It turns out I have “the vampire bite”. A term for a very painful foot injury.
One of the reasons I deferred my entry to the 2014 London Marathon was because my feet were causing me so much agro and it didn’t look like it was going to get sorted in time for race day. The problem being that my right foot would consistently ‘go to sleep’ after around 25 minutes of running. Every time, without fail. It would gradually get worse and creep up my leg before I had to walk it off.
When this happened I desperately sought advice from many different people in an attempt to still get to the starting line of the marathon. I got various pieces of advice, none of which worked. Here’s a list of what I tried:
- Wear thinner socks.
- Loosen those laces. Your feet expand when you run and the tight laces are restricting blood flow.
- Tie those laces up differently to allow for more room in the middle of the shoe.
- Loosen those laces some more.
- Laces are now so loose that I can’t tie them up. Buy elasticated laces.
- Buy a pedi-roller and try to remember to use it every evening before bed.
- Get a gait test at my local running shop, shell out for shiny new trainers.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch.
- Eat Ben & Jerry’s.
- Stretch some more.
- Fork out for sports massages on my calves to increase blood flow to my feet.
Here I am many months later, and while it looked like I may have turned a corner, the arch in my right foot is now quite sore – all the time. If I get up after sitting for any length of time I spend about 30 seconds hobbling around like an old woman from the stiffness and pain.
Que an appointment with a fully fledged physio therapist. Even though it was expensive I highly recommend it. She analysed my running behaviour, how I walk, my posture, the shoes I wear to work, and even what my working day looks like. After trying out some stretches her verdict was that I have plantar fasciitis (the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot from the heel to your toes.) It’s been damaged partly from overly tight calf muscles and is now causing shooting pains when I’m walking anywhere.
She’s given me lots of handy tips of how to manage the pain and massage it out in ways that I can do when I’m sat at my desk at work, along with extensively stretching my calves when I’m not. So for the next few weeks my life will revolve around my calves. I’ve been ordered to lay off running for the next 3/4 days and then I must only do a gentle 3 mile run to see how the stretching has affected my foot before deciding the next course of action.
On the bright side she did give me the green light to go shopping for some new sandals that will better support my feet so, every cloud!