Partial hairline fracture of the right first metatarsal

Well its official…partial hairline fracture of the metatarsal in the right foot. I thought that last few miles on the fan dance hurst a little 🙂

So I need a period of relative rest for the next 4-12 weeks. During this I can continue with muscle strengthening and generalised conditioning to include cross-training but avoiding any excessive loading of the affected bone. At least I can get to the gym, do some rowing or elyptical running machine and some weights to keep fit but no running.

I’ll need to watch carefully for any increase in pain or restriction in movement. If this is noted then I need to go back to the doctor and have it assessed.

So gently does it for a couple of weeks…


Winter 2014 Fan Dance has been and gone…

We’ll, I’m very pleased to say that the Winter 2014 Fan Dance has passed successfully. Complete in just over 5 hours but not as good as I wished.

Driving rain, sleet, high winds, stronger gusts, severe wind chill and Jacobs ladder all came to test us.

It all started on Friday night with registration at the Storey Arms where we received the route map and the all important specially brewed Fan Dance ale and then get bunked down with other like minded individuals. Some real good banter made the evening, despite the rain and high winds.

Saturday morning, up early to make sure all the kit is ready, bergen is the correct weight before formal weight checks. Toes taped up and Vaseline around the toes to limit the blister risks then grab some of the porridge kindly provided by Avalanche Endurance Events.

Race briefing started at 8:15,  safety brief and RV protocols confirmed, already having been sent out pre race, followed by a minutes silence as a mark of respect for those in the armed forces who lost their lives. Then the all consuming and mind focussing command from Ken “stand by… GO” , then the race was on.

The going underfoot was either rocky and uneven or very boggy and muddy. The wind in the exposed valleys, on top of the ridges of Corn Du and Pen Y fan was rediculous. Even with the weight of the full Bergen you were blown like a rag doll.

At the turn around point I was feeling ok, ankle hurting but still on for around 4 h 45 finish time. By the time I had got to the RV at the base of Fan Y Big in the aptly named Windy gap, my legs were aching and the right foot hurting like hell, but still on for an Ok time but the 4h45 was slipping.

Half way up Jacobs ladder however, I was in bits, the foot and ankle pain was getting too much. Time for another couple of painkillers and carry on. 100m later… the cramps hit. I have never had cramp in my quads before and I never want them again. When ascending Jacobs, most of your climbing needs come from the quads, every 10 or so steps my quads would cramp up again and again. I was so close to stopping but knowing that no one is going to carry you up Jacobs, meant that either way, you have to get over the ridge to Matt, the DS Medic on top of Pen Y Fan. By the time I crested the top of Jacobs and face to face with Matt asking if everything is ok, I had decided with 2.5 miles to go and all down hill after over 4.5 hours I wasn’t going to give in easily and confirmed “I’m good to go”.

The final decent and seeing the red telephone box was a major relief and I was so proud to receive the Winter finishers patch and get some well earned soup and hot drink.

It certainly took its toll. A number of blood filled blisters on the feet, ankle tendons not any better and waiting for an X-ray to see if I have a stress fracture of the cunieform (instep) of the right foot, apparently and aptly called a “March” stress fracture due to load bearing exercise on uneven ground in the forces.

So, would I do it again…NO……………………..well not in the next month but I will certainly do it again in the summer and hopefully start injury free and therefore a higher level of fitness to help avoid any race day injuries.

All ready to go...

All ready to go…

Race Briefing, listen in…

Only 1 mile in...

Only 1 mile in…

Start of Jacobs ladder ascent, some very tired legs...

Start of Jacobs ladder ascent, some very tired legs…

Fan Dance Challenge is coming

Well it’s 24hrs before heading on down to the Brecons for my first Winter edition of the Fan Dance Challenge run by Avalanche Endurance. 15 miles following one of the SAS selection routes, load bearing, twice over Pen Y Fan, starting and ending at the storey arms.

Having completed the Summer event in good health, I am looking at the Winter event with some trepidation. Tendon injuries since August have resulted in a significant drop in training and fitness and the lower leg is still not healed. However, this event is not for the weak willed. I committed to this event straight after the Summer edition and plan to run the summer event again this year. I have people who have donated funds to the charity I am supporting because they know this event is something they wouldn’t do themselves.

Above all, those who know me , know I’m bloody minded. Once I have had my Bergen (back pack) weighed in and checked that I am carrying the right weight, I will then face the red telephone box next to the storey arms amongst others willing to test themselves on this event. Each and every one knowing it’s going to hurt but everyone to the man will learn something new about themselves. One way or another I will complete the course, and whilst it won’t be as fast as my summer achievement it will be under 5 hours, come hell or high water I will shake Ken Jones’ hand and receive the finisher patch.

To the DS of Avalanche Endurance Events, I thank you for making this event possible. To Ken Jones, the inspiration to just get on and do it without giving in ( physio can wait now until I’ve finished). To my family, thanks for putting up with all the time I’ve not been there due to training for this crazy event and to all the other ” fan dancers” I’ll see you at the start and finish at the red telephone box.