What’s that coming over the hill?

It’s all fun and games until someone gets their eye poked out. –  my wee ma.

So it finally happened. I DNFed. I started a race that I couldn’t get to the end of. Now, I could pretend this didn’t bother me. I could say “Sure I was injured! I couldn’t help it.” – although what other reason is there for not finishing a race? I’m not best pleased about it.

Chalk boards. So smart. Always know what to say.
Chalk boards. So smart. Always know what to say.

Anyway, I’ve huffed for long enough now to finally stick my head above the parapet. (What even is a parapet?)

The reason/excuse I had for not finishing the awesome Mourne Skyline race was that I had a sick ankle. In the well documented world of ankle sickness – I’m certain it’s a thing – I’d say my ankle started the race with a pretty bad variation of a head cold – y’know the type, one minute you’re minding your own business & ‘achoooo!’, you’ve just filled your hands and someone wants to shake your hand. That’s how my ankle felt.

By the time I had decided this just wasn’t happening anymore and I needed to drop, my ankle had full-blown category 8 man flu. It was groaning, sneezing, crying and just looking for his mummy. I’m not so sure this sickness analogy is really working but you get the gist of it – Things weren’t good & I had to pull out at halfway.

Woe is me

So when did this sick ankle start getting sick?

Well, let me tell you a wee story. Comfy? Good.

It all started in a small french village at the end of August in what some people call a ‘Monster’ of a race. A monster? Sure it’s a race. It can’t be a monster. Oh, but it can be dear reader. If for no other reason than the fact that monsters are much more exciting and awesome than anything else in the world + I wouldn’t have anything to write about otherwise.

Runners around the world have been obsessing about slaying the dreaded UTMB monster for years. Running up and down lumps in the ground over and over again in the hope that they can kick the monsters big mountainous backside.

Everyone knows about the temperamental ways of the UTMB monster. I think if he was your mate, sometimes you’d sit and watch a movie & it would go by without a hitch and you would actually enjoy each others company. But then there’d be those nights when he’d scrunch up your Doritos, pour your Coke over your head and defecate in your lap. You just never know what you’re gonna get with this lad.

Luckily, this year, I got to watch the movie the whole way through and apart from throwing the odd table and lampshade across the room, I really enjoyed his company.

So – no big dramas – monster conquered and home safe and sound. Or so I thought…

The monster has done my ankle. Yup, normally I can run off the niggles following a longer race. This time, it appears not to be so.

And not only does it appear that the brute has banjaxed my ankle but I’ve only gone and brought him home with me.

Me & UT. I think he's fed up.
Me, my banjaxed ankle & UTMB – I think he’s a bit fed up.

Every step I take (This is starting to sound like a Police song) reminds me of the monster. It only gets better when I run. But not downhill. Oh no, don’t be doing anything as crazy as running downhill! An overuse tendon injury supposedly. I know better. But I daren’t mention the monster.

We’re fed up with each other at this stage. He does all the usual monster stuff. Hiding under the bed, eating the neighbours pets, using Stace’s toothbrush to clean his toes (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) He’s beginning to grate on me now, I’m ready for another adventure.

I will let the monster go home soon – others will surely want to open a can of whoop-ass on him next August but until my ankle heals, he is going nowhere for me. There is no way this lad is having the last laugh.

There’ll be a re-run of the Skyline course & maybe another wee movie night before then.

Apologies for any incoherentness experienced.


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