In the (some would say futile) attempt to run 1000km this year I have started to run around a field near to where I work. It has been working out quite well so far, I have been getting two 5km runs in on a lunch time Monday and Thursday plus my Tuesday evening run of between 8km and 10km, then on a Saturday I go to the gym in Haverfordwest to complete an 8km run on the running machines (they are very good machines there and the staff are very supportive and very encouraging).
Then on Tuesday I was chatting with a colleague who is a regular competition runner, I am constantly moaning (who me?) that I cannot run any faster today than when I started in January, the advice I was given was to go for sprint, walk sprint walk, do this 7 times in a row then finish off with a quick 3km gentle jog, stretch off and in just over a month I would be breaking my personal records for 5 and 8km runs. Well I was well up for this so went for it on Monday, then again on Wednesday. Woke up Thursday morning and I could not move my left ankle.
I am a stereotypical man so obviously the pain was unbearable and no-one else in the world could understand how bad it was! I am a borderline hypochondriac at the very best of times, when I genuinely have something slightly wrong I become the world’s worst patient.
But now I have a real proper injury / ailment – I have plantar fasciitus and a tendonitis in my Achilles heel! I went on to Youtube (I don’t like doctor’s surgeries as they tend to be full of sick people) to look for advice on how to strap up my foot. Oh my word! There are a million bits of different advice on there on how to strap it up, what to strap it up with what not to strap it up with and how to treat or not treat the injury. So I went on to the NHS choices website to see what advice they would give me for treatment. How non-specific can you get so I ended up resorting to calling my best friend Nugget (he who is now a personal trainer).
I have known Nugget for over 25 years now, we joined the army together and went through basic recruit training at the same time and he is one of my best friends in the world. He was an usher at my weeding and when my son passed away he was the first person I told after our parents. He was round my house like a shot, making tea and making sure y eldest was sorted out whilst my wife and I got ourselves put back together. When his mother was ill I drove him back and forth the hospital to visit her (he only recently passed his driving test at the age of 42! Good on him).
But as soon as I explained what I wanted he got all technical, talking about metatarsals, Calcaneus bones blah blah. I had to stop him and ask what was the best way forward for treating this, in simple steps that 1. I can understand it and 2. I could get back running to get the miles / kilometers under my belt so that I will have completed the 1000km by the end of the year. He sent me a link on Youtube for a channel called The House of Leverage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMDQOHdAlKM .
He (Nugget) explained that this is how he would advise that I should treat it and there followed another link to how he would strap it up. The second link was to 3v on how to strap it up by myself to allow me to go out and enjoy the bank holiday weekend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC7-eiy3M_U
For the first time in my life I decided to follow advice that I was given and what a result! Instead of hobbling round like a 90-year-old arthritic with broken toes I am almost walking normally (still got a little limp as I am still a hypochondriac at heart). I have taken no pain killers at all today and I have walked to town and back with my family this afternoon so we could have a coffee in the sunshine. What a wonderful afternoon we had as well. We are now refocused on our attempt at some of the items on our bucket list. Champion. Plus, our son will be home for summer from university by the end of next week. Hopefully my foot will be better so that we will be able to go for a game of golf.