Day 5 of my “Plan B” completed yesterday. After picking up the soreness between my 1st and 2nd metatarsal (between the big toe and the 2nd toe), I decided to do only a 28 minute test run. All goals and schedules have been suspended this week as I evaluate the extent of the damage. (ed: the soreness has shifted around from the 1st to 2nd to 2nd to 3rd and back over the week).

If I exit this week without any discomfort, the experiment will continue where it left off. If I exit the week with soreness, the experiment will terminate and I will move to a “run as you can” basis to maintain as much fitness gained as possible while allowing the cause of the soreness to repair.

Now, at this stage I am being hyper-cautious as the sensation does in no way stop me from running at this stage and can only be called an “injury” at a stretch. Given the sensitive nature of the foot, however, I think extreme care is needed. From Monday to Tuesday the symptoms alleviated and I could complete a good 69 minutes of running without sensation Wednesday. I stopped before any symptoms became apparent although I had originally set out to try and run to the point of discomfort. (The discomfort appeared after 45-minutes of trail running on Sunday and about 80 minutes of fast track running on Tuesday).

It has to be remembered that the goal of a competitive runner is not to remain injury-free it’s only to remain free on injuries that hamper training and performance. Therefore I’m now injury managing myself by looking out for the three categories of activities:

1. Harmful: These make the existing injury worse. Stop and/or avoid.

2. Neutral: These make the injury neither worse nor better. Continue.

3. Restorative: These make the injury better. Continue and/or begin.

So every day I try to log what is happening to see what I can get away with safely. A perfect balance between keeping as much fitness as possible while allowing the injury to heal must be found.

Wednesday had the symptoms at its worst so I only did my customary mile. Thursday morning was slightly worse. This perhaps a result of trying alternating heat/cold treatment rather than just cold. I also subjected the area to heavy tapping with the backend of a kitchen knife in order to establish where the exact soreness seems to appear. Towards evening time it was better and I did 54 minutes in the dark at Ticknock without any obvious ill effects.

Loosely at the moment it seems I can run some but not risk faster running. The jury is out whether or not heat/cold treatment will be effective or not, so I am not committed to either yet. As this case seems particularly mysterious, I have book myself in with the Carysfort Clinic in case the symptoms are still there Monday and will meet John Murphy for a damage assessment Wednesday. With his help I should be able to diagnose the problem and make a more specific action plan for getting back on the road to 120k.


Anonymous said…
You didn't finish your sentence...I hope you didn't keel over at the end!? Its only your small toe after all! ;)
Renny said…
More of a mental keel-over by the looks of it!

Yeah, toes are somewhat redundant, perhaps I should lose them, certainly the extra weight can't be doing running much good....