I’d been kidding myself all evening. It had definitely cracked, and there was definitely pain. And yet I’d run the final half an hour home without issue. I thought I’d be ok, but knew I probably wasn’t.
I’d met with Jordan and Joe at Gylly Beach in what felt like one of those rare spontaneous occasions; work was done for the day, the sun was just beginning to set, and we all wanted to make the most of its last light. Everyone was drained but equally held a collective enthusiasm. We talked for the first few kilometres. None of us were particularly interested in speed, not with the weather like this. In fact, I remember kicking myself for not bringing some loose change, the thought of a swift half at the Ferry Boat Inn whilst overlooking the smoky Helford estuary was highly attractive.
Our chat continued sporadically, rising and falling with the trail’s increasing and decreasing technicality. Progress was leisurely, all present were keen to compare notes on upcoming races, training, and generally catch up on the previous weeks.
Eventually, Joe, with the sun low in the hills, called it a day and turned back to Falmouth, leaving Jordan and I to cover the final stretch to Durgan. It was quiet when we arrived, our footsteps echoing off the stone cottages and out into the estuary. We paused for a minute, breathing a little heavily and enjoying the solitude. My thoughts turned to the weekend. This run was the start of three days of high mileage, and given how it had begun I couldn’t wait to start. I swore to myself to remember some loose change tomorrow…
And so it was that as Jordan and I ran home in the dying sunlight, my ankle gave way descending a steep section of trail. I cried out, feeling the pain immediately. I’ve turned ankles before and it is stomach dropping. This even more so, as there was a very audible crack. Both of us were concerned, but things seemed to be okay. Tentatively, I began again, knowing it was still a good half an hour before we reached home. Each step drew confidence. The ankle felt sensitive, but I could run and bear weight. Perhaps it wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. I got home at dusk, that glorious post-warmth dusk in which everything seems to be exuding the heat it has absorbed during the day. I was optimistic as I fell asleep, high on life and energy that only running can bring. The morning greeted me, not with an ankle but a useless limp club. Bugger.