Busted!

I’ve been jogging regularly now for nearly three years (in fact I started tinkering with jogging mid 2012) and in all that time I have been pain free.  No injuries, no falls, no long lasting hip or knee problems.

Until now…

That was until about three weeks ago when I decided to start upping my game and set myself a new 10k training schedule.

Second run in and I started to feel a rather strange sharp pain in my foot which felt worse having completed a straight 30 minute jog; consisting of 10 minutes easy run, followed by 10 mins fast run and finally another 10 minute easy run.  I put my feet up and thought perhaps I’d just over stretched it.

The next day was a rest day and with no further pain I figured everything was fine, so headed back on the treadmill the following day to get stuck into 6.4km (3 mile) jog.

About 20minutes into the jog the shooting pain started, built up, and got worse to the point I was having to slow my speed down, but I got to the end because after another 20 minutes of pain it seemed to go.  I even complimented myself at having completed the distance in the quickest time ever recorded.

Once I started to walk about the pain increased again and didn’t stop until I would sit down.  Every time I walked my foot really hurt.

My right foot looked fine, no swelling, no bruising but underneath the right side of my foot the pain became intense every time I walked on it.  So I refrained from walking on it and the pain went.

So you can see where this is going.

Due to going away next month I am loath to keep running and causing more injury even though I can’t see any obvious signs to this pain.  But taking the advise that everyone has told me to stop running, so (reluctantly) I have.

No running, no problem.  Or at least that’s what I thought…

It get’s worse!

Sunday was a beautiful day (and the one I love to take my pooch out for a good long walk), so we headed out into the countryside.

20 minutes into a steady gait and my foot, that same foot, begins to give me those sharp pains.  Only now I’m in the middle of yellow rapeseed fields with no-one else but a busy Jack Russell for company (she’s sniffing about, no time to stop), and another two miles to walk home.   The pain became excruciating in ways I’ve not experienced pain before.  It just didn’t stop, unless I stopped walking only to experience sweat inducing pain the minute I set off again.

After a few deep breathing exercises I managed to hobble home and collapse into a heap for the rest of the afternoon.

Now I’m really annoyed – I can’t even walk now?

I hear what you’re going to say – better go and get it checked out at the drs, but if there is nothing to show what can I or the Dr tell from that?  You could poke my ankle and foot all over and I feel nothing (I’ve given it a good jab here and there) and without any swelling and bruising that means it can’t be a sprain or other break like injury which means it’s potentially a ligament problem.

So now I’m going to have to be extremely careful what exercise I do on my feet for the next 12 weeks, which really isn’t that good when you’ve got a major life changing holiday coming up that will require all sorts of walking distances.

To say I’m annoyed is a slight understatement.  Not least because I’m going to have to keep testing my foot, building up strength in my feet and ankle areas and get new footwear once running again and that’s if my research is correct.

The injury could have been underlying for a while, through wear and tear, and has only just come to light if one of the ligaments has frayed.  Or it could have been caused by me using an old pair of running shoes (because it seemed like a good idea at the time), or it could be because I managed to start running in a new way and my stride is causing foot problems.  Or it could even have been me increasing my training too quick.  I’ve been doing shorter, quicker runs since my half-marathon.

What I’m learning from this experience (and you can too):

