So what happened? Well, a week and a half ago I headed down to Arthurs Seat for a 42k long run on the hilliest part of the Two Bays course - the 7km section between the Dromana Information Centre and Waterfall Gully Road. I do three out & backs on this section, which allows me to change bottles at my car, and gives me a great hills workout.
After bombing the downhill near McLarens Dam the first time at about the 6km mark, I noticed some pain developing in the front of my shin on my right leg. At first it only hurt on the downhills, but by the end of my second lap, it was very painful, and I was unable to even start my third lap.
The leg got progressively worse all week, with the pain extending from my foot, all the way up to just below the knee. By Thursday I was hobbling around in agony and got an x-ray thinking there was almost certainly a stress fracture. There was no fracture, but my doctor was able to diagnose it as inflammation of the tendon/muscle sheath of my tibialis anterior, the muscle that runs along the outer side of the tibia.
It can be caused by different factors, and my view is that there was a number of things that all added up, and created a perfect storm for the condition to develop. Namely:
- Doing a hard 33k run in lightweight racing flats that probably shouldn't be used on runs above 20k.
- A limited training week due to work travel where I tried to do too much, at too high intensity, to make up for missed runs.
- An inadequate recovery from the 30/50 Challenge that put me over the top once I resumed normal training loads.
- Tightness in my calf muscle causing an imbalance in the leg.
- Ongoing achilles tendinitis in my left leg, causing me to put more stress on my right.
So all I can do is suck it up and keep it in perspective. While it was my main race target this season, my last two races have surpassed anything I could have hoped for when I set my goals down in April, so I have to be thankful for that.
I will start running again on Christmas Day (in my new Adios Boosts!), and work towards a start at Maroondah Dam 50k in March.
Merry Christmas to you all!