sorting itself out, I managed 17 miles without too much difficulty.
Monday’s 5 mile run brought the pain right back, worse than before, and not going away afterwards. Haunted once more by the prospect of a serious injury (MTSS?), I promptly made an appointment with my close friend and brilliant physio Caroline. We live on the same street so I didn’t have to travel far.
Caroline really does know how to do an assessment well. She’s very thorough, makes you feel at ease and asks lots of questions. She likely sees lots of runners too. After around a half hour of diagnostics, resistance tests and questioning, it turned out I didn’t present as having shin splints (MTSS). Instead, I had a couple of other issues. Primarily, my right flexor digitorum longus muscle was likely the source of pain and tightness. Standing on my tiptoes on my right leg was wobbly and it was during the toe-off phase of running and walking I was getting pain. Another issue was my right hip being much less mobile than my left. In fact, by manipulating me into a pose that an expert Yogi would be proud of, I could feel the pain of an impinged sciatic nerve right down the outside of my ankle and foot.
The subsequent relief I felt was incredible. I may have hugged Caroline a little too enthusiastically, it’s just as well we’re friends. Given the news that doing some targeted strengthening, hip mobility exercises and some cross training should see me back running soon, I left with a (slightly lopsided) spring in my step.
Week 11 was a good lesson in listening to your body. If I had kept running, I may have made the situation much worse. Instead, I did all the exercises twice a day and although I never made it to cross training, I rested for an entire week (apart from Friday night when I ended up quite drunk with photographer friends and got involved in some rather energetic dancing/jumping about at a local band night fundraiser. Good to let your hair down mid-training)
By the end of the week, I had gone from being barely able to jump on the spot 5 times, to being able to hop, skip and jump 20 times. A good test for readiness to run.
Thanks for reading! Next week, adventures in blister prevention…you lucky, lucky people.