The Scribbler

5 May 2009

Getting to the bottom of things

Filed under: Great North Run,run — The Scribbler @ 21:27
Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve visited Ros at Blue Soul Feeling twice now for treatment and she’s brilliant. Not only does she take the time to understand which bits of you hurt and do her best to make sure you leave feeling better, but she’s also happy to talk things through on the phone, to try and help you out when you’re having a bit of a panic that those niggles are never going to un-niggle themselves.

She was recommended by a work colleague – isn’t that the best way to find someone to help you? And I really feel like she understands us daft souls who develop a passion for some kind of activity and put our bodies through stress to try and reach our goals.

I first went to see her in February, just after the ‘ouch‘ incident and she sorted me right out with a good deep-tissue massage and a prescription of rest with a side order of ibuprofen. And, lovely and helpful as she is, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to see her again. But I did.

About a week after my triumphant race I went out again on a glorious summer day, feeling brilliant and ran further than I’ve ever run before. I was strong, really got into my stride and kept on going for 12k, proud of myself for building up the distance, focusing on the next goal of the half-marathon.

Should have known that pride comes before a fall, and the following day I was feeling it in the arch of my left foot. I iced it, took the tablets and determined to take it easy for a couple of days. But it left me hobbling. I could limp along on either my heel or my toe, but moving my foot through a natural walking motion was incredibly painful. So time to go back to Ros and get some more advice.

Once more she worked her magic, breaking up the build up of tension in my foot and leg and reassuring me that I hadn’t done anything too horrendous.

Trying to get to the root cause of the problem, she took a good look at the way I stand. And it seems like I pronate. This is something I’d heard runners talk about. It basically means that your foot doesn’t hit the ground straight on, but tends to veer to one side or the other. In my case, it looks like I invert with my left foot – that means I lean in towards the inside of my leg. And it would explain the series of niggles I’ve had all down that side. At least I hope it does.

Now I need to go and get another expert opinion, from a podiatrist. I’m hoping it will be something that’s easily fixed with insoles that will make my feet behave themselves. But I’m also a bit nervous in case it’s severe enough to prevent me training for that longer distance goal.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m chuffed to bits at what I’ve achieved so far. And I wouldn’t have believed I could get to running 10k so comfortably in three months since I really started focusing on that goal. But I started this with the aim of completing the big Geordie race. And I’d really like to do that. Just once.

I don’t intend to go on and start training for a marathon. But, having seen and felt the unique and wonderful atmosphere of the Great North Run so many times, I would like my story to be part of it too.

I’m still running and training and so far, not bad. But my fear is that this underlying problem will come back and bite me again. So, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed when I go to see the foot expert and hope to put it down to just another learning experience.


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