It was when I was out on my post race
cake recovery ride with Master M in the bike trailer last Sunday that I first noticed that my ankle was sore. Not the usual pain from twisting or going over on your ankle like I’ve done many times on a football pitch, more down the front of the leg but too low for shin splints. There was no bruising or swelling, so I just tried to old rest, ice, compression and elevation trick that evening (well, I fell asleep on the sofa with my leg on the coffee table), but that just seemed to make it more painful when I put weight on my foot.
It didn’t bother me too much on Monday, and on the way home I even managed my second best ever time up the Val des Terres, and a PR on the Rue du Putron segment (up the Valdes to the top of Fort Road) on the way home. OK, so I was on my Madone, but I still had my rucksack on and, given the slow puncture (number 5 of the year already, grrr!) I must have picked up on my Pompetamine the previous week had left my front tyre flat and had robbed me of my usual commuting wheels, it was a case of not wanting to waste the opportunity to enjoy the sun now the clocks had changed, even if it did mean dodging dangerous levels of air pollution, not nice for us asthmatics (good to see that the Channel Islands are visable on DEFRA’s air pollution map though).
I had a similar problem, albeit more of a dull ache, from wearing/pedalling in my new Gore-Tex boots this winter which I think was caused by the high ankle opening rubbing against the front of my ankle. As I was able to ride through that without any seemingly long term consequences, I thought that with a little bit of HTFU I’d be able to ride through it this week too – we’re hardly talking Johnny Hoogerland-esque levels here to make it 11 miles to the office and back. After all, cycling is low impact and my feet are clipped in so it can’t be that hard on your ankles right?
Turns out that might have been a mistake. As the week has gone on it’s gradually become more painful. I’ve been hobbling round the office during the day and my right ankle is now noticeably swollen when I get home in the evenings. It’s definitely slowed my progress (I got overtaken by another cyclist today for the first time in months) and, although on the whole it’s been more comfortable to cycle than walk, there have been moments when it’s become a searing pain and I’ve just wanted to stop and climb off my bike (although for some strange reason it’s definitely less painful when standing on the pedals). I’ve still no idea what I’ve done but, given I can still move my foot and it hasn’t turned a funny colour yet, I’m hopeful it’s nothing serious.
That said, I think it might be time to listen to my body and take a weekend off.