Tour of Pendle. Maybe.

A little over two weeks ago, I was told by the physio that I had ruptured all of the ligaments in my left ankle. I asked why there was no swelling. And why there hadn't been any swelling the time before or the time before that. And therein lies the clue. It seems that repeated sprains have left me with no ligament in any meaningful sense, at all. There is nothing left to swell. It was not what I expected to hear. And the timing was unfortunate. The Tour of Pendle (the season's last AL race - 17 miles / 4,830 ft ascent) was just around the corner and ligaments or no ligaments, I was running.
Some 14 months ago I had recce'd the route in full. The first 12 miles or so went well enough. The last five were an increasing blur of abdominal pain as muscles tore and the hernia I hadn't yet acknowledged, increased in size. The last descent was crippling and I walked much of the last mile on tarmac back to Barley. I had already entered and paid, but with surgery looming it was a foregone conclusion. The Tour would have to wait for another year.
And so it was that with my left ankle twice the size of my right (tape - no swelling), I found myself running hard for the fell, shoulder to shoulder with some of the best in the region. Needless to say it did not last. Though I placed a respectable 26th in a time that I was happy with: 2:42.
Crossing the beck following a fast descent of Geronimo.
And while the last five miles were less painful than on that recce all those months ago...
...the finish on tarmac was every bit as painful as I remembered and another two places went begging.
It has been an eventful year in terms of races and one which I have enjoyed immensely despite the litany of injuries. Maybe next year I'll be fit and run the race of my life. Maybe.

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