Testing Testing 1-2…

…3km test run completed in about 20 mins or so – twice this week!  And a 6k walk up and around Gadding Dam today in strong winds.

Gaddings Dam

After 10 weeks, and with a lot of encouragement from ‘whiplash’ physio, finally braved a test run on Wednesday, a very slow and gentle 3 km.  Foot still obviously not right and back very stiff and painful following car crash but it was good to be at least moving in a vaguely run like manner!

Repeated test run again after Friday’s physio session had loosened me up and back felt a little better but stiffened badly afterwards.  I’m confident that problem should improve in the short-medium term, but it’s clear that my peroneus brevi tendon problem will continue to hamper any efforts at motion.

After my tendon brought me to a shuddering halt in April 2013, when I couldn’t even walk for 2 months nevermind run, at least I can now get my foot to function, if still painful.  However, the NHS has in the main been worse than useless, ranging from a prescription for NSAIDs when no inflammation is present in the tendon (and goes against common thinking) which just resulted in messing my stomach up for months that they then had no interest in dealing with; to a disgracefully disinterested GP telling me that “ALL sprained ankles heal fully within 10 weeks” and pretty much saying that if I am still suffering after 8 years then I am lying, accompanied by a refusal to ever see me again about it!

Fortunately the ‘foot’ physio was slightly better qualified – and could actually be bothered to carry out an examination unlike the incompetent GP –  to narrow the main problem down to a degenerated tendon.  The podiatrist was also of the opinion that I did have a real problem too, so not all in my head then! After initial rehab exercises failed to lift the ‘block’ I had in operating my foot without agonising pain, I was moved on to acupuncture and had a miracle improvement after 1 session, instantfr15_11_2013075523ly being able to walk again.  Even with some pain it was such a relief after weeks of despair.

There was sadly little further improvement with following sessions and so have been cast on the rubbish heap as far as the NHS is concerned, with a “well, you’ll just have to live with being crippled” goodbye.  If I can dodge the incompetent GP then there maybe a possible option to pursue surgery, but with a 60-40 chance of it making it worse it’s not really a solution I’m going to press for, even if I could persuade them to spare the funds.  There appears to be a second issue with my ankle-foot but whether it is a consequence of the tendon or a completely separate problem is destined to remain a mystery!

After years of things improving to a point where my foot breaks down, rest and repeat, I need a radical new approach after the last catastrophic halt… as they say insanity/stupidity is repeating the same thing and expecting a different result.  Prior to the car crash I felt like I was making a little progress but was getting dragged into too much too soon again, so it will be hard but will be working on a ‘no speeding’ approach this time.

After much internet research, I am looking at a recovery plan involving 3 months of low effort running (HR zone 3 and below), whilst simultaneously continuing with rehab exercises with the aim of retraining my biomechanics to take some of the strain off the tendon and back to where it should be.  Assuming this happens relatively pain free the next stage would then be to focus on building distance with any speed gains occurring organically rather than deliberately.

After nearly totally giving up on running last year, maybe there is a faint glimmer of hope reflecting off the storm clouds above the blackened horizon?