I have ran a total of 28 miles in May! - Given that I am in training for UTMB, a race which consists of 105 miles of trail and 29,000 feet of ascent, 28 miles is not very much.
14 of those miles were in the week following the Highland Fling and it was during them that I felt the pain in my ankle which has subsequently been diagnosed as Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. It appears it is a general overuse injury and I had hoped that with sufficient rest, stretching and icing it would clear up in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, we are now four weeks down the line and after a brief 5 miles last night I can report that it is still painful.
I haven't been completely idle in the last month and I have been cycling and using the step machine in the gym but it's not quite the same. This is the time when I should be out there putting in big miles on big hills - but I'm not, and I'm worried.
With just under 3 months to go till UTMB I am seriously concerned about my ability to finish. So what do I do?
UTMB, for me at least, is likely to be a "once in a lifetime" event. I have paid my entrance fee, I have paid for my flights, I have bought some expensive new equipment so, in short, I've laid out a lot of dosh in order to take part. There is also the issue of the ballot. This year I was successful, next year I may not be. So I am loathe to pull out and see all this go to waste.
I have never yet DNF'd. Now I know that at some point this may happen but not yet and not in UTMB. Should I start and risk having to pull out part way through or should I DNS rather than DNF? I am stubborn bugger and I know that if I start, it will take a serious issue for me not to finish, but at what cost? Struggling on to complete a road marathon is a different kettle of fish to battling my way over some serious mountains after 40+ hours of effort.
So what do I do?
I plan to continue to cross train and hope that my ankle improves sufficiently to allow me some proper hill time prior to August. I'm not pulling out yet but at the moment I am struggling to get my mind to accept what my body is telling me!