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Panic Over

27 November, 2010

I have to admit rather sheepishly that my ankle/foot is not as bad as I initially thought. It’s still a little tender, but it hasn’t swollen and I managed to crank out a very easy-paced loop around false creek this morning. It is a little frustrating having my base-building pushed back by a week, but the good news is that I believe I’ve clearly identified the root cause.


I reached a new level in my running in the Scotiabank half marathon ’09, but my calves were not really strong enough and I suffered a chronic muscle tear around that time and again around the new year. I also ‘crunched’ (everted) my ankle in late October or early November, which, on reflection, may not have been coincidental. To deal with the muscle knots and tendency to tear, I worked on building the calf muscles in isolation as well as more specifically with some good high-intensity track workouts over the summer. But I completely neglected the antagonist dorsiflexing musculature, which was a mistake. As much as we might pay lip service to the importance of a well-balanced strength routine, at the end of the day I will always be lazy in trying to minimize the amount of time I spend in the gym.


Apparently this particular form of imbalance can lead to overpronation, which makes sense as I turned my ankle the other way (inversion) suffering minor sprains during a hike in the spring and again crossing the street about three weeks ago. Now ankle twists happen anyway, and it’s possible I’m reading too much into this, but this might also explain my more cautious approach to trail running this year.


So, it’s not a full-blown injury and the only drawback is a delay to building a bigger base. Once I’ve worked out how to restore the balance of these muscles I believe I will be able to step up again. I also have a hotspot on my left hip that hasn’t gone away after about a week or so, and this may be the next ‘weakest link’. Is this related to my ou-of-whack right lower leg? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Today: 13km.

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