Recovering From an Injury
As many people will recall during the summer, just as I was starting my training for the London Marathon, I woke up and found during the night some wee beasties decided my right calf was their dinner platter. Obviously, as I was on a training schedule, I still needed to get the miles in and set off on my usual mid-week course which is around 6-7km long.
Starting off I noticed my leg hurt, but decided it was the bites and the antihistamine hadn’t kicked in and just “sucked it up”. After speaking to Becky my PT, I took a couple days off as running when you have bites or similar niggling injury can be counterproductive, yes at 64 I have learned to listen to people who know what they are talking about.
So, a couple of days go by, and I lace up my trainers and don my tutu to set off for a run. I noticed that there was a dull ache but ignored it (well that’s what us Brits do Stiff upper lip etc) but at 4km my calf was really hurting and all I could do was limp slowly home and ice the area. The consensus of Facebook advice was I had developed shin splints and should rest and ice my leg. This was my first mistake, I should have seen the doctor but felt stupid saying I’ve hurt my leg.
Becky, my PT was extremely concerned and after checking me over banned me from running for two weeks and to concentrate only on my core & weights regime (you need strong core and upper body strength to run a marathon). After a month and no real improvement Becky, decided that I should be taping my leg as this should help and I found by taping I could actually walk 3-5km, not fast as my leg would get really sore. Yes, I still hadn’t seen the doctor.
With Becky’s approval I returned to the gym and started using the Cross Trainer, as this puts very little pressure on my leg, and found I could manage 10km but the moment I tried to run the pain was unbearable.
During this time, I also saw a physio, who said she was horrified by how swollen my leg was, but she couldn’t identify the cause but worked her magic and the swelling went down. Jane (that’s her name) then showed me a different way to tape my leg and after 4 sessions, Jane said she still wasn’t 100% happy and when I got back from holiday, I should think about seeing the doctor (a theme was developing).
At the same time as Jane was suggesting I saw the doctor, I was introduced by Becky to another physio Ed who would also scan the leg if necessary and made an appointment to see him when I got back from holiday.
Now the original aim was to run at least 10k a day while away (well I’m supposed to be an athlete so warm weather training, is definitely needed). First day I managed to walk 4km and felt the warm sun really helping and by the end of the 10 days I was able to reasonably jog 6km but then I had to limp back and spend time in the cold pool.
When I got back, I saw Ed, who diagnosed the problem had been caused by one or two of the bites becoming infected and possibly developed into cellulitis & I was lucky that sepsis hadn’t set in. On Eds insistence I made an appointment to see the doctor and I left clutching a note explaining what he had diagnosed with the instruction to make sure I passed the note to the doctor.
The doctor read the note and asked me to remove my bottoms (I had a Carry-On moment and just smiled) the doctor took one look at my leg, ran her hand over the shin and calf and said, “I agree you have a nasty infection” and wrote out a prescription and left with her warning me to come back if after I taken the course to return if I was still having any issues..
For the next few days, I tried to rest my leg and by day 4 I noticed a big difference and tried to see if I could run. After a few steps I knew the answer, NOT YET. However, the next day, when I tried, I found I could jog comfortably for 4km and no issue walking. The next day I was able to run 5km fairly comfortably.
So now my rehab continues and listening to Becky, I’m concentrating on 5km’s at the moment as I have lost a lost of muscle stamina. I have also been advised if I find my leg swelling, I must return to the doctors, as I may still have the residue of the infection.
The plan is now to run 5-6km every other day for the rest of the year and then starting in January increase the distance to 10km and only when Becky tells me I can increase to half marathons (21.5 km) before April 23rd when I line up at the start of my first ever Marathon, the London Marathon.
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