Following on from my first post (of many I hope) about rediscovering running, I thought I would add some context about why I fell out of love with it, or as was the case got “torn” away from it.
Having fell in love with cheesy bread (Zaatar W Ziet!) and never really recovered, I decided in the summer of 2008 to kick start an mini fitness drive, having not really got into the summer running groove that year. This was also as a result of my second Dubai 10km which was 12 minutes slower than the year before, and a dislocated shoulder which stopped me from doing Yoga.
The early training was good and I had lost about 5Kgs in the first month. However after every Wednesday night footie game in the park, I was finding it difficult to walk and subsequently hobbled around a lot longer than I would normally. I put it down to the lack of fitness I was evidently showing and thought about it no more. Until I got on a plane back to the UK.
Halfway through the flight I felt a pain in the sole of my left foot. Which felt like the sort of pain you get when you’ve gone out dancing and placing it flat on the floor feels like it is going to split in half. So I went up onto tip toes to try and loosen it up, and I felt a snap. But like all men thought- I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.
I was looking forward to a few runs back in the old country, but found that I couldn’t get to the end of road in my trainers as it was too painful. What this needs is a few weeks rest. So I left it.
Weeks went by, months even, and I still couldn’t go more than about 30 meters without turning round and cursing my way back to the flat. But now I was also finding it difficult to walk most mornings until the foot had woken up (I’m sure that is the technical term). At this point I went to my first doctor, cause I was getting pretty peed off.
Essentially it was nothing to worry about, get a gel heel from the shop, and it will be fixed in a month. Back in a month, ah ha Plantar Fasciitis! I was advised. Three options;
- grow up big man and deal with it
- Ultrasonic therapy- the medical equivalent of applying a massive hammer repeatedly to the base of my foot, to “stimulate healing”.
- Platelet transfusions- illegal in the UAE (and most countries, I later found out). Taking blood from my arm, spinning it with a culture (sounds like a cheese experiment I did in biology once) and injecting into my foot to stimulate healing
Keen on option 3 (which was a tough choice I can assure you), but ultimately checked out some websites to find out it was not as promising as the witch doctor had suggested. So option 1 it was.
It wasn’t until I got back to the UK and went to a real doctor (with a certificate and everything!) that I realised the only option was 6 months physio and daily stretching exercises for life, with no guarantee that I would get back to my former strength.
I stopped physio 15 months ago, and last month finally got back to 10km for the first time since 2008! Some people would punch the air and go on an all night bender. I just sat in my hotel room unable to move as my whole body had seized up! Rock and Roll, but a sign of the long road travelled and still to travel if I am going to get back to running half marathons.
Everyday I start off by doing a set of pre-determined stretches to loosen up my tired old muscles, joints and tendons. I take more care of myself now than I did; Yoga once a week, swimming after runs to work out the aches, a better calorie controlled diet that has seen me lose a stone since Christmas and plenty of water to keep hydrated!
My first official race back is booked for May 8th in St Albans. 5 weeks to get close to 60 minutes for 10km.