DIARY: Injury Days...

I've been injured not for a little more than two and a half weeks, and I can't see I'm enjoying it one bit (which on second thought, would make me a very sick man as well if I did!).

The first few days of injury weren't so bad. The head is full of ideas on what can be done to fix the injury and speed up the regeneration process, so it takes a while until the "depression" sets in.

Healing is also not easy to predict, I could hardly walk normal for Day 1 and Day 2, but already on Day 3 I was making huge strides and less than a week after I was marshalling on the top of Corrig Mountain in a deluge.

Yes, I felt the injury going down the muddy sides of Corrig, but it wasn't terrible, and gave me a confidence boost. "Another week" I thought, and I'll be running up the sides of Bray's Head.

My Week
I have loads of photos of the activities I undertook to keep myself sane during my injury, I'm having some problems getting them online though, as Ericsson hasn't released their Windows Vista drivers (get on the ball lads!) for their camera phones yet.

I'll be posting a link soon, though, as I have some good shots from the Corrig race and my recce run on Bray's Head.

I can summarise the week pretty quickly, I did only my physio exercises for seven days, then volunteered to be Marshal for the Corrig Leinster League race (which was struck by torrid weather conditions and deserves a full tale eventually).

The day after I did my first jog which was a good 6k and then followed up with my usual 8-9k pavement pounding "recovery runs" spread over the next week. On the Sunday, I did throw in a slow recce run of the Bray Leinster League route (I still had hopes of making the race!), and threw in the beach as an extra test. Running over the pebbles along the water gave me little discomfort and neither did the steep ascent, but running down I have lost all speed. Any attempt to speed up is met with immediate complaints from the injured area.

Until its fixed, I can just as well forget about racing, as any hope of a decent finish would vapourise without speed on the descent, and I know myself well, and I'd be daft enough to push it beyond what it can take as soon as we're talking a race.

The Long Test
On Saturday morning I meet up with Barry at Sandyfor at 7am, and we drove down to rendezvous with Conor at Crone Wood. Our aim: To do a test of the Powercourt Ridge race route.

The route is a fantastic journey up through Crone Wood to the top of Maulin where a short descent is followed by a very long winding ascent up to Djouce where cold wind will try to tear you off the summit, as you turn down left towards the Wicklow Way, from where you turn back towards Maulin and complete a spectacular 15.5k circuit with almost 1k of total ascent under your belt.
The views were gorgeous and I felt well going at a comfortable pace up the many ascents. Going down I was in a lot of discomfort, though, more from the mental defeat of having to hold back than any physical pain.
Coming round Djouce on the way back, though, I hit a stone badly, and a jolt of pain shook directly up in the injured area. After this I dared only jog at a moderate speed, keeping up with Barry for the remaining 7 kilometres.
Conor followed us shortly after at the Crone Wood carpark, and we made our way home. It was a perfect day out, great weather, and a splendid start to a Saturday.
Stupid Me!
Unfortunately, the injury seems to have been set 2-3 days back, so I had to cancel my planned entry in the MC Comeragh's race, and both the next two LL races (Scalp and Howth) and, much more critically, the highlight of the season: Carrauntoohil, now seems under serious threat, and I might have to start planning for a quite different season, possibly with Snowdon as my main event for the year.
Its the price for rushing back no doubt, but at least it has kept me a little bit sane, and staved off some of the "runner's depression" that invariably strikes all runners who are injured or who have just completed a major target. The best way to get rid of it, is to put all your focus into a new target. So I'll have to immerse myself in other sorts of training until then.
Time will tell, for now I'm gulping glucosamine, and wishing I believed in the power of prayer to heal the darn cartilage!!!