Sunday 31 October 2010

It's back...

On Wednesday I had an appointment with Ms Physio. It was really positive as there seemed to be no recurrence of foot pain, and she said I should keep doing what I'm doing, building the miles slowly and icing the foot after running. As I left we both said we hoped not to see each other for a while!

So on Friday morning I got up at 6.30am again, and went for my second 3-mile run since starting again. It was fine, although I felt as though as I was running fairly fast, assuming I was well under 9 min/miles, but when I looked, I averaged 9.09m/m. I iced the foot like a good girl, and went about my day...

Then on Saturday Pete dragged me off to a running shop (Me: 'Oh go on then'). He got some high visibility stuff, and I decided I could do with another pair of running tights. As we were browsing away, I started to notice that my heel was hurting again. As the day went on, it kept hurting, it hurt when I went to bed, and it still hurt when I got up this morning.

I had planned to run 4 miles or so, but I switched to the bike instead. I don't know what's gone wrong - I've been doing everything so carefully, and it was over 30 hours after Friday's run that it started to hurt. I've kept wearing shoes during the day, not going barefoot, as instructed. I wear trainers most of the time to support the foot as much as possible. The only other thing I can do is stop running again...pah.

Anyway, I had a good cycle in the sun, I did 12 miles and it was a glorious day. I'll play it by ear, and if the foot feels better tomorrow, I might try a run on Tuesday.

In other news, I've been celebrating Halloween for the first time! When I was a kid it was never a big deal, but the kids had 2 parties to go to this week! They've had a great time dressing up, and they made pumpkins with Pete, and I even made pumpkin soup for dinner with the innards!

I need my little witch and wizard to sort out a magic spell to make my foot better and get me running properly again. Heel Reparo! Plantar Fasciitis Evictus! Stupid Pain Awayo!

Tuesday 26 October 2010


Since my physio appointment 2 weeks ago, in which I was given permission to try running again, I have managed no fewer than 5 runs. The mileage has been pretty underwhelming: I started with 1 mile; followed by 1.3m; 2m; 2.5m, then finally this morning, I reached the milestone of 3 whole miles! Woo-hoo!

Of course I am being very careful, running fairly slowly most of the time, and icing my foot after every run as well as every evening. The good news is that my foot felt fine for most of the running, but the bad news is that I can sometimes feel a little something there afterwards - I wouldn't go so far as to call it pain or even discomfort - but there is something. At least I think there is...

After the 2.5 mile run on Sunday, I felt a bit depressed. My foot was ok, but I had got so out of breath, and actually struggled to complete the distance! I realised that even when my heel is fully recovered, it's going to be a long road (ho ho) back to where I was before. Although the cycling has helped me not put any weight on, it hasn't been enough to maintain my previous fitness. For today's 3-miler I went quite a bit slower and it felt easier.

My consolation is that I don't have any races planned, and there's no rush to get back to a 2-hour half marathon. It's just me being impatient. Now I've started a little bit of running, I really want to do more. This morning I dragged myself out of a cosy bed at 6.30am to venture outside in cold drizzle and pitch black darkness, and it was great! I loved it!

I did a stupid thing though. I've more or less decided that the cause of my injury in the first place was old, worn down trainers, and I bought a new pair which I've been wearing for every run. As it was early this morning, I snuck out quietly without disturbing anyone, getting dressed in the dark in the clothes I'd put out last night. When I got home, everyone was up , and I mentioned to Pete that I'd had a bit of calf pain, and he pointed out that my trainers didn't match. I'd worn a new left one, but on my right foot (the one with all the injury - duh), I'd been pounding on the oldest and most worn out (and not used for running in for a few years) trainer in the whole world. What an idiot! Lucky it was only 3 miles!

Spot the difference...

I don't think I'd have noticed if Pete hadn't pointed it out. I hope my sleepy dopiness hasn't had any detrimental effects on my recovery...

Saturday 23 October 2010

A long cycle and a short run

This was that most scary of weeks - half term! With no school or playgroup to occupy the kids, I knew I'd struggle to fit in much exercise this week. However, on Tuesday they spent a few hours at the childminder's and I managed my longest bike ride yet - 17 miles!

Good old self-timer!

I planned a route that he
aded into Edinburgh, and down to the canal. Despite having lived in and around Edinburgh for 6 years now, I had never been to the canal before! Of course I got a bit lost and had to carry the bike down some unexpected steps, and ask a runner for directions, but I found it after about 5 miles.

