Friday, 11 January 2013

Down and not so out

What up homies?! Well, I apologise for my AWOLness the last couple of weeks. I am however now back and will fill ya’ll in on the going-ons lately.

Well, I was cruising along very nicely for my ‘500km in three weeks challenge’. Now, I should also state that leading up to the three weeks and during it is probably the fittest I have felt in my whole life. An awesome quote from the great Anton on his DVD Indulgence is ‘When you are at your fittest you are probably your most vulnerable.’ Well it sucks to say but that was me (and him at one point). I started to get a bit of a niggle in my left Achilles mid last week and just thought it was a niggle, these things happen. Last Friday I wanted to do a long run and set off. I got about four to five k in and my Achilles was quite sore. I thought I would have to turn around but it didn’t really get any worse so I kept on going. I managed to finish 40k and although I was sore it wasn’t too bad….but then it just kept getting worse. Things kept going down hill and I unfortunately had to resign myself to the fact that my 500k was not going to get completed. Although I was disappointed, I still managed to cover 460km in three weeks. That’s an average of just over 153km per week. Pretty happy overall with that, even though I fell short.

The main concern then was running at all. I tried 3k on Monday and it was horrible. Very sore and hurt for the whole day. I rested, iced, TEN’s and eventually had to have a MRI on Friday to make sure no permanent damage was done (thanks Elane!). This revealed inflammation between the Achilles and tibia/fibula (from my understanding) and I have been ordered by the doctor and my physio hook ups (bless your hearts Nix and Tylana) to rest, ice and ibuprofen (much to my disgust). I have had this week completely off training and intend to start again tomorrow with some swimming with a pool boy as I have been told not to kick (aggravation of the Achilles is likely if I do). I will do this for a week, then re-assess. I may need to have another light week of training with maybe some bike riding but its pretty much a ‘play it as it comes’ situation.

Anyone who knows me, knows that this is devastating news. Not being able to run is like not being able to eat to me! If anyone has spoken to me for two seconds or been reading my blog knows how passionate I am about running so to not do it is so difficult. I have had a tough week with my diet and generally being down and ‘lost’ without my daily habit of waking early and pumping out some k’s. I just don’t feel myself. I know I must be showing my stress and worry when Tegan says something. A couple of times this week she has shown real concern for how I am. Bless her heart, she knows me well!

Me being me though, I have been processing this info and now looking to things I can do and enjoy until I am back running. I am hoping to do some swimming, as mentioned, maybe some kayaking and maybe some biking. I am also planning on pouring a whole heap of energy and focus into getting my eating and diet back on track so the healing process will be sped up and I will be primed and ready to go when I am fit again.

This speed bump may affect some of my New Years goals (km’s in this year etc) and it has had an impact mentally and physically on my diet, however the beauty of goals, be they New Years ones or just general ones, is that they can be re-assessed and re-
focused. I have put quite a bit of thought into what I am now wanting to achieve over the next couple of months, so be prepared for some big results and challenges ahead.

So, that’s pretty much been my last two weeks. It has been a little rocky (not in the good way necessarily) but I am here, I am alive and I can make ripper good decisions about how I move forward from here. Life is all about adapting and moving with what cards we are dealt so that is what I am planning on doing from here on in. I am not sure when I will be back running (I pray it will be VERY soon) but if not, I will be pouring my heart into what I CAN do! Thanks to everyone for the lovely messages and support I have got over this time. I know it probably seems insignificant to a lot of you, but it means the world to me and getting your well wishes is such a blessing!

As a side point, I am hoping and praying for some big news this Thursday so stay tuned for a potentially life changing blog forthcoming! Love to you all my friends. Live free, run free for me and Ill catch ya soon!


  1. Mat you have faced huge challenges in you your life and have come through them with courage, strength and faith. reading this blog gives me the strength to face what I have to come and that means alot to me. This is just a minor set back and giving time and allowing the body to heal it will strengthen your mind, body and soul and make you more the hungrier to achieve great things like Bikila of Ethiopia,as well as Hill, Higdon, Johnston and Tulloh all great barefoot runners from the past. This I know.

  2. Stay Strong man ... running is just one of the things that you do. I know with some rest and recovery you will bounce back stronger than ever. Coach Jeff

  3. Well I had an ITB issue for over 12 months and a Chiropractor would get the leg rotated so the right foot didn’t poke out to the side and I would run and it would come out alignment again. He ended up giving me a stretch to bring it back but nothing lasted and so last year I was stop/start and annoyed with it. I ended up having a couple of months off running second half of 2012 which for me was weird as I was getting out four or five times a week for 100k or so. Then I did some Active Isolated stretching from The Warton’s stretch book, mentioned in Eat and Run. I started running again and on day two with 12k on Monday and 12 on Tuesday my calves started going tight and that same ITB and I though damn (censored) you, you’ve had two months off and you’ll be sorted so I did some rolling of the calves as outlined in a bare boot running UK online magazine and had the Wednesday off then back into it and all good now. Did the Kurrawa to Duranbah 30 in December barfoot and today I did the Hares and Hound run from Woodford Qld 54k in Luna sandals and all is great after just under 6 hours out in the warm weather from a 3:30am start. So injuries; learn from them and take time if you need it but you’ll be back at it. Chris

  4. Glad to see you are staying positive bro! Just remember to give it the rest it needs, listen to your body and you will be back out there in no time. Like you have said this is the perfect opportunity for you to try new things and push yourself mentally. Injuries are frustrating (I know, damn lazy butt hurting my knees haha) but there is so many amazing people out there to help you out and maybe you could use this time to help others out? Coaching, writing training programs, blogging more. The opportunities are endless! Love you bro. Mel xo

  5. HAy all! Thank you all so very much for your replies on here! I am stoked that people have actually started commenting on the blog itself. Thank you all for you beautiful, kind words. I am really inspired by you all and thank you for your support! Bless you all and I hope to see yall on the trail soon! Run free!