By now most of you would have read my running ramblings on, well, running. And you’ve probably had a giggle or three at my expense. That’s ok! I exist only to entertain, or as an automatic teller machine for my children :-)
Today though instead of dodging doggy doo and the usual shelob shenanigans, I though I would share something a little different – Injury.
In August 2012 I was running between 30 and 40 kilometres per week. I had completed my first ever City to Surf at my fastest ever time per kilometre. My weight was a comfortable 82 kilograms and I was feeling fantastic. Then it all fell apart.
Injury 1: Calf Muscle Calamity.
In early September that year I was running through Port Meadow, just outside of Oxford in the UK, when I stepped in a divot and hurt my leg. I tried to run through it but the pain was too much, so we settled down at the Trout Inn for a couple of pints and an ice pack. The bar staff teased me mercilessly, but kept the amber fluid flowing so I didn’t really care. A few days later I hobbled out for a slow jaunt around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. It was stupid, but there was no way I was going all the way to London and not take in a run. Abbey Road, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, too much to see and do. Injuries were sent packing, but when I got off the plane in Sydney they were waiting for me with reinforcements.
My Achilles tendon was damaged and, by pushing myself, I had strained my calf muscle. Diagnosis – several months to heal. Bugger!
So I spent the summer playing with the kids and taking it easy on my leg. We bodysurfed, jumped off jetties, rode waterslides, raised chickens and BBQ’d every day. Sunburn was inevitable as were mosquito bites, but it was a brilliant summer of relative inactivity. As the leaves began changing colour I began running again and by May I was on track to return to my pre-Oxford state. My leg nagged me a little, but it wasn’t anything to really worry about. Then it all fell apart again.
Injury 2: Nerve Wracking Neck
Whilst moving house in May 2013 I managed to wrench the nerves in my neck. The resulting disc bulge between vertebrae 5 and 6 in my cervical spine caused numbness and strange pain sensations down my left arm and into my hand. My triceps ache as if I have just undergone a strenuous workout. My forearm is painful to the touch and my thumb feels as though it is recovering from a severe burn. There is no damage to my arm whatsoever, but my nerves think that there is and the feeling is surreal.
Exercise was out of the question. Wii bowling and PS3 Rugby League were the only sports I could play, and even that was limited to short bursts before my neck gave up on me. In spite of the fact that muscular definition was still there, my left arm could scarcely hold up my iPhone. Brushing my teeth was a chore and carrying my kids was impossible.
Eventually, thanks largely to a brilliant physiotherapist, opioid analgesics gave way to paracetamol and I was able to walk without wincing at every step. Finally, thirteen months after my initial injury, I am back pounding the pavement.
My weight has gone up – I hate that.
My fitness level has gone down – I hate that too.
But I am back on the horse now and hoping its not headed for the glue factory.