This was supposed to be the post where I describe how—after making the tough call to take an extended, two-week break from running—that the tendon in my ankle was no longer an issue, I had made the right decision in skipping the races I was looking forward to, and I was happy to be back running regularly. Sadly, that is not how things went…
About a week and a half into my rest period, I was feeling great. I had received a favourable evaluation from my physiotherapist and I no longer felt any pain walking down stairs (a positive change). Still, I waited it out and took the full two weeks off and started back extra slowly with a 5 km run. Things felt good enough to run 7 km and then 9 km, after which I took a day to rest and cross-train on a bike. I then came back for an 11 km jog and felt the tendon start to get cranky with only 500m to go. It bothered me for the rest of the day walking so I tried to stay off it as much as possible.
I then had to decide how to react. Do I try to continue running conservatively to see if it stays manageable with short runs? Do I stop running to avoid making it worse and take an even longer, 4-week break? Do I switch to cross-training for 2-4 weeks seeing as the tendon has never bothered me while biking? I decided after a rest day to try one more short jog and it got bad enough that I turned around early (and it’s still bothering me a day later). That pretty much settled it.
My plan now is to cross train for four weeks. With any luck, this will keep me mildly in shape so that starting back up in October is easier. Because I need something off in the distance to keep me motivated (especially while cross training), so I’m considering the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, OH which is April 24, 2016. I like the sound of an April marathon (instead of May) as that timing works out better for lead-up races (Chilly Half is March 6; seven weeks out) and allows for some recovery time in May before the summer races start.
I have to mention briefly the Beijing World Championships which were streaming live on YouTube over the past couple weeks. Taking a break from running was made a lot easier by having a bunch of races to watch. The highlights for me were the Kenyan marathoners completely falling apart in the men’s marathon, Mo Farah cleaning up in the 10,000m and 5000m, and Asbel Kiprop seemingly in a class of his own in the 1500m. Of course, there were some incredible Canadian performances as well (Andre Degrasse, Derek Drouin, Melissa Bishop, and others). Canada gathered a record number of medals (seems I jumped on the athletics bandwagon at the right time ;)!
That’s it for now. Good luck to everyone running a fall marathon over the next few months. I’ll be watching eagerly to see how things play out. Here’s a list of races to watch and the guys who have announced they’re running (still plenty of guys who haven’t said if/where they’re running):
- Berlin (September 27): Reid Coolsaet.
- Chicago (October 11): Rob Watson, Kevin Coffey.
- Toronto (October 19): Eric Gillis, Matt Loiselle, Sami Jibril, Calum Neff, John Mason.