The Waiting Game

This running blog once again contains no running unfortunately.  As such, there is not very much for me to write this time.  No running for means that there is not very much going on and that has been rather difficult.  I have come out of the permanent fatigue that I had when I was training but there has been no relief.  I cannot adjust back to the life that I had without it because I have the marathon looming ahead of me, now scarily close.  I couldn't feel less prepared for it at the moment.

Week 11 – No Miles

I don’t know what I did to myself at the Fleet Half that I hadn’t done before but my foot was not in a good way.  The subsequent days showed me that it was in no hurry to get better.  Tuesday I had my physio appointment at Move with Ben.  He confirmed my self-diagnosis of plantar fasciitis and gave me enough to be a little more optimistic about still doing this marathon.  He said, as mine was acute and came on in only a few weeks instead of the usual few months, there was hope that it would go again just as quickly.  He told me no running for another week, though.  I was happy enough with this for the first few days because even walking was a problem and I wasn’t daft enough to try.  My foot was well taped up and it eased some of the strain on it, but it made moving around a little awkward.  I felt some improvement over the next few days but then, on Friday, it suddenly started hurting enough to compromise my mobility once more.  All this left me rather down because it seemed like with every passing day the glimmer of hope for a quick recovery was fading.

On Saturday I went to see a podiatrist in Northfields.  Her opinion was that I should still be running slowly, but this was something I wasn’t comfortable with doing until I had at least seen the physio again.  She wondered if I was downplaying the severity of it and I think she had a point.  She said that my left foot was tilted slightly outwards, which is something I wasn’t aware of and didn’t think was an issue in the past.  I strongly suspected that this had happened recently from my continued running on a bad foot and it reinforced my opinion that I should wait until the pain subsided a bit more.

I did what a few people suggested and gave up not drinking.  There really didn't seem any point anymore if I couldn't run, and the prospect of a somewhat slower marathon than I had hoped for made getting healthier seem less important.  However, trying to forget about running and do other things was tough and the first week without it was not easy at all.

Week 12 - No Miles

I was really starting to miss the running and I noticed an excess of unburned energy that made me wish I could start again.  I didn't feel healed enough to try it yet, though.  I rode my bike more instead and, now that the days were longer and the towpath had dried, I could cycle home the long way along the canal.  The pain in my foot was easing gradually day by day, but not as quickly as I wanted.  Wednesday's visit to the physio didn't give me as much optimism as the previous appointment.  He said I wasn't ready to run yet, and any attempt to do so would put me back to square one.  Having the left calf massaged felt really unpleasant so there were clearly still a few problems there.  He said I could run again when I could do a one-footed calf raise fifteen times without pain.  Right then I couldn't even do a few without it hurting a fair amount afterwards, but I was determined to keep trying.  My foot continued to be taped up and I was getting used to that now. 

Wednesday I was back at the podiatrist for some dry needling.  It was something I hadn't been looking forward to but I hoped would help.  It is hard to comprehend how sticking a sharp object into the damaged areas would make things better.  It turned out that it didn't hurt as much as I had feared, even though it felt like the needles were going deep.  Straight after the therapy, my foot felt worse but I was told that might happen.  Then, the next day, once I had got up and moved around a bit, I noticed a significant improvement.  The pain was on average less than it was before, and it came and went instead of being constant.  Sometimes I could walk around and hardly notice any problem.  That wasn't all the time so I knew I still needed to be careful.  I took the tape off at the weekend and I felt like I no longer needed it.  I abandoned any plans I had to do too much exercise and had a lazy one instead.  I think I still needed to rest.

After two weeks not running, I feel like a slob.  It seems like I have lost a lot of fitness and I hope people are right when they tellme it's not true.  I managed to do fair bit of training before inevitably, once again, injuring myself and that is going to have to do because I won't be able to do much running before the marathon.  Even if I were able, it is now taper time so I can't wear myself out before the big day.  It's not going to feel quite right and it's not going to be fast, but I'm still determined to do this marathon.  I can't bear the thought of doing this all again next year.