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Hopping along after getting the Chop

May 28, 2017

Exciting news, I just hit a new personal best, 5 seconds from sofa to front door, to let  Jerry in who came for a cuppa and a chat. 4 second improvement. I am getting quicker on the crutches. 

A big thank you to everyone who has been popping round to visit, making the time on the sofa with the foot in a cast more bearable. 

My commitment to adding a new blog post each month, hit a wall. Whilst I have been updating the 'Food Glorious food' section with new recipes on a regular basis.

 I realised the last blog post 'Lanzarote, Crushing watts swimming with sharks and stealing some lava rock' was way back on March 27th.

When the blogging goes quiet, it either means

1) I have won the lottery and have headed off to a tropical island, preferring to sip on a Mojito rather than write a blog post. 

 or

2) Injury has hit and i am  moping about.

Unfortunately the reality was the later.

 

My win in Lanzarote had shown me, that winter training had gone well. Though re reading my Training Peaks diary, it reminds me it hadn't been a particularly pleasant experience. 

"This session was horrific"

"Are you kidding, a 4 hours ride, after ,morning swim and turbo session? Do you know it's snowing outside Chris!?"

Just some of the less explicit comments I would write back to Coach Chris Standidge .

Training under Chris had consisted of similar elements to previous years but also some very new elements, such as double ride days, a turbo session followed by a long ride and my hunger levels were taken to a whole new level after the Sunday swim-run sessions. 

I have talked in the past about my bone spur on the right heel. In this blog Being a Zen loving Ninja I talked about how yoga, meditation and plant based eating had become my way of coping, It was diagnosed as Haglund deformity in 2015, but I had been finding ways to adapt and get rid of the pain. Despite a very prominent lump on my heel, I had been pain free for 12 months, gradually increasing my run training.

When training had started for the 2017 season in November 2016 we continued to be on the cautious side. Run training consisted mainly of steady running, slowly introducing hill sessions once a week. I continued to be diligent with the strength and conditioning, working with  Sarah Pitts from Most Motion , and completing a wiggle class on a daily basis.  I felt everything was going well. 

This winter, I ran a cross country race for the first time in 2 years. The raffle afterwards was the real highlights. With Leeds and Bradford Triathlon club mates Chrysothemis and Tom showing off our raffle winnings, socks for everyone.

 

I was aware the Haglunds was preventing me from doing certain things. I couldn't hop on my right foot, I had no spring or bounce and I felt I was walking a tightrope, but I kept my fingers crossed.

I crossed the line at the Tri122 Lanzarote triathlon and knew my Haglunds had flared up. My foot and heel was not in a good place. Not even a few beers that night could numb the pain.

And since Lanzarote I have not run a step.

 The bump on my right heel, known as 'Haglunds deformity'. It's been a right nuisance for the last few years.

 

After discussing the issue with physios and doctors, I decided to get the bone spur removed. It has been troublesome for 3 years and the idea of an operation has always been in the back of my mind. The pain I felt the evening after the Tri122 lanzarote race reminded me of the pain I felt in 2014, having won the Slateman, Sandman and Snowman races I was on the plane to the Caribbean, the Always Aim High series prize, a dream scenario. But the pain in my foot, meant I was stood at the back of the plane, chatting to the air stewards stretching it for large parts of the journey. Nearly every race in the last 3 years has been followed by a flare up of the Haglunds. After last years win at the Leeds ITU race (race report here), I took a week off running to let it settle down, some times it would only took a day to settle, other times longer.

I have written various blogs on how i have coped with the Haglunds , this is one from last year describing the mobility work i was doing with Sarah 

 

Lanzarote marked the end of the line. No more. I was going to get the bone spur shaved off and hopefully cure my Haglunds once and for all in an operation known as Calcaneoplasty and Achilles decompression.

1 week in a cast, 6 weeks in an air-boot and 3 months before returning to running. With this in mind, we enjoyed a week of cycling up and down hills in Majorca. Thanks to Adam's parents Chris and Jane for the invite. 

The famous climbs include Sa Calobra(above) many many switch backs.

 We made it to Port de Pollenca from Port de Soller, where we were staying. This was lunch break sat in the shade at the beach. Tom Whale, Alba friend was staying in Port de Soller as well with his family, so we had a peloton of 3 for several days of exploring.

Arrived back in Port de Soller as the sun was setting. Every road in, is down hill, every road out is uphill!

 

We went to see what all the fuss was about, why is it such a cycling mecca? I will write a post about our experiences in the next few days, for now, here are some pictures.The holiday, happened to be the week before the operation. Ideal, smash the legs as there will be plenty of sofa time coming up.

 

And I write this from the sofa. 

As the triathlon season gets going, good luck to everyone out there racing and and i hope to join you again at some point, in the not so distant future.

 

A big thanks for all the kind words of encouragement and support and of course those who have dropped by to drink tea, eat cake and keep me company. The door is always open.