Last week I had hoped to get back up to my usual 70 mile week but since coming back from holiday I felt a dull ache in my right foot. With Glasgow half marathon just around the corner I decided not to take any risks and so I booked myself in to see a physio*.
I took a couple of days off last week to make sure I could still get my 16 mile run in on Sunday, which was lovely. The pain did come back with about 5 miles to go but it faded away by the time I got back to the car.
The run was really nice on Sunday though. I admit I was a bit apprehensive about it because I hadn't been out with the Sunday squad in some time and the route has a couple of challenging climbs which I wasn't looking forward to. Probably made worse by my mind that what they actually are.
We headed off at a steady pace and at the 12 mile turn off point I was tempted to go with the couple of guys who were out for a shorter run. I didn't and I'm glad I didn't. We started the climb up the road and I got the first climb out of the way.
The second climb I tried not to think about when it arrived, I felt great. Making light work of the climb. I was even more surprised to find out that it was my personal best time up that section of the route according to Strava! Bonus!
Once you get to the top of the climb, it's always better when you see the views. It's stunning up there.
Yesterday, Monday, I went to see the physio at 11am. Sat down on the bench and explained my symptoms and an hour later I felt like a new person and he didn't even touch my foot.
In simple terms, my whole body has forgotten what it feels like to be flexible. Sitting at a desk all day, hunched over a keyboard. It has made my shoulders very tight, this in turn has made by back tight, this leads to tight hips, thighs and calves. The pain in my foot stems from general tightness.
The body should absorb the impact of running naturally but because my body is rigid, all the shock is going through my feet. My left hand side is more tight than my right and so the pain in my right foot is due to loading that foot more to try and save my left hand side. I'm doing all this without even thinking about it.
The body is an amazing thing!
The hour was spent stretching every muscle in my body out, teaching it what a straight legs feels like, what a relaxed shoulder feels like and generally resetting everything.
When I walked out I felt like I was walking on air.
I went for a 10k run in the afternoon and had no pain at all in my foot and I just felt much more relaxed. The physio also suggested that my recent attack of stitches could be down to muscle tightness. The thinking is that if my muscles are already tight prior to running, when I become fatigued they are trying to tighten even more, which then causes the stitch, which does make sense.
Tonight I have a half marathon specific session planned on the track so I will be interested to see how that goes. I've still got the hope that I can PB at Glasgow in just over a week. All I need to do now is get rid of this pesky cold that I seem to have caught over the weekend and stay injury free!
*Since typing this up, I've been in contact with the physio. I went to him after a recommendation but he has put me right by saying he isn't actually a physio, it's just easier for people to describe him as that. He is trained in pilates and does one to one sessions to see how he can help, watching their movement and spotting any issues. Whatever you want to call him, it has worked for me!