Last week was nothing short of exhausting! The in-laws were around for most of the week post E’s birthday, and while it was marvellous being able to spend time with them and to watch E play with his cousins, it meant that we got to bed later on most nights, which wasn’t too friendly for my 5:30am starts at work. Combined with the general stress of busy season in an accounting firm, it was pretty much the perfect storm for me.
So, on a beautiful Saturday morning, the warmest one we had had all winter, I arrived at Lysterfield Lake feeling utterly drained. It was a classic case of spirit willing, flesh weak. I was really itching to get out on the trails, but at the same time, I felt generally tired and achy.
The sun peeked through the treetops and, even as I started trying to get my joints and muscles moving through the first couple of kms, I could sense the difference in the weather. It was just before 8am, and already things were heating up. The blazing southern hemisphere sun on my skin felt like a heat lamp, and the gentle breeze, instead of feeling cool and fresh, felt warm and muggy.
The heat sent my heart rate up another 10 or so beats per minute, and so I found myself struggling up the climbs, and towards the end of the run, my form had all but disappeared. I tried my best to stay on top of hydration, but after two months of winter running, the warmth was a bit of a shock to the system. It took a fair amount of concentration just to keep my form together, but eventually, after an hour or so, I slowly began to settle into a rhythm.
And then came the scare – about half-way up the gently climbing Wallaby Track, I felt it – a distinct ping followed by an obvious burning sensation through my tib-post tendon. The burn lasted a good minute or so, and was replaced by a familiar dull ache. It had been over a year since I had hurt that tendon, but the feeling brought memories surging back. The ache slowly dulled and faded over the next ten minutes or so, but I was all too familiar that it could well be exercise induced analgesia masking the pain.
I made up my mind to forget it and enjoy the run, which I thankfully did, but lo and behold, throughout the rest of the day, the grumpy tib-post tendon made its presence felt. Not through an obvious pain or anything, but just the occasional dull ache when taking a step, or getting up from a chair. There was no consistency – for the most part I felt like I had full strength through the muscle, and I was unable to deliberately reproduce the pain.
The next day, things seemed to settle down, so I went for a test run, and popped on some strapping tape round my foot arch for good measure. I took it really easy, and the foot seemed to hold up fine, but sure enough, later in the evening, back came that occasional, annoying and unpredictable ache. Best to nip it in the bud, as they say, so it was off to the physiotherapists today.
After sticking my tib post muscle and tendon full of dry needles (much to the delight of J & E who were spectating, as J had just had a session to treat a mild case of piriformis syndrome), I got the green light to keep running, much to my delight. However, it was bittersweet, as as a result of the treatment, my left leg feels like it’s been hit by a truck. Heck, it definitely felt better pre-treatment than post!
The aches from an intense session of dry needling can take a day or two to settle down, so the jury is still out on whether I will make tomorrow’s speed session. At least, for now, it doesn’t look like I’ll be missing too much running!
The week in KMs