Friday, 9 December 2011

I've only gone and blown it

Well, the pain in my right foot got worse.  On Thursday I could barely walk - any sort of flexing of the toes on my right foot was incredibly painful.

This morning I've been to A&E and been told I have a stress fracture on my second metarsal.  It doesn't show on the x-ray - apparently they don't until several days later.  I've got to go back for another x-ray on the 22nd Dec to see the extent of the damage.  Walking is definitely easier today, but there is a slight swelling on the top of my foot, along with a little redness (not much mind you - I don't think you could tell unless you were looking).  What matters is that it hurts to walk, so running is obviously out of the question.

At least I don't have to wear a cast (which would be exceedingly difficult to manage with three children), so I'm grateful for that.

What have I learnt?  During my transition to Fivefingers I have listened carefully to my muscles.  I started with less than a mile in distance, and built up over the course of four weeks to just under 3 miles.  I only ran a couple of times a week to give my calves a chance to rest.  What I didn't realise is that apparently it takes bones longer to strengthen than it does for muscles, so whilst I was doing the right thing as far as retraining my muscles, I failed to take my poor toe bones into account.  They've been protected by rubber and fabric for as long as I've been running, and have never had to flex and react like they do in my fives.

I guess the most annoying thing is that there was no real warning that this was going to happen - unlike muscles and joints which feel over tired and achey or they twinge when the damage is starting, this happened over the space of half a mile, and I will always be fearful of it happening again.

I feel a bit silly, and like I've let myself down.  I was cautious, but obviously not enough.  I will definitely go back to my Fivefingers once my bones have healed (and perhaps, just perhaps, the doctor is wrong and it's just a strain), but I will be very, very careful in the future to build up very slowly.

I'll be back... 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

One step back

As runners, I think we all except that it's often a case of two steps forward, one step back.  Well, today I had my first step back since getting my Fivefingers.

Last Sunday I did just under 3 miles - my longest run so far in my fives. My calves really felt like that were burning by the end, but there were no lasting ill effects.

Today is Wednesday, and I set off for a 3-miler. It was quite cold, though not freezing.  I did notice initially that the bones in my feet felt 'cold' and in need of warming up and easing in. After a mile they felt ok, though still a little stiff.

As the second mile crept on, I developed a definite pain in my right foot. It felt like it was on the sole of my foot, behind my 2nd and 3rd toes. It hurt every time I pushed off on my toes. I ended up walking much of the mile and a half back - something I almost never do on a run.

On my return, I've had a good prod around, and the pain seems to be coming from the bone (metatarsal?) belonging to my second toe: it hurts if I press it. I'm guessing this is a result of running much more on the forefront of my foot.

So, a sad day for fives, and I'll need to do a few shorter runs again now before I take those next two steps forward.... But I will take them, so keep watching!