The weather was overcast with a few spots of rain, and to be honest, some of the canal path was not particularly stu
nning. It was fantastic to be on such a flat path though! I'm so used to hills, this was a lot less effort. With the grey skies and overhanging trees, I pootled through the semi-darkness with no clear idea of where I was, when suddenly I came to this little aquaduct. I stopped to look at the view, and the sun came out. It was gorgeous! There was a river below and beautiful countryside all around.

I had a moment of pure enjoyment and took a minute to appreciate being surrounded by such amazing scenery. Ooh, it was lovely! Anyway, I ended up leaving the canal path a bit sooner than intended, and was lost for a while, but made it home in about 2 hours altogether.

Then on Thursday, I decided to try another run in the evening. I hadn't run since Saturday, when I'd felt a slight pain in my foot, but by Thursday it was feeling fine. This time I did 2 whole miles. I had so many little niggles: sciatic pain, ITB ache, wheeziness, general tiredness, a runny nose... but none of it bothered me because my foot felt fine!

Since then I have felt a little soreness
in the heel though, so I'm still being careful, but I'll try another run tomorrow, I think. Then next week, Robbie'll be at school, Emma at playgroup, and it should be a bit easier to fit in the running and/or cycling - depending on my foot of course...

Fun in the woods!

Monday 18 October 2010

A little running (but not as we know it)

So as predicted in my last post, I have finally been for a run! On Friday at 7am - it was still pitch black outside! - I ran a mile in 10.48m. It was quite enjoyable, and contrary to my worries, I had not forgotten how to do it. Phew. I felt pretty good afterwards, but later in the day, I started to feel a little discomfort around my ankle again. It's got to the stage where I can't tell if it hurts or if I'm just imagining it. I iced it just in case.

On Saturday I walked into town and back for a haircut - only about 3 miles in total, but I think that may have aggravated the foot a bit. That evening I tried a second test run. I was getting bored of going slowly already, so I banged out a mile in 8.48m, then jogged home for 3 more minutes. At the start of the run, I could feel a tiny niggle in my heel (just how it started last time), but as I sped up, the pain went away. It wasn't so much that I was ignoring it, but I couldn't tell if it was really hurting or just paranoia.

So that's the state of my running! I'm not sure what to do now. I was confident that I could get back to normal, but it seems that I might need yet more rest...grr... Part of me thinks that if I just take a couple of months off running, I should be able to get stuck in seriously after Christmas and it'll be worth it to get rid of this bloody injury. However, that part is being shouted down by the loud pushy part of me that wants to try a longer run this week.

Still, I'm not too sad about it as I had a really great bike ride yesterday. I did 12 miles, which took me to 30 miles last week. I went down to the beach:

And then back along the cycle path that goes right past the back of our house.

It was a sun-free morning, but the trees still looked beautiful, and I love riding over the crunchy autumn leaves...

There was no-one around so I cycled home with my camera in my hand taking shots from the bike.

Where do I go from here? I'll probably try another run this week to see whether anything hurts or not. It's half-term here, so no school or playgroup for the kids, which means fitting in bike rides will be tricky, but I'll fit something in when I can.

A silly video from the bike!

Thursday 14 October 2010

A Green Light

I'd been looking forward to today's appointment with Ms Physio. I usually do anyway, as we get on quite well, and most of what she does makes me feel better. However today I was feeling particularly optimistic as my foot's been feeling so much better.

My hopeful mood was slightly dented when I found a tender spot around my ankle, until I realised that it felt the same on the other foot, and is just a tender area. Paranoia...

After a bit of prodding and poking, she pronounced that I can indeed get back to running. Hooray! But wait - not so fast - the first session is to be (quote) 'a 5-10 minute plod'. Blimey. If, and only if there is no pain, after a day's rest I can attempt 15 mins, and then increase each run by about 20% each time. So begins the slow road back to fitness.

I'm not surprised though, I knew I'd have to start slowly, but I thought it'd be 2-3 miles rather than 1 or less. We runners seem to be impatient when it comes to rest and recovery. I've spoken to a few recently who've described running through injury or doing too much too soon and making things worse. So I'm determined to ease myself back in carefully.

Tomorrow morning I'll be lacing up my new trainers and heading out for a 10-minute jog. I probably won't even get sweaty, but I'll just be praying I don't get any pain...

Monday 11 October 2010

Baby baby baby!

Well I had an unhealthy but fab weekend in Essex meeting my new nephew! I ate fish and chips, sausage and mash, fried egg and chips, as well as loads of fudge, chocolate and cake. This was all my sister's fault. Tom just stuck with milk.

Me hanging out with Tom

Tom is a great baby, who is pretty content most of the time, and has been putting in some fantastic long sleeps - good work for a 3-week-old!

