Monday, 11 July 2011

Running Woman Part 6: Why it pays to be stubborn

This weekend I have been popping in here and there to check on my Mum who’s laid up with a bad back. She doesn’t get ill often, but when she does she is the world’s worst patient. She’s miserable as sin because she hates being incapacitated, but at the same time doesn’t want to accept help and it becomes a frustrating situation. For instance, on Friday, instead of waiting for me to come home in an hour’s time she decided to get down on her hands and knees to feed the cats. Ridiculous.
But as frustrated as I was with her, it all sounded a little familiar. If you ever wanted to know why I’m such a stubborn creature then you won’t have to look very far. Whilst you shake your head in disbelief when I tell you that I most certainly will be running the Race for Life this Sunday, remember that it’s not my fault I’m like this, it’s in my genes.

Last time I’d told you about Eddie the Ankle Egg. He looked pretty terrifying but actually didn’t seem that painful to walk on. Even so, most people would decide to rest him and not risk running on him. Not me. I decided that I would put him to the test and have a little run out and see how the land lay.

Now technically I should have been only running to the end of the street and back again, to get my shins warmed up again and avoid the dreaded splints, but I am terribly impatient and decided that rather than be sensible I would wang out 3.5k and see what happened.

Miracle of miracles – I was fine. No shin pain. No ankle pain. In short, I’m basically a machine.

A few days later out I went again, this time to try for 4k. Miracle of miracles – I was fine. No shin pain. No ankle pain. In short, I’m still a machine.

However, after walking 10 miles round London last week on a school trip I was involved in through work, Eddie was not such a happy chappy. Luckily for me I was at the physiotherapist the next day and I was pleased to tell him that my shins were good but Eddie was not. He poked and fiddled about and told me that I’d sprained the posterior talo-fibular ligament. (That’s right I know the fancy name!) There are 3 ligaments on the outside of your ankle, front, middle and back. It’s usually the front and middle that get injured in a sprain but I’d managed to be that little bit different and sprain the back one – most probably because I was wearing heels at the time. My lovely physio then did some fun taping around Eddie to keep him stable when I went out running. That marked the official end of my physio with NHS Hull, I’m pretty sad about it, he’s been great and I feel very lucky to have been able to have 5 physio appointments free of charge – big up the NHS – WOOP!

I’ve still been talking to my podiatrist friend whilst all of this has been going on and he had advised me to get some inserts, which I’ve also been using when I go out running. He was still frustrated that he couldn’t figure out why my shin splints were only happening in my left leg and before I knew where I was, I was lying on his kitchen floor being attacked with a tape measure.

Turns out my left leg is only 2cm shorter than my right leg.

For reals! Horror of horrors. I’m a lopsided freak.

But this did possibly answer the question of why it’s only happening in my left leg. It’s having to stretch and twist more to hit the ground so is putting more strain on my shinny shin shin. My friend told me to take the heel raise out of my right trainer and see how I went on.

It was after all of this that I managed to run 3.5k without getting any pain. I wouldn’t like to credit any one thing in particular - it’s either down to one or all or some of the following:

- The insert in my left shoe aligning my wonky legs better
- The strapping the physio showed me that I spoke about in my last post
- Being more conscious of stretching after my running

Either way I daren’t not do any of the above now until the race is over.

There was still however the issue of general fitness and whether or not I would be able to keep going for 5k. Even machines lose their fitness after 2 months of sporadic running you know.

The ultimate test was set for yesterday and I and my team mates came together for the first time in 2 months to try and run 5k.

How did I do?

You are looking at a 5k machine. I totally did it!

One week before the Race for Life and I am officially on track to run the whole thing without stopping, just like I intended.

See you on the course!


  1. Woop to you, you crazy running woman!

    My fingers are crossed for you for your Race for Life. I tried to do one once and had to pull out coz of my ankle - I know how frustrating that is.

    As for the short leg business, you might want to try an McTimoney Chiropracter (they're brilliant) and see if your pelvis is out of alignment. If one side is twisted, this might be the reason for some of the difference in your leg length. I get knee pains because one side of my pelvis twists but a couple of clonks from the McT chrio and I'm back in working order. I can't recommend them enough.

  2. Huzzah!

    How odd about the legs though. I wonder if it's more common than we realise? I can't say I've ever actually measured my legs. I can't afford to lose any height though!

  3. you know, i have the same kind of issue and it has totally thrown my knees into disarray and then my back. I was terrified the drs would tell me to wear a raised shoe! I do nothing! But maybe I should.
    And congrats on the 5k. Thats amazing.

  4. Well done on the 5k! But wow, 2cm is quite a lot! I have one ear higher than the other apparently which is why very few glasses suit me :S We're all freaks in our own way! x


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