I slowly opened my morning crusted eyes and yawned as I fumbled about dozily for the sleep button on my phone alarm. As I stretched out in bed I accidentally kicked the cat, and as she miaowed feebly and rolled over I felt a dull ache in my muscles.
This is becoming a familiar feeling as I get to the point where I push myself further for longer. I pulled myself upright and swung my legs over the side of the bed but when I tried to stand up my left leg buckled under me and I went crashing to the floor. Agony. Searing pain. Razor sharp poker through my leg. Something’s wrong… really wrong.
So at 9:30am that morning I find myself sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s surgery. They operate a walk-in clinic so given my inability to walk properly I sat. For two and a half hours I sat. Waiting. I didn’t mind, sitting was comfortable. Sitting didn’t hurt.
When I finally got to see the doctor he poked and prodded at my leg and quizzed me on my approach to running. Yes Dr, I do warm up and cool down properly. Yes Dr, I do stretches religiously after every single run. Yes Dr, I had a proper gait analysis done and bought proper running shoes. Yes Dr, that DOES HURT!
After measuring both of my calves he concluded that there wasn’t much swelling, it’s in the wrong place to be shin splints and isn’t anything to do with my Achilles tendon. Phew. His actual explanation passed me by in a haze of anatomical descriptions but I basically fathomed that I’ve ripped such-and-such muscle fibres away from whatever other bit of my leg they’re usually attached to. I think it’s my soleus muscles but I may be wrong. Meh. It’s not really important. What IS important is that taking it easy for a week or two and taking some NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) will see it heal itself.
I’m hardly surprised I got an injury to be honest. I’ve gone about it in the right way in terms of reducing my risk, but all things considered I’m almost 14 stone of flat-footed, unconditioned, gravity-obeying beast thumping down on the ground with every step. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that I was an injury waiting to happen. The important thing is that as long as I respect the injury and treat it well I’ll be back up and running in time for Keswick.