I have finally been to see a podiatrist. Halleluja I hear you cry – the woman has finally seen sense!
I wish I hadn’t.
For a start, as a new client, I was expecting a reasonable consult time. Instead I was shoe-horned (tasteful analogy, I feel) into a thirty minute spot and thrown out on the dot of half past. However in the thirty minutes (and counting) I was allotted we covered a fair bit of ground.
First of all I have high arches. This makes me vulnerable to Plantar Fasciitis because the foot is acting like a highly tensed spring. On top of this I also have naturally tight calf muscles and the two combined are acting on my Achilles tendon, pulling that as tight as it will go.
He told me to take up swimming. Running and cycling are the worse forms of exercise I could choose.
That’s not all. As a school/college kid I was very sporty and did every thing going. I was on the netball, hockey, cross country and football teams. During one 5-a-side football match I managed to break my big toe. Unfortunately the break has caused the onset of Hallux rigidus (basically a still big toe caused by arthritis in the joint) and a dorsal bunion. I’ve long since given up wearing really high heels because my foot doesn’t bend into shoes like other people’s seem to. It might not get any worse than it is now, although the bunion probably will.
On the good side I don’t overpronate. If anything I slightly supinate on my left foot (about 2º). My right foot is neutral. Orthotics will help to correct this and also relieve the pressure on my calf/Achilles/Plantar Fascia. Off the shelf orthotics cost about £50 and last a few years, custom made ones can be as much as £350 but last forever. Having discussed it with hubbie I think I’ll make another (short) appointment and get the off the shelf ones. They come in different grades, so in a way they are custom-fit.
With all this in mind I’ve done a couple of short runs this week, one in Yorkshire before leaving and one with the hound on the trails near our house. Both were stiff and slow affairs of which we shall speak no more.
Today I was due to do a shorter long run – just 4 miles, but one of them was timed. I chose to run at 6pm when the sun was on the decline because today has been one of the warmest of the year here. Unfortunately it was also quite windy. I picked my 4 mile loop route because I haven’t been able to run this all winter owing to the wet weather; parts of the route were flooded and only the recent good weather will have dried the floods up. It made a nice change to run this again. However it was a slog at first – one and a half miles mostly uphill, even a low gradient gradually zaps at your energy.
The first mile was slow, purposely slow though. It was meant to be a warm up for the timed mile. When I came to do the timed mile I had to prepare myself with a wee pep talk which consisted of promising myself that I wouldn’t be annoyed if my timed mile was rubbish and reminding myself that I am recovering from injury, it was a windy day and that who the hell cared anyway if I did a slow mile. I did my mile in 10:31. On a less windy day maybe I could have knocked a bit off that, but the truth is I am just not as fast as I was a year ago. I’m trying to convince myself that my pace will return, but I feel sluggish and overweight and it’s getting me down. What I also need to bear in mind is that I am running shorter run intervals at the moment as well. Today was done entirely at 2:1 – not conducive to PB setting.
I need a confidence boost.
The last two miles were just a jog home. Once I’d done them I was still half a mile from the village so I walked a bit to get my breath back and then ran back into the village at a far better pace than I’d done during the entire run.
Ironic that once the pressure was off I could run better. I’m sure there’s a message for me there.