Here’s hoping that by the time you read this that you’re all starting to see the back of the snow and are all anticipating being back out on the roads and muddy trails very soon 😊
At the end of my last blog ten days ago, I left you with a troublesome blister on my right heel. I’m very happy to report that it’s absolutely fine now and causing no problems at all 😊 The day after I blogged I started getting some strange sensations in my left foot. Alternate sharp pricking and burning between the heel bone and fifth metatarsal along the outside of the foot. I worried that there were yet more blisters on the way - that was the only way I could interpret the sensation. My feet aren’t the most reliable in terms of sensation and it’s often very difficult to interpret. I padded up the sore areas and kept the walks around the 7k mark each day. Last Saturday, I took on the tail walker role at Parkrun again which was really hyenjoyable 😊 After Parkrun, a group of us stayed behind and scattered wood chippings over the muddiest parts of the course so hopefully next time, the running will be much better underfoot! Another 5k in the afternoon brought the daily total up to 12k. That evening, the foot was more than a little uncomfortable 😕
On Sunday, we decided to head over to Box Hill to try and do bit of hill training - heaven knows we need it! My foot had kept me awake most of the night and was really pretty sore, so we kept that one to around 7k too and I was distinctly hobbling for the last few k’s 😕 Monday was the worst day - the foot kept me awake most of Sunday night again, weight bearing really wasn’t pleasant and I was seriously unimpressed. No sign of blisters at all so I had no idea what was going on and felt very frustrated. My confidence was also starting to ebb away fast. Tuesday, only 5k and that was very uncomfortable. Off to the usual gym session in the evening and the chance to have a word with a physio. After a good look and prod around, he said that he thought I had plantar fasciitis along the lateral edge of the foot, which he said is pretty unusual (what a surprise - trust me to develop something strange 😂😂). He was in no doubt that it was because of the big distance increase the week before. Still, at least I knew what I was dealing with and could now take much better action 😊
Lots of ice, stretching (standing on an angled plank several times a day) and rest were recommended. I really tried to do the elevation and rest thing for all of half a day, then the bones protested at the inactivity (and the thin snow cover was tempting to walk in) 'so I walked a cheeky 5k on Wednesday wearing a support. The aching afterwards suggested this was a mistake! I looked up how best to tape the foot up for PF and must say, the result felt so much better even at rest 😊
By Thursday, we had a fair amount of snow. I love everything about snow, so off I went for another intended 5k to see how the taping would hold up. I kept getting tempted by paths I hadn’t walked before through local open spaces (all woodland) and in the end, finished up with 10k on the clock. The foot felt pretty reasonable and once again I began to hope that finishing the SW Ultra in 2 weeks time may not yet be out of reach as long as I’m sensible between now and then. It snowed lightly all the time I was out and I loved it.
Yesterday, after a very short spell of freezing rain (never seen that before so that was pretty exciting 😊), a short morning walk was called for. Later in the afternoon, the snow was heavy and despite the weather, Richard was keen to see the areas I’d enthused about the day before (even though he hates the snow 😂😂). It’s amazing that we’ve lived here for 29 years yet many of those local woodland paths were still new to us. Another 12k in the bag all told and although the foot was pretty achy after that, the taping still really helped to reduce the discomfort. With a little rest, ice and stretching afterwards, it felt much better again 😊 Very disappointed that our local Parkrun had to be cancelled today but it really would have been too dangerous with all those tree roots still lurking under the melting ice and snow. Only 3k done today - my attempt at ‘rest’! Despite the foot problem, another 25 miles in the bank this week - not as many as I’d have hoped for and not as much elevation either but I’m hopeful I can keep knocking out the shorter distances without making the foot any worse.
The long term weather forecast for the next two weeks seems to be rain for some part of every day. This is fuelling my developing fear of 80kms of muddy hilly trail come the 17th. If that’s the case, the bones will be vile and if I’m honest, I’m feeling a fair bit of trepidation about this one. My confidence has taken a battering and not enough hill training has been done. I’m just hoping that I have the mental strength and endurance to hang in there and cross that finish line😬
Happy training everyone 😊
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