I’m back to training, to a fashion anyway. My Plantar Fasciitis pain hasn’t gone away yet. I’ve been doing all the necessary stretches, massaging, icing et cetera. I’ve even been to see the chiropractor, which was as much as date with the devil as anything I’ve done. That man knows how to hurt me. I’ve renamed many of his clinical ‘moves’ to names which I feel are far more descriptive. The ‘Vulcan Death Grip’, for example, sums up the shoulder massage I get. ‘Knife Ripping Through Skin’ amply describes the move he does to break up lactic acid and send it on its way. And what is worse about that one is that I have to do all the work. He presses down on a certain spot and my movement causes the pain. And the release, it has to be said. Painful as it is, it works.
After visiting him on Thursday I was sure that by Monday I would be on for a long, slow run. Friday’s short run got delayed and delayed again and I found myself running on the treadmill on Sunday. Sticking with the longer run: shorter walk ratio I achieved a good 5k with ease. I was happy to try my long run on Monday.
As I’m now just a few weeks from my half marathon, The Great Cumbrian Run, I thought it prudent to more or less abandon the intensive training I’d been doing and just train to finish the race. This meant ditching the mileage and intervals and looking at shorter distances. This would have been fine after me doing 14 miles last week (and suffering for it) had the alternate plan not asked me to do 12.5 miles this week.
I set off in my new trainers, complete with off the shelf sports orthopaedic insoles (from Aldi, nonetheless – the bargain hunters paradise) and set off for an easyish long run. It soon became apparent that my insoles were too high. My right foot didn’t even feel as if it was in the shoe properly and after a couple of miles I stopped to remove the insole. My foot felt as if something was stinging it and when I looked the insole had been pushing my toes against the top of the shoe and I had my first (in four years of running) blister forming!
I carried on with one insole in supporting my bad foot for about half a mile. As my right leg is the shorter one and the left foot had the lift in it felt as if I was running with one high heel on. The insole had to go. It was either all or nothing. After removing the second insole I felt more balanced, but I could immediately feel that my arch wasn’t being as supported as it was when I was running before. What I should have done is popped in the insoles that I’ve been wearing in my ordinary shoes; they are a far smaller fit.
I ran 5 miles reasonably well, keeping fairly well to the the 7 minute: 40 second intervals and maintaining an 11 minute mile. The weather had been great – cloudy, a gentle breeze, not too warm and then suddenly the sun broke through and the temperatures lifted. Little was I to know that this was to mean that worse weather was to follow. I cursed the sun as I headed out to turn at 6.25 miles.
At the turn point I checked my phone and was a bit disappointed to see that it had only 50% battery. I wasn’t sure if that was going to last and as it was a new battery I was even more annoyed. I’m going to have to use my Mophie recharge system and get a larger armband to fit it in or carry the phone in my backpack.
As I started back the sun disappeared and the wind got up. I was running into it and watching the clouds forming rather too quickly. By now my foot was really aching and I was starting to limp as I ran. I was determined to make it back though and tried to push on through the pain.
And then the rain started. Just gentle drops at first, almost refreshing.
By mile 8 it was hammering down and it had started to thunder in the distance. All of a sudden I could envisage the headlines…
…well, a headline similar to that, with me in the frog’s place. Poor frog, by the way.
With my foot now really hurting, me limping along and the rain bouncing off the road I decided to call home and get my son to collect me. At that precise moment my phone went flat. And, as I turned round to check my phone our postman drove past and waved back at my frantic waves to cadge a lift. I had no choice but to limp to the nearest house and hope that someone was home.
I actually ran another mile and a bit before slowing to a walk and walked another half mile or so to the next house which was annoyingly only a couple of miles from my own house. The lady of the house took pity on the dishevelled runner dripping rainwater onto her lino and happily gave me use of the house phone. Luckily my son had not left for work and zipped round to collect me. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve had to cut a long run short and I’ve never had to be collected before, which might tell you just how sore my foot was at this point. I could hardly put weight on it.
It’s a day later and I’m walking again. The whole massage/icing/stretching routine couple with the use of the inserts that work have helped to straighten me out again, although I could hardly walk last night and this morning. I’m not annoyed by only completing 9 miles (and a bit) because I did well to complete those 9 and a bit miles in a reasonable time. My pace suffered but was still around 11:15 mile pace – not far off my intended 11:00 mile pace.
What I am worried about though is the fact that I may not be ready (or able) to run my half at the beginning of October. I’ve decided that until I feel confident I shall continue to split long runs in half and run one in the morning and one at night. That was if I can’t do the second half I’m not in the middle of nowhere (without a phone!). If that means that I have to do short loops, that’s what I’ll do. If it also means that I have to prepare on the treadmill, well it’s better than not preparing at all.
On an upnote I’ve entered the Great Winter Run, the 5k race I’ve done for the last two years with my non-running husband. It’s a toughie, climbing Arthur’s Seat – an extinct volcano in Edinburgh, but I’d love to do a sub 30 minute time on it having done 35 minutes as a chaperone and felt able to do more. That’s something to look forward to and focus on.