Great Newham Run Preparation - Women's Running Magazine

Great Newham Run Preparation

Author: Chris Macdonald

Read Time:   |  July 24, 2015


With just over a week to go before the race I needed to get back up to distance without aggravating my shin splint as it was finally starting to settle. I started with a gentle 2.5K around the park at a nice relaxed pace. Bliss! I made sure to have a rest day before my next run, which was just over 7K. This wasn’t such an easy run, but thankfully, it was nothing to do with me, it was the weather; crikey, it was hot! On the plus side though, my legs felt good so I felt confident and excited for the Race for Life a few days later.

Sunday morning, shortly before 11am, I joined the other 10K runners at the start line, got my music and tracking app ready, and set off. I was just getting comfortable when I turned my right ankle on a stony downhill, did a sort of messy somersault and ended up in the grass beside the track. I was 1 mile into the race. A few runners stopped to make sure I was OK, while a race marshal got on the radio in case I needed first aid. As it happened, there was no pain and everything seemed to be working as it should, so I opted to continue. I carried on running for a while but after a few minutes the pain started and I could feel instability in the joint, so I slowed to a walk.

The uneven ground got harder and harder to walk on, so I stopped and asked the next marshal if there was a shortcut back to the start line. She dug out her map and showed me that we were pretty much at the furthest point from the start/finish, so I would have to either keep going or get a lift back with a paramedic crew. Being the stubborn person I am, I chose the former. 20 minutes later, I was starting to struggle. Across the field, I saw runners heading in the opposite direction so I left the course and crossed the field to join them. It was when I saw the same marshal with the map that I realised my mistake – instead of taking a shortcut, I had gone round the same loop twice.
Kerry's Ankle 1

Demoralised, and in increasing pain, I gave up on the idea that I might still be able to continue to the second lap. As we descended back toward the open field of the start/finish, my shoe was getting tighter and tighter as my ankle swelled, and walking on the sideways incline was agony. I couldn’t go any further. I ducked under the tape and, unable to put weight on my right foot, phoned my husband for help. He got me checked by a paramedic and we headed home, all the while I was cursing with frustration; what about the Great Newham Run?!

By the time we got home, I had a solid blue golf ball sized lump over the outside of my ankle. I spent the rest of the day with my foot on a tower of cushions, on and off smothered in frozen peas. Luckily, I already had a GP appointment booked for the following morning, so I showed him my now very swollen ankle and he sent me for an X-ray. As it turns out, no bones were broken, just a lot of soft tissue damage and some very impressive bruising. My husband calls it my angry hippo foot.

So, what about the Great Newham London Run? The honest answer is, I don’t know. You can see the extent of the swelling and kerry's ankle 2bruising in the pictures, but remarkably, there is very little pain. I’ve had differing advice from health professionals – RICE vs. gentle stretching and walking – so I’m doing a bit of both; I’m elevating and icing when sitting, yet still walking around (carefully!). Running
10K however, is a whole different ball game and I don’t want to risk permanent damage, so I guess I will just have to see how it feels nearer the time. Running or not though, I will be there to experience and report on the atmosphere of this great event and the iconic arena.

To run or not to run, that is the question.

Chris Macdonald

Editor-at-Large, Women's Running

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