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Where has the time gone?

Wow. It’s been nearly two months since my last post .. and so much has happened in that time.
After my last post (TNF Blue Mountains race report), I headed to Hong Kong for work and some trail running. Wasn’t really sure how my foot would hold up, I’d been off running for 4 weeks by then. Last visit to the physio before I left and he said I could do a couple of runs … well, ok. He said I could do one run and take it easy, but maybe it would be ok to do another one if I rested a day or two in between. Oh, and I also got a new pair of shoes .. as recommended by Simon the Physio … the Brooks Cascadia 6. I’m not meant to be running in minimalist shoes till my foot is better. My lovely Inov-8 X-Talon 190s are still languishing in the box! 🙁
Cascadia 6, fresh out of the box!
 I only managed to explore the HK Trail (no time to go further), and got a couple of runs in. The second run was better, mainly because I had Mat as my tourguide. I met Mat in Sabah during the Ultra-Trail (where he was in the lead until an ankle injury). So lucky for me he was still running slow, or I’d never would’ve been able to keep up!
Views of the Bay from the HK trail

Well sign-posted!
Lots of stairs

Had a great time in HK with all the amazing food and catching up with friends, and a great couple of test runs to make sure my UTMB aspirations were still (almost) on track!

BTW, didn’t think I would like the Cascadia as much as I do .. they’re a nice grippy shoe which work well on most surfaces and don’t feel too padded out. Still prefer my minimal shoes, but these are definitely growing on me!

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A bump in the road

There’s me thinking I’m feeling strong, running well, and out of the blue I’m sidelined with my first injury in over a decade of running (yes, I’m that old!). Not the best timing, but it’s 12 weeks to UTMB so there’s still all to play for. Thing is, I haven’t had a running injury since I started triathlon in 1993! Injuries from falling over or crashing into stuff, yes. But from running? Not that I can remember. So despite knowing all the theory of rest, ice, compress, reduce mileage blah blah blah, I find myself in a novel situation and having to find alternative coping mechanisms to deal with this. It’s been 5 days and I feel like a junkie with withdrawal symptoms.

Had an increasing pain in my left foot since last Thursday, after my first trail run since coming back from TNF100 Oz. I didn’t have any pain when running so carried on with my scheduled runs including the Passion Run at the weekend. The pain got worse with walking each day, enough to cause me concern as any soreness I get from running is usually gone the next morning at the very latest.

Rest day on Monday – pain still there.
6 mile tempo on Tuesday – missed on coach’s advice
16 mile run on Wednesday – also missed .. finally manage to get an appointment with Simon Raftery at In Touch Physio. Going a little crazy by now from the enforced rest and worrying about lost mileage .. argh.

Simon reckons it’s plantar fasciitis, with an inflamed posterior tibial tendon .. hopefully in the early stages and nothing torn, but no running till Monday … I’m losing 77 miles this week! One of the main causes of plantar fasciitis is “repetitive loading on the feet from long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces”, and “shoes with poor arch support or soft soles” .. Guilty on all counts.

I think the crazy terrain at TNF Oz gave me more of a souvenir than I bargained for .. especially after conditioned to the gentle undulations at MacRitchie! Plus I rarely wear shoes with more than minimal cushioning, and my stretching regimen does leave a lot to be desired .. it’s all come round to bite me on the ass now! .. or should that be on the foot .. 😉

Anyhow. I’ve orders to do a daily mountain of stretches, I’m going to make friends with the exercise bike at the gym, and I have to wear arch supports all week, including inside the house, till my next physio date. I’m now the proud owner of a pair of Salomon Rx Break flip flops .. my new house slippers! According to Salomon, they’re “a performance recovery shoe for trail running disguised as a light weight flip flop. RX Break helps your feet recover from the end of your run until you’re chilling in the hammock.” Just what the doctor ordered, then! now I just have to get a hammock …

Salomon Rx Break .. great house slippers with arch support 🙂

All this enforced rest means I have time to twiddle my thumbs and read the latest issue of Trail Runner ..

A welcome distraction …

To add insult to injury, my lovely new Inov-8s have arrived .. the X-Talon 190s. Aren’t they gorgeous? Inov-8 shoes will be available in Singapore from about next week at Adventure 21, other retailers to be revealed soon. Some of models here will be the Flyroc and the Roclite in men’s and women’s sizing, perfect for TNF100 Singapore in October! I’ve had the Flyroc for a while now, and it’s a great trail shoe, lightweight and very grippy. I’ll post a review on the X-Talons once I’m back on the trail .. can’t wait!

So hopefully this is just a bump in the road (trail!) to recovery and the UTMB. I’ll post my report on TNF Oz and the Passion run in the next week or so. In the meantime, I’m stretching till my calves burn, hitting the gym, and planning my next long run .. whenever that may be!

Hope everyone stays injury free and all the best for the Sundown Marathon this weekend!