Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Happy New Year

Here we are, facing down 2017 with a steely glint in the eye saying "bring it on, mofo" as 2016 disappears into the rearview mirror.

2016 was a shitty year in a lot of ways but, for me at least, it was pretty canny so far as running goes. In April I ran my first ultramarathon at Kielder (Kielder is my "Happy Place") and placed 15th. Not bad for a first attempt! The summer saw multiple top 10 finishes in races, with a road half marathon PB chucked in for good measure, and October saw a 3rd place road marathon finish and a PB (albeit missing the A goal of < 3hrs). I joined the Fell Runners Association and Northumberland Fell Runners, though still haven't actually lined up at an FRA race due to 3 weeks of snot and coughing resulting in a missed Hexhamshire Hobble. All in all, probably my best season since starting running.

So what about 2017? Well, my year started with a bang. Unfortunately, the bang in question was a collision between my bare foot and a doorframe at 3am on 1 Jan, which resulted in a fracture to the proximal phalanx, which kind of sucks. Not the way I'd hoped to begin! Recovery time is apparently "up to 4 weeks" and, if this proves to be the case, would mean probably not racing the Kielder 10M on Saturday, and maybe not racing the Hedgehope Winter Wipeout; both races I've been looking forward to for months, and both of which I would be gutted to miss.

There are, however, some glimmers of hope to cling to. Firstly, recovery is up to 4 weeks: according to the nurse practitioner I'll probably be able to run before then. If I strap the toes well, and can handle the pain, I'm "not going to do any more damage". Splendid. Secondly, it may not even be broken: for toes other than the big 'un, they don't usually x-ray since nothing about the treatment would change if it was bruised vs broken. The nurse made a clinical diagnosis of a fracture, but that's going to be the worst case scenario. Still, referring to the first hopeful glimmer, it's probably irrelevant.

I'm a clumsy oaf, and have done this before, also the week before a race (last time, it was the Gibside Fruitbowl), and still toed the line, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the Kielder 10M. This morning I suffered through an hour of spin bike purgatory in an effort to keep my aerobic fitness up, and will continue to hit the gym as often as I can afford to/put up with. There's also no excuse to skip core work and prehab exercises (unfortunately! Haha!). Whilst it's unlikely I'll be in tip top shape when this heals, high mileage over the last few weeks plus a certain amount of aerobic work should ensure I at least don't humiliate myself.

Happy New Year!

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