In my previous run note, two months back on 1 May, I was looking forward to building my running back up again after a long time out with a stress fracture. How have I got on since?

May started with some gradual progression building back up, a nice steady day to day rhythm of cycling and walking or running. In the first 16 days of May I’d gone on 6 sessions that incorporated running. A 10km session that was half walking, half running. Two days later it was 12km of the same. I could feel the groove of my move coming back. At the weekend I tried to steadily run as much of 5km as possible (my first 5km running since last October), on the way out to Rodley and something slower on the way back. My leg was starting to feel normal so I pushed on a couple of days later to an 8km session. All OK, so several days later I had a walk-and-run 13km session and ended the week with 16km session that was more running than walking. So halfway through the month and everything seems to be going OK. I can move, my shin wasn’t reacting, good good.

Until Monday 17 May, when a trip to the gym for some resistance and aerobic work. A slow warm up on a treadmill gave me a pang at the back of my right leg. The next day I was in agony, hobbling but could cycle with no pain so dropped the running, exchanged it for more cycling, try and keep my fitness increasing, hope the pain subsided and my walking came back. It did, slowly, very slowly. I started having a hot bath most nights to soak my legs. I stank of the wonderful hot and cold creams. I read up on massaging my Achilles tendon (because it was this giving my aggro) and eventually, after a couple of weeks, walking up hills wasn’t painful, just an ache.

May running total: 71km

About 3 weeks after the treadmill induced injury I tried going for a light run, just up and down a local lane, 1300 metres of moving faster than walking. Something not too taxing, see how it goes, if I need to give up I can give up. Awkward but I could move. What next?

The next day I went to my old friend the school field, did some laps. My leg seemed OK to trot out 5km. Over the following week I did a couple more sport field sessions to test my Achilles and give me some confidence. It didn’t feel 100% but it felt usable – and I had read better to do something than nothing with an Achilles. Again I was back to building back up and gave it a test with an early Saturday trip out towards Rodley. 10km, felt awkward, but some distance in there. A few days later I went out for nearly 7km and just felt so… stiff, rigid, wobbly. I decided to give the leg a rest again for a few days. Just do nothing but a dog walk and sit down for work (not use my standing desk) and raise my feet as I worked a lot more. Continual softer exercise.

A good five days of that and another try out. It’s always about giving it a try and seeing how its goes, eh. The stiffness, the aching from the previous was still there, maybe worse so I eased back, left it a few days before a Sunday run. Still some stiffness, still bathing.

The next day, the start of the week, I read up more and watched some videos about the Achilles, further my learning. Some more detail on massages seemed hopeful and I also dug out the kinesiology tape, laying a strip along the back of my right leg and tucked onto the sole of my foot. I dragged myself out for a lunchtime run, keeping the pace around 6min/km (easier when you feel you’ve a slight hobble). And for the remaining two days of the month that’s what I did: Do some stretches and ease my way out for some 5km sessions. I even freshened things up with different pairs of running shoes for each session. Not showing off, honest.

June running total: 71km

So that is the end of the month. As I type this I’ve the weekend ahead. I have had a couple of days of rest and going to see how things go tomorrow. Back to being hyper sensitive how the leg is, trying not to push it too hard, but trying to get out. I am not depressed by it all, just a wanting to be out like I was earlier last year. When the time comes when I am issue free I will enjoy it all the more. Hopefully when I report back in a month it’ll be back to more of that.

Original source – Simon Wilson

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