It’s funny (in a peculiar, not humorous) kind of way how you can have everything planned out and then one silly little thing sends all those plans awry.
One silly little thing. And here it is . . . the silly little thing:
A football. I don’t play football. I have never been in the slightest bit interested in football. But sometimes things in which we have no interest, they seek us out whether we want them to or not. And this is what happened to me at Eaton Park on Saturday morning. Having happily completed my own Parkrun, I had decided to run the final lap again, with Allyson, as a cool-down. I had just joined her and was chatting merrily away when a football whooshed out from the undergrowth (Ok, so it rolled gently across some well-cut grass). Most people who see a football coming towards them would probably stop and let it pass, or perhaps leap athletically over it, or maybe kick it back from whence it came. I tried to do all of those things – all at the same time. And instead of managing any of them successfully, I kind of half stepped on it whilst it swivelled and squirmed beneath my feet yanking my right foot viciously to the side and I ended up on the ground, clutching my ankle.
At first it was very painful. I fear I may have sworn and I may even have whimpered a little. Some very kind men who had finished their Parkrun came and hoisted me up and offered to walk me back to the bandstand but by then I was feeling better and hobbled over by myself feeling a little silly. When Allyson arrived back a few minutes later I was quite recovered and queued to have my time recorded and wandered back to my car barely limping, thinking I had had a lucky escape from injury.
But then when I got home and looked at my ankle and saw just how large it had become, it began to hurt a whole lot more. A quick check on the internet suggested that it was probably just a sprain and that RICE – rest ice compression and elevation – was the thing to do. And that’s how I spent the rest of the weekend, slumped on the floor or the sofa with my leg raised up and a bag of frozen peas regularly resting against my poorly ankle.
And those plans that went awry? Well, really I had no immediate plans other than my regular runs and rides – I just hadn’t planned on sitting around quite so much. Fortunately I don’t have any events scheduled until the Trowse 10k on Easter Sunday. For now I can’t run. My ankle is still a wee bit swollen and quite bruised. I can walk on it on flat even footpaths and cycling seems to be OK (other than the twisting to get the cleats in place) so it could be worse. I am trying to enjoy a rest week. But one will be enough. I suspect I will enjoy a rest fortnight or month a whole lot less.
But I think it is easier to deal with this accident than it is a running niggle or injury as I know exactly what caused it and that it wasn’t because I ran too far or too fast (as if!) or too often or wearing the wrong shoes. I just need to avoid footballs.