Frustrating Times

Tuesday, 18th August 2009

Someone once said that from a training and racing perspective, when you are feeling invincible and in the best shape of your life physically, you are potentially on the brink of an injury.

I never paid much attention to this, as in myself; I always feel great and most of the time, bullet proof. Until Sunday........

Continuing a huge week after our success at the Herberton 8 hour the previous Sunday, I assaulted the week with a series of tempo runs and severe hill work. My Thursday session comprised of an awesome 7 hour run, with a bare foot jaunt in the evening.

On Saturday, I was on fire. A 34km run which included the full Lake Morris Road all the way to the kiosk before descending to Crystal Cascades and then home via Redlynch and the sugar cane fields. On Saturday arvo we went and watched the Great Pyramid Race. I didn't run because I have four weeks until my 100 miler, and a potential fall, or smashed quads would not have been a clever alternative. After the initial guilt trip of watching the guys and girls head off for the mountain, I settled down for a good afternoon of catching up with others who also were not racing.

When we got home that evening I went out for a second run - this time it was a tempo effort, which included two significant hills - Mt. Lumley and the fire track up to the back of the Red Arrow. Again, I felt as though I could have been racing it. I ran the hills and maintained a solid pace on the flats despite my 3hour morning and Thursday prior.

Sunday was supposed to be easy. Which it was? I started out slow and built into a comfortable pace. By the 6km point I was starting to feel a slight niggle in the Achilles area. I immediately thought that this was due to tight calves because of the previous nights hills. I stopped and stretched. Carried on for another 1km. Stopped and stretched. This continued for a few more km's, each time the niggle getting worse. After 10km's I could not run and was now limping with severe pain around the Achilles tendon. I made it to a mates house and was lucky enough to catch them going into town. I caught a lift back to the house in silence. This kind of thing doesn't happen to me. Generally I push through and whatever it was that was causing a problem typically goes away.

My ankle swelled and I couldn't walk. I iced, elevated, rested, massaged it and hoped that by the morning things would be better. No luck on Monday. Although the swelling had subsided, the pain was still present.

It is now Tuesday evening and I am in a fair amount of pain. Walking is a problem - even sitting I can feel it throbbing. I have an ultrasound appointment in the morning and a doctor's appointment on Thursday. So far, I'm expecting the worst. Which will be that I cannot race in four weeks time.

These things are here to test us. As I always say, the power of the mind is a powerful tool. Negativity can drain us and prolong symptoms. A positive outlook helps speed up recovery and keeps one focused.

Because I view what I do as more than a finish line, I will have to take this on board and deal with it. I am truly battling with the concept of the downtime and the potential for not being able to race.

I will be incorporating pool running into my exercise regime. Hopefully, this awesome low-impact, high intensity, anaerobic workout, will help me maintain my overall aerobic fitness, and assist with a slow rehab process.

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