Just when things were starting to look good, and the anticipation of doing some serious mileage in the hills was starting to creep up on me, I’ve gone and done it again, adding some irony to a recent comment from Ninja Turtle of “The 道 of our L’Art de Vivre“, where I was plainly warned of the dangers of too much too soon.
I’ve already been to the physio, but this time, we’re not quite sure what it is. All I know is that, at some point in all my recent runs, usually at around 8-10km, this really annoying ache begins to play up on the outer edge of my foot, radiating both to the fore and rear from the 5th met joint. Physio suspects some irritation to my peroneus brevis tendon, right were it connects to the 5th met, but it’s pretty clear this one’s got him a bit puzzled (and he’s usually quite spot on).
The frustrating thing is, I don’t even think I overdid anything. Sure, I did jump straight back in to a 30km weekend after a month or so of inconsistent training, but even that was spread out over two days, and in the grand scheme of my regular mileage, the 21k I did on my long run really wasn’t all that long.
Even more frustrating was that, even after those back to back runs, I pulled up fine. Tired of course, but fine – no aching, no pain, no sign of anything to come. Then, two days later, right in the last 200m one of my little midweek sessions, the outside of my foot starts feeling like some tiny being decided to move in and blow up a balloon on the inside of my joint.
Since then, it’s been a bit of a guessing game. I can still run, but my limit seems to be around 8km before the pain starts to come back. There isn’t enough time before TNF to take a full on rest, so looks like it’s going to be three months of treading the fine line.
On the bright side, at least I can still put in 8km at a time, so I plan to make the best of that. And, it’s not been all doom and gloom. Here down under we just had the first of our public holidays for 2015 – Australia Day, which made for a lovely long weekend with the family. We had good weather all weekend, and the cap on my running mileage meant that I had heaps of time to indulge in other things.
Saturday started off with a 28km mountain bike ride, where I quickly discovered that I had completely forgotten everything I had learned during my skills course just two weeks ago. It came back quickly enough, but there were a couple of embarassing double takes where I charged up on a log or rock field, only
to chicken out for my ageing, risk adverse brain to blank out and slam on the brakes a foot or so short. Seems I don’t pick up these things as quickly as I did in my teens (which, interestingly enough, is going to be “teens” ago soon), so I should probably look into a few more regular sessions to lock in the muscle memories needed. On the whole though, it was a good 28km with some decent climbs and a tonne of bone rattling fun thrown in. Not quite the zen like experience of a good long slow trail run, but I’d take that over a morning on the couch almost any day.
That afternoon, making the most of the good weather, we headed back to Lysterfield for a family hike, just to get some time on feet in preparation for the coming trip to NZ. The weather was a bit warm, and but the blue skies and summer breeze were a treat, and E had a whale of a time, spotting kangaroos and spiderwebs and just being a little boy in general. We took 3 hours to cover around 10km, over trails I’d run countless times before, but this time, the privilege of bringing my dearest family along to see the sights I had been enjoying over the past couple of years made it just that little bit more special.
Sunday was mostly spent at church and doing housework, but we still managed to squeeze in a bit of a swim. E is progressing well in the water, thanks largely to the efforts of his grandfather, and it was quite a buzz watching him splash around and jump confidently into the water on his own. Uncharacteristically, I also managed to get around 400m worth of freestyle. I hate swimming laps, but I guess the frustration of being unable to run fully just had me craving for some other form of exertion.
Determined not to go run-less for an entire three day weekend, I got up early on Monday morning, and while J & E were still fast asleep, I headed out to Braeside for a morning run. I made it to 10km and was just thinking that the injury fears were a false alarm, when I felt my foot tighten up, and slowly, over the next 3km, the ache grew and returned with a vengeance. Hopes dashed! On the bright side, I noticed my heart rate remained at a steady 145bpm or so throughout the whole run, an indication that not all my fitness had gone out with the trash.
That afternoon, we went hiking yet again, this time to a different side of Lysterfield park. We headed up to Trig point where we spent the afternoon lounging around, just enjoying the views and the great outdoors, and letting E loose to explore the hilltop to his heart’s content.
As the day drew to a close, we strolled back through the hills back to the car, just chatting about life in general whilst E took a nap, snoring gently in the carrier on my back. Despite the general lack of any running, it was certainly a much enjoyed weekend. We were blessed with good weather, good times and each other’s company. Going back to work on Tuesday was certainly not going to be easy!