Not the kind of end of year I wanted. After a really good training week leading up to Christmas and a boxing day run taking in plenty of hills and woods I decided to give the Guisborough Woods race a go. The last time I raced Guis Woods I think was about 2006 so the memory of how hard hard a race it is has faded long from memory. Feeling good on the first lap after the uphill I started the long descent in about 6th place. I knew I would struggle on the downhill as I always do and was quite happy to let a few of the mountain goats past me knowing I could take them on again on the flat and the uphill sections.
CRASH - out of nowhere I was down, rolling down the hill and fearing that my ankle was either dislocated or broken. That was the end of my Woods Race and as it turned out the rest of my running in 2011 and probably into early 2012.
I am now into Day 6 of my recovery from the Woods tumble with a sprained ankle, possible ligament damage and a fair bit of bruising. Recovery has been a mixture of cycling, aqua jogging, swimming, lots of stretching and plenty of proprioception aka standing on one leg and working on balance. Things seem to be going ok and nothing too major in terms of pain so I am hoping that I will be back on my "running" feet within a few weeks. Today was the start of my 18 week build up to the Marathon of the North so I am hoping that I can get a shortened 14 week build up to it. This will give me four more weeks of rehab and base work should I be able to run.
Aqua jogging has to be one of the most specific exercises for a runner to do when injured. It is low impact, limited risk of injury and can improve core muscles, posture and also allows you to train at a decent intensity while injured. Unfortunately it is also pretty boring and I have managed three sessions of about 30 minutes in the last 5 days. You can get a flotation belt to help but with my swimming and water polo background I find this not needed. Good technique is essential though and a recent article in Athletics Weekly (15th December 2011) has some top tips and good pictures outlining good posture and technique in the pool.
Do - focus on a "long back" and a level pelvis
Dont - let the lower leg move in front of the knee.
One of the things the article reminded me was the correct arm position. The arms should not scull but should be in a gentle fist with the thumbs up. This makes the exercise more "leggy" and less like treading water.
I'd rather be running though.......
Here is an early picture of the ankle. Looking much better now!
Many thanks to the advice from Chris Dunne who came and had a look at the ankle and professionally strapped it up. I am sure this has made all the difference to the recovery and will hopefully get me back on my feet sooner rather than later.
2011 was a great year for me running wise and was probably one of my most consistent and injury free years (ironic that I spend the last week of the year injured then!).
Total miles run in 2011 was 2639 which is an average of almost 51 miles per week compared to 2010 when I clocked up 2251 (43 miles per week).
ill be back soon clocking up the 2012 miles!