As Rod Stewart (sort of) sang It’s late September and I really should be back at work. Well, after 12 weeks of summer leisure time, reality has been restored and I am back at the coalface.
Smugly, I confess it was a pretty brilliant summer. I travelled to great places with some of my favourite people in the World, climbed the highest free-standing mountain in the World, ate lots of lovely food and generally had a fab time.
The final week of the Sabbatical was spent cycling around the Cilento and Amalfi regions of Italy, south of Naples. Our party of 16 like-minded souls got on famously, guided by our fantastic leader, a simply lovely Italian gentleman named Paolo.
In stunning September weather, we enjoyed Italy at its sumptuous best. The cycling was brilliant on generally quiet roads with reasonably considerate drivers.
Then there was the coffee (divine), the gelatos (scrumptious) , oh and the food in general…mmmm yes – the food was about as good as it gets.
The only aspect of the summer that didn’t live up to my hopes was running training. I thought that with free time galore, I would be able to run lots of miles, put in extra speed sessions and get myself into the shape of my life.
Unfortunately, I have been pestered by a niggling injury in my ankle – specifically posterior tibial tendonitis, or in English, inflammation to the tendon on the inside of the lower shin. It’s a bummer.
Last Sunday, after a week off running, my ankle felt not too bad and I joined a gang of team mates up at the reservoirs for the Sunday long run. I thought that if I could complete a solid 20 mile run, then there might still be some hope of a reasonable performance at Chester a week on Sunday.
All went fairly smoothly until the 15 mile point when the insidious pain returned. I slowed, was dropped by the group and then shuffled and hobbled my way back to the car, completing 19 miles in total. However, only 15 could be described as proper running.
I went back to see the physio yesterday – at the Coach House practice in Leeds. They are well regarded among elite sports people with a clientele that includes a legion of Olympic gold medallists and World Champions. If they could patch up Kelly Holmes well enough for her to win two Olympic gold medals, then I might as well give them a try.
I half expected the Physio to say that I would be foolish to run at Chester – that I would do lasting damage and I should expunge all thoughts of running it from my mind.
Clearly, she was used to treating obsessive athletes, because the after the initial assessment, she said “You have quite severe inflammation in the tendon – your ankle and foot is really stiff and stuck, but lets just throw everything at it and let you give it a go”. Just what I wanted to hear.
So, the plan is to take lots of Ibruprofen (against my normal principles), treat it with lots of ice and/or ice and heat, do some gentle remobilisation exercises and then go back for more physio next week. I won’t be running at all until Chester, but I can do non-impact cross-training like cycling and rowing.
I have set up my turbo trainer at home and I will be giving Zwift some real hammer over the next 10 days.
My gleaming new England kit arrived in the post this morning. The shorts are a little more ‘racing cut’ than I would usually go for, but I’d like to think that red and white quite suits me:
I can’t lie, I’m disappointed that Chester won’t be the best marathon of my life, I’ll just be aiming to complete it without embarrassing myself.
Then again, I’m very lucky. I can run. I am healthy and have great friends. I have nothing to moan about. Life is good.
CM- 1 week 5 days
11 stone 3.4 lbs