Tom's blog 16.10.18

By editor October 16th, 2018

Frustrations and words of wisdom 

The pain in my left foot had pretty much subsided to the extent that I did a couple of days running commute last week without any repercussions so I went out into Ickworth on Sunday morning for a steady 7 miler only to get as far as the obelisk on the main track and out of the blue I rolled my right ankle, more than I've ever rolled an ankle before including hearing a sound as it went over! 

I looked around then shouted aloud "you're f***ing kidding me" and stood still for a couple of minutes on one leg wondering if my brain, eyesight or something else was packing up and I'd lost all coordination as, in that moment, it felt like I was constantly injuring my foot. Then I regained some feeling in my foot and ran slowly home thinking it wasn't too bad after all. By that evening however my ankle was literally the size of a tennis ball with no actual boney bit visible. In addition, my left big toe hurt again presumably having slammed into the ground when I rolled the right ankle?! 

Anger and frustration soon subsided as I went swimming with the kids and had a lovely family lunch for my birthday. More rational thoughts then came back as I reminded myself it was only in mid-September when I was making some real progress training-wise without any discomfort.

Then came the words of wisdom - my wife simply and perfectly summed it up - perhaps my two foot injuries had not fully healed and I was making subconscious adjustments to my running and not having full confidence to run normally (note to self: you can't rush a comeback). I realised she was spot on - not for the first time ;-) 

I've looked back at why I've gone almost the entire 25 years of my racing career to date not getting injured and then so much stop-start in the past 15 months - there was a mountain marathon which I ran whilst managing a calf injury but the other change is that we moved to Horringer last summer and now I run predominantly off-road. I've got professional advice about footwear and now consider the shoes heel-to-toe drop amongst other things as I'm a midfoot striker and I'm doing the exercises recommended by physios. I'm also looking ahead.

I've withdrawn from the Scenic 7 and won't now do Fram XC either and what is even more gutting is not being able to run in Switzerland during half-term. Running abroad on work trips or holidays is one of the very top reasons I run - it gives me memories for life. (I still have vivid and fond memories of the wettest race of my life - a big 10k in Central Park, NYC nine years ago).

I remind myself I'm a glass half full person and spending time with the kids and the upcoming holiday are priceless.

Running-wise I just need to readjust my targets - get fit again and look at later in November as the first possible race outing - hopefully in time for stage 1 of the Hereward Relay but if it doesn't happen then not stressing too much - my appetite for running is still very much there, my patience is just not quite so good.