This blog is probably the hardest one I’ve had to write yet. As an athlete, admitting you are broken is hard, especially when you’re supposed to be some of the toughest people on the planet! But this week I had a huge reality check and have hit the ground with a bit of a bump.
For the past few weeks I’ve been struggling with a calf niggle. Something I didn’t think was too major, just a little annoyance that I needed to keep under control and not let develop any more. After 4 weeks, the situation hadn’t changed. I was still struggling to walk and my attempts at running were disastrous, leaving me crippled for the next few days. Far from ideal really! All I wanted to do was to be able to wake up in the morning and jump out of bed ready to go, not crawl downstairs and hobble my way through the rest of the day.
Yesterday I went to see a new physio, someone a friend and training partner had recommended I see. As soon as I got to clinic, Matt got me walking on a treadmill to see how my basic biomechanics works. Unfortunately, the results weren’t great and putting it simply, I’m a complete biomechanical nightmare. I always knew I had things to work on with my run technique but I was running well at the beginning of the year having made some small changes and it just so happened that this calf issue appeared right at the beginning of the season. One thing I really hate is people telling me that I have something wrong with me. I’ve always hated doctors, dentists, opticians, etc. and hate the idea of someone else having control over me when I have a weakness. So yeah, being told this was not the greatest news I could have had on a Thursday morning!
Matt did some more tests and I left the physio clinic with an ankle made out of tape and an emergency appointment for the next day. So today, I toddled off to Nottingham knowing that it was going to be a very long and painful trip! Without going into too much detail, I have a small issue around my spine which is affecting the way the rest of my body moves. My body is about as straight as the leaning tower of Pisa and obviously that is going to have a pretty big knock on effect! My ankle is weak like a barely brewed cup of tea and is a seriously limiting factor in terms of me getting any success in my running. The whole of my body is in a pretty big old tangled mess and needs some good ironing out. Speaking to my friends and family last night gave me a huge sense of hope and it’s nice to know that I have so much support from everyone to come back bigger, better and stronger! I did crack last night and had a good cry but hopefully that’s it in terms of the waterworks and now it’s just a case of head down and get on with rehab and life in general.
I had some manipulation of my spine done today (yep, it’s as painful as it sounds) and have come away feeling about 2 inches taller, now able to touch my toes again and as free as a hippy. Unfortunately, it’s not all going to be such a quick fix. The initial unwinding of my body may have started me on the right track but it’s gonna be one heck of a long road from here. I’ve been given a plan of action for the next year in terms of rehab and it was a tough pill to swallow. I’m not allowed to run for quite a wee while until Matt has taught me how to walk properly again. Sounds ridiculous, but it makes sense really.
In the meantime, I’ve had to pull out of racing this weekend. I desperately wanted to do it, but having met my physio twice, I think it would be completely outrageous to go against his word. This guy has such a good reputation for getting athletes back to their best and beyond, and I trust his opinion like I trust a curly wurly to make me happy when I’m down. So, no race for me this weekend. But I do have the National TT and National Road Race next weekend with my fabulous Breast Cancer Care team to look forward to so it’s not like I’m completely bedridden or anything!
Sorry for the awfully long post guys and gals, but hearing this news is one of the biggest things to happen to me in a very long time. I’ve had three years on constant injuries that have been unexplained thus far, and so to finally get this answer is like absolute gold dust. 2013 is going to be a punishing year full of challenges but I’m looking past that and focussing on the task at hand. I will overcome the setback, I will be back stronger, and I will most certainly look for some kind of world domination. For now though, it’s time to knuckle down with my rehab and get myself in a fit state mentally to fight back.
Over & Out,