Well just as I’ve been talking about how good I was feeling and how old injuries are sorting themselves out I go and get a nice new injury. Sods law ey? Probably not but it’s still annoying.
After my successful big week on the bike the plan was a recovery week with light rides with a couple of bursts to keep to legs open but I got a twinge in my right achilles after the last big off-road ride. I thought nothing of it to begin with but the next morning it was still pretty sore so proceeded to do a bit of Google bashing to see if it could shed some light on it. I always take everything with a pinch of salt when looking up stuff on Google but there were lots of articles written by creditable looking people with similar causes and symptoms that matched my site of pain.
From what I understand the reason I picked up this injury is because I increased my training load too much plus my feet over-pronate and this has lead to an achilles tendon injury a few inches above my heal. Calves strains and tightness along with over-pronation put excessive pressure on the achilles tendon that leads to a micro tear, which after the body repairs to leave a nice lump of scar tissue. All this was exactly what I was experiencing. Articles suggested using the R.I.C.E. method to speed up the recovery, which I did for 48hrs until the swelling went down and then active rehab and deep tissue massage can take place to regain the correct range of motion and to get rid of the pesky, fibre binding, motion robbing scar tissue.
I felt as though the rehab was going well with reduced pain and a good range of motion so put in a couple of short road rides to see how things went. The rides didn’t appear to have any adverse affects so increased them slightly but then, stupidly went on a ride to Dalby. This place is a body beater at the best of times so with a semi new injury it was asking to much and by the end it was pretty uncomfortable again. I did think I was back to square one but a day or so later and I have a good range of motion, which makes me think I didn’t re-injure the tendon but aggravated the area around the scar tissue that wasn’t to fond of the standing/sitting/bracing/accelerating/braking/body-shifting/etc that goes along with mountain biking.
The ride at Dalby wasn’t all bad though, it was great fun and felt very strong with no back or knee pain, which is a bit of a revelation only slightly soured by my achilles but I’m still pleased. Its also worth mentioning that putting suspension forks on the 29er has absolutely transformed it. Its amazing! But enough about that (for now).
So as it stands no more mountain biking until I’m pain and scar tissue free as I don’t want to do something silly. This does mean I wont be taking part in the first few XC races I had planned, which sucks but will be worth it in the long term. I’m still in two minds on whether I’ll be able to make 12hrs of Exposure in a little over 4 weeks time but luckily for me entry doesn’t close until a few days before the event so can leave it until the last minute to decide.