Not running in winter did me some good

I hate running during the winter months. There, I said it. I always promise myself that I’m going to try keep up my training and run through until summer, but it never happens. My last race is usually the RAC 10km in June and after that, it’s downhill. As it gets darker, the excuses flow and the motivation wanes.

But it’s not all bad. This year, I have discovered some good that has come out of it.

I’ve rested my feet. All through 2011 and up until June this year, I have been battling with plantar fasciitis as well as Morton’s Neuroma in my left foot. I have bought every gadget I could find to massage my feet. I have been to Lyno sports massage. I have tried all the stretching exercises I could find on Google and Runners World. But not running for two months and resting my feet has done wonders. I know when (wise) people tell you to stop running and rest when you get injured, most runners go into shock and refuse to listen. But it works. My plantar fasciitis was healed with Lyno but the neuroma has definitely lessened and cannot be felt on most days. My feet feel strong and rested.

I’ve rested my body. I don’t normally catch colds or flu during winter. In fact, KK and I do not even have a house doctor and usually self-medicate with med-lemon and honey. But this year, we were both hit badly and it set us back for weeks. First him, then me. I had to stop all activity and was even bedridden for a week. No gym, no running. It can make you feel pretty miserable. But knowing that it’s winter made it okay. If it were summer, I’d be panicked that I was missing all the cool races. But the race calendar only really kicks into gear once spring comes along so I could safely use this time to rest as much as I could and recover properly. My body has rested.

I’ve rested my mind. Running can sometimes be all consuming. It gets to a point, especially before the big races such as Two Oceans, that that’s all everyone talks about. I get a bit obsessed about my running pace. I get upset about my race times. I get all worked up in good and bad ways after reading tweets, blogs and articles talking about running. But the less races I’ve run, the less running has been an issue. I’ve also been able to blog about other things that have been keeping me busy and so there have been some weeks where running has not even featured. It’s good to rest your mind.

Yet, I must admit that I even though I have rested my feet, my body and my mind, enough is enough. I am feeling niggly. My feet are starting to itch. My body is feeling heavy. My mind is starting to think about all things running.

The resting is over. I can feel spring is on it’s way…

If the (running) shoe fits…

If you follow my blog / tweets / moans in the office, you will know that I have been struggling with pains in my left foot for a while now. Podiatrists and biokinetists have diagnosed a combo of plantar fasciitis as well as morton’s neuroma.

Two different treatments have been recommended. The podiatrist made me orthotics for my running shoe and sent me on my way. The biokinetist has been giving me exercises to strengthen my feet and has shown me different massage techniques to do. She also recommended a change in running shoe style and size.

I’ve been reluctant to say anything ‘until it worked’, being the sceptic that I am. But so far… so good. I switched from the Asics 1170’s to Asics Gel Nimbus, which is more of a neutral shoe. The other major change is that I went from wearing a size 6 to wearing a 7 1/2! I know! I feel like I have giant feet but Craig at Dunkeld Sweatshop (this dude is good!) ensures me that this size is right for my feet.

So? Is it working?

I ran the 15km Colgate race in May as well as the RAC 10km two weeks ago. During both races, my foot ached like hell, especially the section where the neuroma sits. But the plantar fasciitis is 90% gone. (As my biokinetist put it, it will take time for the heel to heal.)

I walk around at work some days and actually find myself wondering where the heel pain is. But it’s gone. It feels wonderful!

I’ve got a long way to go with the treatments but I can definitely feel that my feet are getting stronger. I just need to be good and carry on doing my exercises.

Now just to tackle that neuroma…