Bitter Tendons

Not sure what to write about today but I feel like writing. I am sitting here with a sore throat and a stuffy nose, knowing I have a 72km trail race next weekend, unsure if I will be healthy enough to do it. Besides the obvious nose snot issues, since about 2 weeks after the CCC I’ve had a persistent tendon problem on the top of one ankle, which I tried to ignore away.

I noticed it after doing some mountaineering/climbing in the weeks after the big race, and iced it each time it seemed to act up. Basically it feels like something gets ‘stuck’ in the place where my ankle joins the top of my foot and sometimes it really hurts to step on it … but the pain is not normally there when I run … only after, and usually in walking (esp down stairs). Sometimes so bad that I collapse over that leg if I stand on it and get surprised by the pain. But sometimes if I just stop a second, turn my foot in circles, I can then walk normally. I’ve iced it each time this happens, but it keeps coming back. Even after short runs like the hour trail run I did last week, or even a short 40 minute run with the dogs, full of stops to play with them along the way. So I am basically not sure if I will last 72km, because when I closed the Trail des Aiguilles Rouges a few weeks ago and did a run of 30km with 2000m of uphill (with a heavy backpack, carrying a 100L garbage bag to collect the course markers) as my kind of ‘reminder’ long run to my body, I started to feel the ankle while running the last downhill. I am not sure it will last 72km and imagine I may end up dropping out of the Templiers.

It’s not fun to approach a race not feeling up to it. I had a similar issue in the Turin Marathon a few years ago but it was only the flu, and since it was my first road marathon, I decided to run the race with the flu. I finished in something like 4:20 which was not bad considering my health.

I think the other issue stopping it from healing is that I’ve had crap sleep most nights in September, since being told I’ll be laid off at the end of January. Between worrying about my future over and over in my brain the first week and then just random cat noises, dogs barking, animals jumping onto the bed at night etc., I feel like I have not managed much quality sleep. My husband is gone this week, so the bed is bigger and that is great – plenty of room for cats and dogs climbing up to get warm because now it is colder in the house – I seem to have managed a couple of nights of good sleep — but on the other hand, now am sick. It’s like my body saying ‘at last we can relax and let the stress affect us!’ — which is not exactly what I’d prefer.

Basically I plan to try to sleep a lot this week, and hope for the best this weekend. If nothing else it’ll be an interesting outing with my French running club to a part of the country I’ve never visited before. We are staying in shared housing in a vacation center (no hotels in that area, it’s in a very ‘small town’ part of France) so I need to get good sleep this week as likely on Saturday night I’ll be rooming with snorers or basically will not get as much rest as I’d like the night before the race. It’s been 2 months since the CCC and normally if I had not had this issue with my ankle I would have probably liked to do a double marathon weekend again as my longest training but instead feel I’ve under trained due to the injury and now wonder if I can even manage to finish it without my ankle giving in totally. I am pretty sure it’s some type of tendinitis, because it seems to be the tendon that connects the top of my foot to my ankle, and seems to hurt most after I do things that flex my toes upwards or put me on tip toes repeatedly (including climbing). Guess I’ll just have to see how it goes.

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