The fallow month

Posted on January 21, 2012 by Chris Baynham-Hughes

It’s been almost a month since I last wrote and pretty much since I last ran. The ankle is still swollen and the ligament is very sore to the touch. My physio sessions have run out (I get 8 in 5 weeks) and my frustration knows no bounds as a result. I’ve taken to getting out on my awesome new cross bike which is just perfect for winter. I’ve even gone back to icing my ankle again in the evening – anything to get rid of the swelling.

It’s the Helsby 4 villages (half marathon) tomorrow which I am excited about running despite the lack of training. It’s the only road race I enter all year, and I think it’s the best one too – no bias towards my clubs race of course! I feel totally under cooked and it’s very, very windy out there, but it’ll still be a great run. As usual I have set myself three progressive goals. I tend to do this to give my competitive/ self critical brain some perspective:

  • Primary Goal: Get around without tweaking my ankle or it swelling up too much afterwards
  • Secondary Goal: Sub 90
  • Tertiary Goal: Sub 84

It’s not a slow course, but it certainly isn’t flat either and with the wind blowing as it is I doubt there will be many PBs out there tomorrow. The frustrating thing is that I believe that I’m capable of achieving all three, but like last year, where I didn’t even run it because I’d badly twisted my other ankle, my injury has got in the way. That said I’ll be very disappointed not to achieve the secondary goal as I’ve done it before in training and feel my residual fitness should pull me through, despite hardly running in two months.

I’ve not been sat on my backside for the entire time though. I’ve recently been getting out on my new bike

but I don’t have the drive to do it like I do running (although I do love this bike and it has made the early mornings not quite so hard to take). My issue with cycling is that I can’t fully relax my mind because, at the very least, every junction presents a possibility of death. 20 years ago I’d ride without a helmet or fear as people seemed to look out for bikes and would not try to get in their way, now if I’m filtering I even get drivers pulling out to push me over to the other side of the road. What does a person benefit from doing that? Maybe I’m paranoid about being on two wheels when there are cars about, but they seem to be aiming for me despite being more day-glow than the 80′s and lit up like a Christmas tree. Moth to a flame or just everybody is in such a rush that they are only looking for things that pose a risk to their safety; i.e., other cars or bigger? Either way it makes riding a stressful endeavour!

Big test tomorrow, firstly if my ankle will balloon again and secondly how much fitness I’ve lost. Can’t wait!

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