Bursitis and the bike

Bursitis – another injury I’d not previously heard of

Well as if it seems customary these days, I get to March/April time and end up with a running injury. That’s 3 consecutive years now. Ho hum.

I had a few issues with my left heel at the back end of 2015 but it was purely a bit of stiffness at the beginning of a run which, after about 10 minutes, completely disappeared.

Anyway, in late February this year, it seemed to have continued and spread into my right heel as well. It didn’t stop me pulverising several of my personal bests. However, it did seem to be getting worse to the point that both were aching when I wasn’t running. That’s not a good thing.

Several physio visits and the conclusion was ‘Bursitis’ – there’s a fluid sac around the point in the heel where the Achilles tendon inserts intot he back of the foot. This sac is called a ‘Bursa’ and ‘itis’ is inflammation. So basically the back of my heel is inflamed and generally not happy.

Of course the treatment other than ice and elevation is REST! Which is not ideal for the following reasons

  1. I’m training for two marathons
  2. I walk dogs for a living

The first point I accept is less than relevant in the wider scheme of things. I’ve accepted that Liverpool marathon is not happening for me this year (roughly the same date in May as the Edinburgh marathon I pulled out of in 2014!) and I’m just hoping that it clears up in time for Snowdonia Trail.

The second point is a difficult one. Having only just got the business off the ground, I don’t want to lose my existing clientèle, but at the same time doing too much could risk that if I end up not being able to walk. So it’s been slow and steady on that front and when I’m not walking the dogs, my feet are usually getting up close and personal with an ice pack…..

My old running shoes have had a modification involving a stanley knife and now sport a gaping hole at the back for my swollen ankle to protrude out from. In the immortal commentary words from Chester 2015 – “It’s weird, but it works”.

The Bike

Having run throughout the winter, my bike had been sat in the corner counting cobwebs for several months. The Bursitis has at least got me back on the bike. This year’s injury is not aggravated by cycling and so it has been gratefully retrieved from the spiders (who frankly were making no effort to ride it anyway).

The first trip out was with my modified trainers, assuming 1) my clip shoes probably would aggravate the bursitis and 2) I need to remember how not to fall off and that’s safer unclipped. As luck would have it,  all went well and when I tried my proper shoes, everything was fine. And I can generally remember to unclip although there was a near-miss outside of Lyme Park in a queue of traffic when I was so absorbed with not getting run over by impatient drivers I forgot to unclip and nearly joined a recently-test-passed driver in their car. On my bike.

I tend to let me head have dynamic choices of the route which, given how frazzled it has been can lead to some strange consequences. A circular trip around Marple that I found myself in central Manchester immediately afterwards and had to cycle back home before it got too dark as the road surface on the A6 is catastrophic in places and worse elsewhere.

Today’s outings were fairly straightforward. Two involved trips to client addresses and one was my afternoon-out ride. So at least two didn’t have many strange outcomes with their destinations. My afternoon-out ride I wanted to go a little further and get some hill work in. Avoiding the roadworks in Stockport is an art which adds a good few miles onto the route (thus satisfying the first part of the brief). I then decided to cycle up through Bollington (a long thin town on the side of a hill) onto the tops and then across to the other side in Disley, thereby missing out the worst of the roadworks. The route looks something like this:

Bike Ride 17 April

Bike Ride 17 April

The sun was out and it was pleasant although the wind was cold and there was rather a lot of it! This didn’t make the hills seem like as good an idea as had been the plan, but I managed to get up them without falling off, so I’ll take that!

Needless to say I’m exhausted now. Feet are elevated and body is refusing to speak to my mind at the moment. Happy days!

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