Through March and April I’ve suffered with an injury to my left knee. It seemed to slowly build up and caught me a bit unawares. Normally with a mild injury which I term as a niggle it goes away while I continue training and I thought that would happen this time. A couple of times I took a week off training, watched it subside and then went back to running. Sadly, each time it kept re-occurring, obviously I hadn’t given it enough time. I was trying to balance out resting without reducing my training and as it seems sadly I didn’t quite get the balance right and I came into day 1 of the 10in10 carrying the injury.
I had the injury diagnosed as my medial ligament in my left leg by Adam the 10in10 head physio. This was certainly not ideal and probably for most people would have made it a none starter. After discussions with Adam we decided with my experience and running style we would give it a go and planned a routine of taping and treatment to support my leg. We knew there was a chance it could possibly hold up for the full 10 days but also had the chance of deteriorating.
My knee injury is not just affected by what pace I run at but also things like running style and the terrain of the course. Sometimes running slower doesn’t help because it isn’t a natural pace and can actually course additional issues. Ideally, I needed to run at a smooth natural pace and not twist the knee. The course round Windermere isn’t that twisty so there was a chance. The main problem about the course is how hilly it is and when running downhill it puts extra pressure on my knee joints.
I was pleased how the first 2 days went as the injury seemed to stay unchanged and I thought I had a chance. Day 3 it worsened slightly but sadly after day 4 and the evening’s treatment with my dedicated physio Vikash and ice bath the knee started to swell up. It was very painful in bed that night and was still swollen in the morning. I was sure I could have managed another day on it but knew there would have had to be a lot of walking involved to complete it and I was also seriously concerned it would still get worse. With still 6 days to go I didn’t see to point in continuing and reluctantly decided to pull out of the event.
Even if I had managed day 5 and somehow the next 5 days after that then I think I would have been so unhappy if I had walked lots of the course than with pulling out. I do want to run this event and not walk it, especially as I have run it all in the past 4 times. This doesn’t even bring into the fact that the extra days would no doubt exacerbate the injury, increase my walking and extend my recovery time.
Now I have pulled out of the event I keep being asked how I feel. Probably the closest couple of works to describe my feelings are annoyed and frustrated. I’m also disappointed but not too upset. I hate not to accomplish a challenge and this year it has happened.
So much of my body is fine and raring to go with just a small part of my knee letting me down. It feels like I have a tuned up racing car all ready to go but with a puncture. This challenge is only once a year so it is not like I can have another go in a few weeks time. I will have to wait a long while or may never get another chance.
I never feel like it is a race against the other runners, I consider them more as team mates and we are in the same challenge together. I consider the challenge is to beat the course for 10 days. It is now day 8 and I feel like the course has won, I don’t like this and I can’t stand losing in this way. I desperately want to run the course again and show it that it hasn’t completely won and I don’t give up easily.
Should I give it another go this Sunday?