Back to Basics: The End

This short series of blog entries was meant to end with my successful return to 10k running. Unfortunately on Monday morning I woke up unable to walk and with a left foot three times the size of my right foot. On this occasion the real-world didn’t live up to my expectations. If I am sensible now there will be more 10k races in the future, no-one died and life goes on.

It’s now Saturday and my left foot has already cost me in excess of £100. I have bought most of the First Aid section of my local Boots. I suspect that by the time I’ve finished with physio sessions my injury will be more expensive than all of my 2014 race entry fees combined!

I’m laughing about the situation at the moment, if I didn’t laugh I’d cry!

Actually I must confess I did cry on Wednesday evening. Walking for over an hour on an injured foot (I don’t have a car) wasn’t much fun.

My physio suspects that the problems started a few weeks ago when I walked along the River Fleet. I wore flat shoes with very little support and by the end of the walk my left foot was really painful (I’d never been so pleased to spend an hour sat on the Tube). Continuing to run made the niggle turn into an injury. My physio thinks I have what is called metatarsalgia, and did a treatment that I would apparently have found unbearable if I had a stress fracture.

Stupid me, when will I learn!?

A few people have asked how I’ll cope without being able to run. It’s quite easy! At the moment my foot is so sore I can hardly walk, I’m not into torturing myself so wouldn’t even contemplate running. I’ve been in this position several times before and survived and frankly I couldn’t ever call myself a running addict.

As it’s highly unlikely that I’ll run again this year I’m determined to turn this enforced period of rest into a series of positives.  I’m determined to find out why I keep on getting running injuries. I’m aware that I’m a “wonky donkey” with one leg longer than the other.

To start with I had a look at some of the more common causes of running injuries:

  • Progressing too quickly in mileage and speed – I was possibly guilty of increasing my weekly mileage too quickly.
  • Lack of regular stretching – I was definitely guilty of not stretching, I suspect that the tight calf muscles a few weeks ago were a bit of a giveaway.
  • Running on uneven surfaces – I suspect that it was running on hard surfaces rather than on uneven surfaces.
  • Improper shoe type and size – I’m not sure if changing from Asics to Brooks was a contributing factor?
  • Ignoring injury warning signs – Yes!!
  • Not starting treatment at the first sign of injury – Guilty!

I hopefully won’t be making the same mistakes again *waits for the sound of laughter over on Fetcheveryone*

Injury Positives:

  1. More time to focus on completing my PhD thesis – I think this is a positive!?
  2. More time in bed in the mornings – no early morning runs = more sleep.
  3. I’ll be helping to save the environment as my washing mountain has been vastly reduced.
  4. I’ll have time to explore other sports namely swimming and cycling. I need to improve my swimming so have already investigated swimming times/classes. Swimming + cycling + running = triathlon.
  5. Next year I’ll be able to start from scratch with my running. It’s time for me to determine the cause of my injuries.
  6. This injury couldn’t have happened at a better time. I’m not really a huge fan of running in the cold/snow/ice etc and I won’t be missing out on any major races.
  7. The injury meant that I avoided the temptation to enter the Paris Marathon.
  8. As I can’t run I won’t need to spend any money on replacement cross country spikes/trail shoes.
  9. I’ll avoid severe episodes of runger and save money on my weekly food bill.
  10. Most importantly I’ll be able to volunteer at local races and parkrun. It’s time for this runner to give something back to the running community.


Since being injured (again) I’ve noticed a 100000% (possibly slightly exaggerated) increase in the number of runners in Four Oaks. This always seems to happen and must be some sort of running-injury phenomenon.


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