Happy on his playmat

The weather was very warm for October, and we had 2 beautiful sunny days. We managed a couple of short walks in between Tom's feeds.

Brightlingsea at High Tide

No doubt I've put on a pound or two, so I went for a 6mile cycle with Emma on the back of the bike this morning. Unsurprisingly my average speed was a lot slower than usual with that extra weight not helping get up the hills.

After our cycle

I really hope to be back running after my appointment with Ms Physio on Thursday. Meanwhile, it should be a week of cycling, healthy eating and plenty of sleep.

Never wake a sleeping baby...

Thursday 7 October 2010

A bit of a cold

Ugh. Last Thursday I started getting a sore throat, and I've had it for a week now. I've been feeling pretty rubbish for the last few days, so this week, I've decided to just take a week off. Normally I would have gone for a bike ride yesterday, but when I woke up I was tired, snotty and really achey, so after dropping Emma at playgroup I headed to the shops instead.

I haven't done any exercise since my cycle on Sunday, and I haven't been eating particularly carefully either. This weekend I'm going away, so there'll be no cycling then. But I'm not too bothered - it's not as though I'm an elite athlete (far from it!), so I'm going to get on with some relaxing. If you're going to get a cold that stops you from training, it might as well be at the same time as an injury, right?

My foot's actually feeling a lot better, and I'm beginning to think that I might be allowed to try a run soon (please please please!!). My next physio appointment is next Thursday, so I'll be hoping for good news then.

Meanwhile this evening I'm indulging in some great tv - BBC3's 'Are you fitter than a pensioner?' This hilarious show takes 4 unfit British youths, (aged around 20), and flies them out to Sun City, Florida to spend a week with some obsessively fit oldies (aged around 70). The impossibly chirpy and generous oldies force the grumpy, lazy slobs to eat healthily and take some exercise, and the programme culminates in some kind of race of young against old.

It's a very light-hearted and jolly kind of show, and the tiny but toned American pensioners are quite inspiring. I hope I'm still running and exercising when I'm 70! The programme usually ends with tears as the seemingly changed-for-the-better Brits bid farewell to their mentors. Needless to say, Pete is out on a Thursday evening, which is why I can get away with this viewing...

Anyway, tomorrow I'm off on a plane to London to visit my sister and meet her 3-week old baby boy! I can't wait to meet little Tom, and I won't be missing my Sunday long run this weekend.

Can't wait to give this little bundle a cuddle!

Monday 4 October 2010


Yesterday was the first ever Scottish Kilomathon - a 26.2 km race (about 16 miles). I entered this race a few months ago, as the route was likely to go through my home town, and when the route was published, I was excited to see that it would go directly past our house! The race was made up almost entirely of routes which I have run in training, so I thought that would be to my advantage.

Of course this was all long before I hurt my foot, and yesterday I had to resign myself to cheering on friends and encouraging the other runners from the sidelines. It was quite a novelty to be a spectator for once - if I go to a race it's usually because I'm running in it, so I quite enjoyed standing by the road and clapping and shouting to the runners. It wasn't very crowded and in my little village it was very quiet, so a lot of runners smiled, waved back, shouted 'thanks', or even had a little chat.

I dragged them out in the drizzle to keep me company

I think I managed to see most of the people I knew who were running, and I even spotted fellow blogger Fudgey who seemed to be running well! Emma and Robbie did a reasonable job of applauding and cheering people on, until they got bored and started collecting acorns (Robbie) and sitting in puddles of mud (Emma). I was a bit disappointed not to be running, but the next kilomathon is scheduled for next April (to fit in with preparation for the Edinburgh marathon), so I hope I'll be recovered by then to enter that one.

A drinks station at the top of our road!

Meanwhile I've been cycling, and my average speed has gone from about 9.8mph to 10.1mph. I did try to push myself in te
rms of speed, so it obviously had some effect. After a particularly hilly route on Friday, my thighs were in agony all day Saturday - clearly I hadn't been 'peddling hard enough' before, as Dan commented on my last post! I also managed to squeeze in 8 miles before the kilomathon yesterday - I would have liked to go further, but I had to get back before the roads closed.

In fact living on a race route made me realise how much work goes into staging these things. Signs are put up in advance, people are notified, then traffic cones line the streets, roads are closed off etc - at 8am yesterday the marshalls were at their stations, the St John's Ambulance were out and the drinks were being set up. Later in the afternoon we saw trucks driving past collecting the traffic cones and signs as the roads got back to normal again.

It must take a lot of organising. Next time I run in a race, I'll be more aware and more grateful to the amount of work behind staging the event.