Thames Path Challenge: Injury and Irritation

Did I ever tell you about the time I developed tendinitis after walking the 62 mile Thames Path Challenge? No?  Well, it’s not an exciting story,  but let me begin anyway. . .

One of the things that I may not have mentioned about the Jubilee Greenway walk Lindsey and I did on the 23rd of July is that I strained my foot.  Inconvenient, I thought,  in that I was to start the Coast to Coast walk a mere seven days later. Still,  I was,  what I believe in the trade is called, tapering my physical walking efforts in the lead up to that, and the pain eventually eased off.

And that’s how it stayed until my herculean, five miles an hour, commuter’s effort across the North Yorkshire Moors to get to the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge.  I also got a bit of a blister to boot (pardon the pun), but that soon went under the Swiss Army Knife!

So,  anyway,  for fear of rambling on like Ronnie Corbett,  I better get on with this story: Right, yes, blah, blah, finished the C2C and it seemed to get better again.  Until after the Thames Path Challenge on Sunday.  Now, my foot has ballooned.  Approaching the actual size of the Goodyear Blimp.

Now, in order to get my sleeping pattern in back in order, I had planned to take the Monday off work after ‘The Challenge’ with a view to do a little light walking so I didn’t stiffen up.  What better way to do that other than walking from home to Brentwood: a distance of around two and a half miles and, because I totally know how to live, I thought I might grab a coffee and even a croissant.  The reality was I barely made it a mile and had to stop off at Tesco.  For pain killers.

It was back home that I discovered the voluminous nature of my left foot and thought I may need to seek the advice of a medical professional.  Having upgraded my assessment of my injury from mere strain to break, I decided to by-pass my doctor and go straight to the minor injuries unit at Brentwood in case an xray was needed.  This was an error, as the minor injuries unit at Brentwood no longer exists and I had to leave it until the next day so I could go to the one at Guy’s Hospital near my work.

This was another error, becuase the nurse told me off.  A lot.  Getting straight to the nub of the problem, and realising that I was going to crumble easily under interrorgation and tell her the truth about how long the injury had been lingering, she set about berrating me for not going to the doctor as soon as it happened.  My protestation that I thought it was merely a strain and it seemingly got better was not enough for her and she drilled home the fact that if I didn’t rest it I was going to be suffering from tendinitis for two years rather than six months (as long as I did exactly what she said).

I am not allowed to walk other than what I would do for my normal day to day duties. She was not impressed that I said I walk at least 4 miles a day just getting to work and back and suggested I use something called a bus for at least three months.  She also said I had to take a lot of ibuprofen for ten days; elevate the foot and pack it in ice every hour and only start to do short walks after around two weeks or so if it is not in any way painful (apparently this is a mile, not ten).

To contemplate this news and let the fact that I would be unable to bag the Essex Way before the end of the year, or do Hangers Way in Hampshire sink in, I went to the pub for a couple or four real ales. . . Who walks 62 miles in a day?  Who?