runningman pavey

extreme runner and novelist

Decision Made

It’s been one hell of a week. Some tough soul searching going on. Everytime I thought I’d made a decision, about whether to have the surgery or not, something came along that made me question my resolve moments later.

I ran for the third time this year, on Tuesday, in my Vibrams again. Just the short 3kms around my block again. But it was a tough run. Entirely unexpectedly, my calf muscles tightened up badly from my runs on Saturday and the Thursday before. I could barely move my legs back and forth on Tuesday. It was agonizing, and scary. I barely made it around the first corner before I contemplated stopping. But I was so desperate to test my ankle out and find out for once and for all if I needed the ankle arthroscopy that I pushed on.

It was literally teeth clenching stuff. I was terrified I was going to do some serious damage. But so stubborn am I that I continued my run, right the way round back to my drive. Run number 3 for the year done. My legs were shot.

The bazaar by-product of all of this is my ankle felt OK. In fact, each time I’ve run, the ankle has felt incredibly good. It’s been strong and pain free, and as I am running, and once I get back home, I am determined that I don’t need the operation. Then, only hours later, I’m walking about in the kitchen, or in shoes at the shops or on the way to work, and I get these shooting pains in my ankle and all the way up my leg. I’m sure the fact that I had the koala wobbles going all week due to the stiffness in my legs didn’t help. My god those calves were tight and sore! I felt like both were corked and that I’d be lucky to get another run in before D-day today.

Thankfully, my body did recover, and it recovered a lot faster than it used to. I’m crediting that to the use of the foam roller, no stretching, and the amazing new diet I’ve been on all year. I’ll save the diet details for another post down the track, as it’s quite the story. The good news is, I was back and able to run again on Sunday.

Another 3kms in my Vibrams, and another brilliant run. Don’t get me wrong, I’m finding the runs incredibly tough going. I’ve lost all my fitness, and I mean all or it. My muscles, my cardio fitness, it’s all back to square one. I can barely see out these 3 kms. I used to do 7kms and feel twice as good. Oh how the mighty have fallen. A severe dose of reality really. But, I’m still getting that rush of endorphins you get from running, and that I’ve been missing for the past 6 months.

So, after my run Sunday, I waited until today to see how I pulled up. There’s still some strange tingling in the ankle. It’s a weird sensation. Hard to describe. It’s still unstable compared to the right ankle. But, when it came down to it today, there just wasn’t enough pain to warrant me having an operation on it right now. I’d tried to break it, all week, and it had stood up to me. The best thing was, the ankle has felt great running. That wasn’t the case last year.

It’s strange to think that the cortisone might have worked. The first specialist I saw didn’t think it even worth giving it a shot. The second specialist thought it very unlikely to do anything but worth a shot. I thought that knowing my body the way I do, not a chance. But it seems to have done something. Perhaps it’s combined with the double dosing of Glucosomine and the constant meals of fish and together I’ve managed to strike it lucky? Time will tell.

Where to from here? I’ll continue to increase my running, calf muscles playing ball of course, and see how far I get. There’s every chance I may break down and end up still needing the surgery. So be it. The ankle is the best it’s felt since coming off Mt Fuji. So decision made. No surgery for now. More running in my Vibrams!

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