What's it all about?

I decided to write a blog following my training and triathlon season. For me, I have always participated in sports for as along as I can remember, whether it was being one of the only girls playing football with the boys, playing hockey at numerous clubs or running around cross country circuits in the pouring rain. This year I plan to work hard on my swimming, cycling and running in an effort to qualify for the World Championships in Triathlon and represent my age group. I hope that you enjoy my blog or rather my ramblings and feel free to comment.

Kerry X

Friday, 18 January 2013

My Achilles Heel

How is everyone? Long time no see, and I am very sorry for that! I have been training like a Trojan, when I can and also have a new job on the horizon! A very busy past few weeks has seen me hand in my notice for Pearson after being handed a very appealing job offer with a company that is very forward thinking and involves my passion for triathlon to some degree. I am going to have to be very covert at this stage, but I shall let you know when things are good to go and tell you!
Up until Christmas training for the London marathon was progressing very well, up until the weekend before Christmas when I began to feel tightness in my left calf and eventually a stiffness in what I can now confirm was the Achilles. After some thought and advice, I decided to leave running for the actual week of Christmas and was able to focus on other sporting activities (and eating and drinking too!).
After the festivities, it was a slow progressive build up to another few successful weeks of running...... that is up until last Sunday (13th Jan). I had decided that I was going to try and increase the mileage in order to feel that the Folksworth 15 (this coming Sunday 20th) mile event was achievable  Anyway after finding a running partner, I was able to run 12.6 miles quite well, up until the final mile when the dreaded tightness crept back into my left calf and ended up with me icing the poor leg and stretching and living in my calf compression guards for the most part of 3 days. (They do get washed though, honest!)
It was highly frustrating to discover that the rest I thought I had given myself, was not nearly enough time to recover from the acute injury I had given myself, and thus on even more advice this week (thanks to everyone who has helped me!) I decided to not run at all this week or next, and given the snow and icy weather we have had, this has really been a bit of a blessing in disguise. I am unsure as to at this moment whether the race will be going ahead, with the snow hammering it down at quite a rate, and that again could be a bit of a blessing as well!
I have been doing plenty of reading about my injury, as you would expect with any obsessive triathlete, and discovered that this kind of injury needs to be approached with a lot of care and consideration as if I am not sensible and do not heed the advice given to me, I am risking the London marathon altogether and not just the training runs that I have planned. At the moment I still have a good 3 months of training which I can string together, and one of my main goals was to be fit and injury free for the start line. It is more important to me that I manage to get to the start line than to finish any of the other races which I have entered.


So what is the actual problem? Well at this early stage I am not 100% sure, but given that I run on my toes and I am training long distances, it seems very likely that I have a form of Achilles tendonitis. I have arranged to see a physio next week, the current physio that I see for another issue, and hopefully she can bring me up to speed with what I have done. At the present moment in time, having ordered an Achilles support, completed my fair share of self-massage and icing the area constantly, the actual pain that I can feel is almost non-existent. But I know that it will only take another longish run to bring out the inflammation. I have also had an extremely painful massage done on the area, but my therapist who I trust implicitly has advised that I need to strengthen the area with lots of different exercises. Achilles Tendonitis is a common overuse injury and is often seen in runners. Being one of the largest tendons in the body and supporting most of your lower leg muscles, this tendon can often get inflamed especially if you overpronate (something which I know that I do) or are increasing your miles too quickly (something which i think I might have done), as well as using your toes in running and pushing off them (I am not a heel striker!). I have been using orthotics with very good results, and I actually think that this has occurred as a result of too many miles too soon, as well as the fact that I run a bit like Bambi up on my toes!

It is not the final nail in the coffin by any means, and with lots of luck hopefully I have caught it at an early enough stage to recognise that I need to lay off, my fitness will not drop off dramatically, and I can keep other things going. For example I have managed to swim 3 times this week, a feat not accomplished since nearly 6 months ago. This also included a 400m TT in a time of 6:33 (nearly a PB by only 4 seconds!) which surprised me immensely. I have also had the opportunity to use a pool belt as a fellow Stamford Tri Club friend has lent me hers.
Another great thing about the moment is that I am going to take a bigger step into coaching for the triathlon club- something which means that I get to use my qualification which I worked so hard for.
Hopefully I can get back onto the running line soon, starting with pool running, treadmill and off-road before getting those all important miles under the belt ready for April. 

And one final thing- happy anniversary to me! It has been a whole year since I started this blog and a couple of stats for you:-
All time blog hits 2600+
This will be my 36th blog post
I have 4 followers
Hits from as far afield as Canada, OZ and Ukraine!

Not much else to report really, but I thought I might share this with you.

Happy Training

Kerry X

PS check out these fellow triathlete blogs
http://paullunntri.blogspot.co.uk/ 
http://samanderson-triathlete.blogspot.co.uk/
meinlycra.wordpress.com