29 October 2020
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Mountain Girl blog: A Premature End To Summer

October 15, 2014
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So that’ll be that then. Climbing, hiking, mountaineering, trail running, biking – basically all the activities that I would normally be getting involved with during the summer/autumn months have now been closed off for the remainder of 2014. Except rosé drinking, thankfully that joyful pursuit can continue unabated.
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The cause of this premature end to my summer of fun is a rather frustrating busted ankle. Not a proper horrific crazy break but an avulsion fracture which, combined with some significant ligament tearing, appears to be more than enough trauma for one ankle to endure.

As a bizarrely large number of friends have pointed out, at least I didn’t do it slipping in the shower and can take comfort from the fact that the damage was done in a suitably dramatic fashion. It was not an inappropriately positioned bar of soap that sent me crashing to the ground but my own lack of ability to stay on my feet 3km from the end of my very first mountain running event – the 30km, 2,300m+ of ascent, P’tit Tour des Fiz in Passy, near Chamonix in France.

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Having spent a good 27km concentrating as hard as I could to navigate the extremely muddy, steep, and rocky terrain, I finally reached the bottom of the last tricky descent and then it happened – CLUNK. My first reaction was a somewhat audible swear word, loud enough to blow the fur off any unfortunate marmottes in the immediate vicinity. This was swiftly followed by immediate frustration. I was so close to the finish, it seemed so cruel to have to end it all here so I put some weight on it and to be honest with you, it seemed ok. So I continued and 3km later I hobbled over the line to finish in 5 hours and 39 minutes.

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There has been a lot of ‘tut tutting’ at my decision to continue but I can assure you that it wasn’t that sore. I may be a stubborn old lass at the best of times but I’m no sado-masochist so trust me, it didn’t feel THAT bad at the time. Adrenaline, determination and probably a bit of ego got me over the line. And hunger. I’d been on the trail since 7 am, it was lunchtime and I quite frankly I needed a sandwich. As I shoveled a baguette down my sweaty gob, my ankle blew up like the proverbial balloon and I knew I was probably a little bit stuffed.

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Whilst I was prepared for ligament damage and prepared to be on the sidelines for a little while, I certainly was not prepared when the doctor took a long look at the X-Ray the following day and delivered the somewhat annoying news that it was busted. Before I could actually process what he was saying, he’d slapped a big white cast on my leg and sent me out into the world with only a pair of crutches and a confused look on my face.

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Three weeks later and I’m definitely healing. The crutches are gone, the cast is now off and whilst the summer is not taking shape as I’d originally anticipated, there have definitely been some upsides. More on those in the next post….trust me, they’re so good they nearly make the injury worthwhile!

In the meantime, any tips on keeping strong and keeping occupied when you’re sat on your ass are more than appreciated. My current hobby of choice seems to be googling audacious sporting challenges whilst eating dark chocolate peanut M&Ms…..

One step at a time eh?

For more information about the Quechua Tour des Fiz trail event, visit: www.passy-mont-blanc.com

Sophie Nicholson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

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About Sophie’s blog

Mountain Girl is passionate about the vertical wilderness, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, hiking, trail running, biking, and rock climbing. Oh and Prosecco - she really likes Prosecco.

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