Thursday, 15 December 2011

#42: Cry Baby Cry

While perhaps I should have seen this coming and thus was not totally unexpected, I am saddened to report that I am placing myself on the DL temporarily. For those who don't follow professional sports, DL stands for "Disabled List' (how they get away with calling it that, I have no idea?!). Ultimately this means that I am injured!

Yup, I am currently (like right now!) feeling extreme discomfort in my right ankle and have been for the past 2 days. I'm not entirely sure what the injury is, but it seems fairly serious judging by the amount of pain and discomfort. I'm self-diagnosing it to be a bruised, or dare I say broken (meaning a stress fracture) talus (Latin for ankle; a bone in the foot that together with the tibia and fibula makes the ankle joint). This would be particularly bad news because due to an unusual (retrograde) supply of blood, it is an area that requires increased time to heal.

Left - from below: Right - from above. Bones of human tarsus (the foot!). A - Calcaneus. B - Talus (the one I'm concerned about). C - Cuboid. D - Navicular. E, F, G - Cuneiform bones

I am planning to take about a week completely off of running and instead hope to maintain CV fitness via cycling (which I loathe) because I find water running to be ridiculous. I am also thinking this will be a good emotional/mental break from the rigors of training from which I never seem to be able to fully abstain.

So why did this happen? Well, we are now into the third official week of training for the upcoming cycle. This training involves a 4-week base-building 'alpha' phase; a 4-week speed development phase ('SWEP') and the regular 15-week 'marathon build' phase. That's 23 weeks of training! And in the past three weeks I have already logged 115, 110 and 120km respectively (perhaps too much too soon). I don't want to say that it was what caused my current injury but it was definitely a contributing factor. Others include the changing weather (cold, wet, windy); my current running shoes which may be reaching their last days and also the shoes I wear when not running!

My 'New Balance newSKY' sneakers which are made from 95% recycled materials and weigh in at under 5oz. Not used for running but also not ideal for high walking mileage. Evidence that the bare-foot movement is NOT a good idea for most people.

Regardless of the reason, it's happened and I need to deal with it. Real runners will know all too well the extreme guilt, frustration, and agitation that comes with dealing with injuries so I won't go into the intense emotional toll it can take. In sum, it sucks! We fear losing our fitness, we fear gaining weight, we fear losing ground on our close competitors, we fear having to start over again and we fear losing our desire, drive and dedication to move forward. This is why so many runners make the mistake of coming back too soon or running with/through an injury only to make matters much much worse. I've done this in the past and am happy to have learned my lessons. Despite the overwhelming urges and impulses to return, we must acknowledge that running is a long-term pursuit and these temporary blips are just that, temporary.

Here's to hoping that my temporary blip is short, sweet and over very soon...

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