Marathon Training Week 12 – Peroneal Failure?

The week began much the same as my weekend prior has finished. Still feeling the effects of the foot injury I sustained when I ran the Friday before, walking had become an awkward experience when it was required, such as for the commute. I was continuing to apply cold gel and ice to it when I could. Wednesday came about and it seemed the pain, at least, had gone, and that now what was there was a dull ache that only seemed to react if I bore weight on it. The region of discomfort was lessening but recovery still seemed to remain a slow process. I switched up to resistance band stretches and other strengthening routines. I ditched the ibuprofen – don’t like taking the stuff anyway – and on Friday night I finally invested in some heat rub to see if I could rid myself of it.

But there was still a yearning to see if I could manage any running at all, and by Saturday night my ache was literally in a small pinpoint area. I felt like I could manage a run back and forth along the main road down from my house, so I went for it. The first ten minutes were tentative. The next fifteen felt amazing. I found a rhythm and got into some sound tempo pacing which put me into what seems to be my natural flow – I felt relaxed and I wasn’t getting anything major coming out of the left foot. Until one step left a mild sensation, of which despite stretching and shaking my foot, meant calling time on this one, to prevent making it worse. Sensible decision and not too far from home. It had died down when I got back so fingers crossed, all good.

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Goodness knows where my sensible head went when it came to Sunday. I felt OK to go further this time and so as my kids had a snooze, I went out to my favourite spot, the Calder-Hebble Navigation, bathed in glorious spring sunlight, and ran beyond Elland Bridge and towards Salterhebble. I reached 4 miles in around 28:30 and decided then to have a quick break and turn back. If I’d stopped at Elland Bridge, I’d have been fine. Because the last two miles turned out to be problematic. I must have stopped to stretch three times and the third time, it felt dangerously close to square one. I made it to 8 miles but in all honesty, what on earth was I thinking?

I luckily didn’t make it back to ‘square one’ but evidently I’d pushed it about two miles too far and it’s back to aches down the outside of the foot, the peroneal tendon and ankle area. Back to ibuprofen, freeze gel and RICE. In all honesty, I set off on that run knowing the potential implications, but at the same time I wouldn’t have gone for it if I didn’t think it was achievable. The reality is a rare error of judgment which means I must face a greater reality – running has to be off the table for now, even if it means never again until Manchester. It’s a drastic step to take but after all the build up, I don’t want it to go to waste and I’d feel the biggest fool in the world if I cost myself a place on the start line through overeagerness.

All things considered, I can still walk on it, and I’ve got the resources and knowledge now to get myself back on the wagon. As of right now, I’m walking around fine on it, with any stiffness mostly prevailing minute in the morning, when I haven’t loosened up enough yet to get any joy out of it. I’m using office time to get in some seated exercises and my shifts in the next week are favourable to schedule some serious stretch and strengthen routines in the evening. I just need to keep my weight off it now if I can and get back to being sensible about this. It’s clearly not going to heal quickly and I just want to get myself in reasonable shape now to make sure I’m ready for the 26.2.

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