Last week I said normal blogging was going to resume. That has failed massively again this week, but I do have a good reason. Just over two weeks ago I went out for a run and for the first time in a very long time, my ankle started to hurt. I simply put it down to the chilly weather, but when the same thing happened again I knew something was up.
If your new to my blog you might not know that 3 years ago I basically destroyed the right side of my right ankle and tore everything possible. To make matters worse, A&E didn't deal with me very well because it was a Saturday night, so I went a long time without proper treatment. Whilst I've had an operation and a ridiculous amount of physio, clearly it's still not completely there. Luckily a trip to the physio reassured me nothing major is wrong now. The pain I'm experiencing is purely down to over-using it without building it's strength up. When talking about my plans to run the Manchester 10K in a fortnight I was quickly given a stern talking to. Whilst I've managed to get my stamina up to around 4 miles, I've not been stretching my ankle properly to warm it up and cool it down. Combined with suddenly running reasonable distances on it, and it's all a little bit too much for my very weak ankle. The way he explained it was, I've been starting a car from stationary to 3rd gear immediately, with no 1st or 2nd gear transition, you damage the engine. I guess my ankle just went into shock from no running to suddenly running.
Sadly, I decided it was time to stop before I injure myself again. Whilst 10K isn't much, continuing the way I have been will inevitably result in undoing all my hard work, and injuring my ankle. On my physio's advice, it seems silly to push my ankle to breaking point, and cause myself to go through all that rehab again. Initially I was really sad thinking my runs had been wasted, but now, not so much. Running 4 miles, is 4 miles more than before. Clearly I am capable of running, I just need to do it properly. At the end of Summer I want to start hockey again because I miss it so much, so from now to then I'm going to really work on building some strength in my ankle, improving its stability and more importantly, stretching. If I've taken anything from this, it's that you shouldn't try and rush your progress, and even more importantly, you shouldn't skip warming up or cooling down afterwards. You do actually need those middle stages, as annoying as they can be. Although you might feel like your not doing anything, you need to let your body adjust to the upped tempo, or reduced in the case of cooling down. You don't go into a gym and lift the heaviest weight without developing some muscle, it takes months to get to that stage. If I start strengthening now and gradually upping the intensity, hopefully I'll be ready for next season.
I would love some tips on how you warm up or cool down!