  • As soon as you can’t do something you want to do it so bad.  Running is now all I think about.
  • Could the injury have been prevented?  I’m not sure, because I don’t know what the cause is at this stage, but I’m going to assess everything I do and wear before jogging again.  Assessment is paramount.
  • So far all the details online regarding feet/ankle injuries seem to be pretty consistent so the advice given can also be used in my opinion.
  • Psychologically it doesn’t feel like a medical problem if I can’t physically see it.  This is completely stupid and the sooner I get over this thought process the quicker my recovery will be.  In other ways, don’t ignore the pain but actively sort it out.
  • I’m going to have to re-assess my 10k plans.  Of course, starting from a smaller position/distance etc is always frustrating but in the long run (excuse the pun), I should then get where I want to be in no-time again.  In fact I’m going to have to start at 10 minutes (walking), and work up to full 40-50 minute capacity (walking).  There are no shortcuts with this, as I have found out.
  • Not being able to walk far is even more demoralising than no running and so I’m actively looking into Yoga, upper body training and other types of non-impact exercises.  Swimming is out as I can’t swim.  
  • I’m panicking that I’ll never be able to run again (diva style), which is driving me to ensure that I shall invest a lot more time into foot/ankle exercises – starting here to build  up strength in these areas.
  • And of course – if the pain gets worse, or no better, then it will be time to head to the Dr’s for further examination.

Why am I sharing this story with you?

This while post may well have sent you to sleep, or worse, put you off jogging.  On both counts I hope not.  Instead I wanted to share this with you for two reasons.

  1. If you do jog (regularly) don’t do what I have done, and neglect your feet.  I have spent more time ensuring my knees and hips are well stretched and warmed up and became la de da about my feet.
  2. I have spent a lot of time working up my jogging experience and stamina, so to get here without any injury is statement to the fact that proper, planned training is always better than just making it up as you go along, especially when you’ve got a goal in mind.  It wasn’t the 10k plan I had that went wrong, it was me not preparing properly beforehand.

I will let you know how I get on.  Unless you’ve fallen sleep… 😉

Have a good week.

 

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9 responses to “Busted!

  1. I trained to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 2000. After 4 months of jogging with no issues I had a pain that ran along the arch of my foot so intense it sidelined me. If I was off my feet (sleeping), when I would get up, I could barely step on it as the pain was intense. I walked on my toes to avoid putting my arch/heel down. The trainer working with us (it was for the Leukemia Society to raise money so they provided a trainer) told me to do this to build up the ligaments/tendons in that area: Take a regular size towel and lay it on a floor with no carpet. Put your toes on one end of the towel and scrunch your toes to pull the other end of the towel towards you until the towel is scrunched almost together. I had to do that 4 times a day for 2 weeks. He also said do not walk barefoot anywhere even in the morning. Put a shoe with support on. No flip flops, heels, etc. I also would ice it if it hurt after work or having to walk anywhere etc. and took Ibuprofen for 7 straight days. After the 2 weeks, I bought arch supports and started my running again but lightly. I kept doing the toe scrunch for 4 months and it helped me and I ran the marathon. Not sure it will help but thought I would offer it as a suggestion for you! Good luck as I know how hard it is to have a setback like that! Tina

    • That’s very impressive running a marathon, especially after injury so well done you.
      My partner suffers from plantar fasistis (excuse spelling), which sounds a little like you mentioned and can be totally debilitating.
      Im so pleased to hear you managed to recover Tina, its very inspiring to read.

  2. So sorry to hear about your injury – yoga and physical therapy could help. (I remember the toe scrunches as a recovery exercise from my bunion surgery) You might want to look into custom orthotics for your shoes. All the best —

  3. There’s a lot that could be going on invisible to the naked eye. Sometimes our bodies can’t show us (bruise, swelling, etc.) so they tell us (pain) instead. If you can get a doctor to help narrow down the cause, you can have a more effective recovery and rehabilitation process.
    – The person who can no longer run because she was too stubborn for too long

    • Oh dear, well I take your comments onboard. I’ve been resting it for 72hrs and if I still have problems walking Mouse tomorrow then I think I will have to make an appt 🙂

  4. I feel your pain, literally, as a few years ago I experienced similar pain in my left foot to the pain that you describe in your post. The only difference being that I continued to ignore the pain until it was unbearable.

    It turns out that wearing cheap running shoes gave me a stress fracture in my foot and I had to take a fair bit of time off from jogging as I waited for it to heal.

    I hope you manage to get to the bottom of your foot pain soon! ❤

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