I've had what I think is Plantar Fasciitis since Christmas. This is an inflammation of where the large muscles underneath the foot join the heel bone. It's very painful but it's a weird sort of pain because it only hurts when you first start walking on the bad foot after not walking on it for a while, and then it wears off. For example, first thing in the morning, when you get out of bed. Or if you've been sitting around for a while with your feet up and then get up to go and do something. The pain of your heel striking the floor - and any pressure being put on it - makes you limp, sometimes severely. But, like I said, it wears off after a few minutes.
There isn't a great deal of treatment you can do other than rest it up. For more severe cases one can, apparently, have a cortisone injection straight into the site. I'm not doing that. Ever. But what I have had to do is not run on it. At all. So the last run I did just before Christmas - 22 December to be exact - when I topped running 50 miles in 2011 - was the last time I went out. It was just too painful. Sometimes it was almost more than I could do to just walk to the kitchen to put the kettle on.
The odd thing is that it does get better, it just takes a bloody long time. I've had it once before, several years ago, but I can't remember now what caused it. I'm suspecting it might have been when TLH and I were going to the gym and I'd been using the treadmill a fair bit, but I dunno. I really can't remember. I do remember that it took months to go away. So when it turned up again this time, I recognised what it was and realised I was in for a long road to recovery.
But, over the last weekend just gone, there was much improvement. Barely any wincing at all. So yesterday I decided to take the plunge and go for a gentle run. Not that any of my runs are anything other than gentle, of course, there's no way you could mistake me for Jessica Ennis, even on a good day and with the sun in your eyes.
Strangely - and I never thought I'd say this - but I've actually been missing going for a run. I also like running in the cold so the frosty, sunny mornings we've had this winter have found me yearning to be able to pull on my Mizunos and go for a quick trot. Plus not doing any exercise at all over the last two months - but still filling my face with yummy, yummy food - had not done me any favours at all on the weighing scales or, I suspect, in the blood pressure department (which, if you recall, is the reason I started running in the first place), and the spectre of statins is now constantly over my head.
So, yesterday morning, I went for a run. A very, very slow run. More of a shamble, really. Interspersed with a lot of walking. And it was fine! I use the Couch-to-5k (or 'Ease into 5k' as it's been rechristened) iPhone app, which always runs for exactly the same length of time for each week. So week 1 is 33 minutes, week 2 is a bit longer and so on. I usually manage to cover just under 2 miles for the week 1 setting, but yesterday I did 1.5 miles. I really didn't want to upset my foot any more than was necessary, but I still ended up sweaty and red-faced so managed to get a reasonable workout. I just had to wait to see what would happen the next morning and if I'd crippled myself.
But - hooray! Foot is fine this morning. There's some residual discomfort but it's nowhere near as bad as it has been so I think I'm probably going to live.
And, to celebrate, I've just registered for my first 'proper' run. It's a fun run, really, 4 kilometres around Clandon Park (which is near me). There's a longer, 10 km, run at the same time but I'm not going to push my luck. 2 miles translates into about 3.20 km (or going the other way, 4 km equals 2.5 miles) so it's not really a great deal further than the distance I already cover. But it gives me something to actually work towards.
Blimey, I'm starting to take all this a bit seriously, aren't I......?
The price of health
14 hours ago