Monday 24 October 2011

Running can seriously damage your health

The least of my worries - I clouted this too!
    Some folk may have noticed a distinct lack of activity on old Runningfox's Blog over the last two or three weeks, and with very good reason. It's supposed to be a Blog about running but the plain fact of the matter is that once again the old legs have ground to an untimely halt. "Oh my goodness, whatever has the old codger been up to now?" I hear you ask. Ah well, just when everything was coming good I went and blew it again. This time I've really excelled myself and may be out of action for quite some time. Towards the end of a wonderful 10 mile run by the River Wharfe I reckon something must have jumped out of the ground just in front of my right foot and brought me crashing to earth. There was an ominous crack at the top right hand side of my chest as I hit the deck. I got up and tried to carry on running, as I usually do, but there was no way. I could hardly breathe. 
I took the trail to Grassington Moor. At least I can walk!
    An hour later I was sat among the lame and lamenting in Airedale Hospital with a suspected broken rib - or ribs. I say 'suspected' because it's no longer hospital policy to X-ray such things being that treatment is exactly the same regardless of whether ribs are cracked, broken, bruised, or barbecued.  Come to think of it, there wasn't much in the way of treatment either, unless three days supply of painkillers and a standard sheet of breathing exercises can be descibed as such! The sheet instructed me to take a few deep breaths, holding the last one for ten seconds, then give a big cough. This self-inflicted torture was to be repeated three or four times every hour. I'll confess, I didn't even do it once! There was absolutely no way I was going to cough (or laugh, or sneeze) if I could possibly avoid it. Merely clearing my throat produced excruciating pain. In fact, the pain was intolerable if I didn't do anything at all!  "How long will it be before I can run again?" I asked the all too jovial coloured doctor. He gave me a minimum of six weeks, but added it could take longer for an elderly person. At the time I certainly felt I belonged in that 'elderly' category but, after a couple of weeks, my younger self is slowly making a return.
One of the residents - Red Grouse
    Yesterday, while my wonderful partner was far away on National Park duty, I laced up my Inov-8's and sneaked off for a most enjoyable twelve mile walk over Grassington Moor and down into the wilds of Mossdale. In the past, people have asked, "Do you take a mobile when you're running in such remote and dangerous places?" to which I've replied "Sometimes, if I can remember". Out of curiosity I did in fact take a mobile yesterday only to discover there was no reception whatsoever in those nether regions. Not one blob! So I may as well leave it at home and just rely on the whistle that lives in my bumbag (not that I'd be able to blow the darned thing with a broken rib - even if there was anyone around to hear it).
Wild Mossdale - no phone reception here.
    I'm told Mary Decker Slaney underwent surgery on about twenty occasions for running related injuries, and still came back for more. I expect to come back too, stronger, fitter and as fast as ever. Maybe this is nature's way of resting me up before nudging me gently into the MV80 category in the Spring of next year. A text I read today from 2 Corinthians 4 - 16 is rather reassuring. "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are renewed day by day".
Watch this space. I'm not done yet!


  1. So sorry to read about your fall, Gordon. But pleased to see you at least managed a walk.
    Take it steady and look after yourself!
    Terry L.

  2. I was wondering where you were! So sorry to hear about this, and wishing you a speedy recovery.

  3. Just another challenge for you Running Fox - this time a mental challenge (aren't the all?)! Of course you'll be back running stronger and fitter in time for your over 80s era!

  4. Cracked a rib a number of years ago, it didn't stop me running... but it did feel like I was running at altitude!!!

    I always take my phone with me when out on the trail, but use it mostly as a camera

  5. As that terrific character of Paul Whitehouse used to say in Harry and Paul... "Oh b***er"!
    Wishing you a speedy recovery. Glad to hear you got out for a walk. That probably did you as much good as any coughing physio. Like you, I'm hopeless at remembering my mobile (which tests Mrs HF's patience), but, like Coach Dion, I mostly use it as a camera too.
    All the best RF. Look after yourself.

  6. Sorry man! I feel your pain! I didn't do it like you did, but I broke a rib or two when my horse threw me! Like you, with a non-displaced rib fracture, I "crawled" back to the cave and toughed it out as I healed. You'll probably be back at it faster than they said. You'll just have to see how it feels. Good luck!

  7. Love the quote. Hope your rib mends soon. Looking forward to next post.
    (Thinks - better charge up my mobile).

  8. Hi,

    Sorry to hear about your injury. I'm praying for your quick healing. Thank you for your comment on my blog. God's grace is keeping every one of us. . .