Home News Getting Better

Getting Better


from “Diary of a Rubbish Marathon Runner” A few days after the Connemara Ultra, all the way back in April, my left foot started hurting. I ran through it. It got rather painful over the last 6 miles in Cork, but I managed to run through that as well. Ever since, the problem has been there. The first mile of each run hurt, sometimes more, sometimes less. I think it is PF, but since I never got it checked out I can’t be entirely sure. I was hoping it would go away, like most ailments do, but 5 months later it’s still there. The pain is never bad enough to convince me to stop running, but it got markedly worse in the days after the Liscarroll race two week ago. I also got some discomfort in my left hamstring, and occasionally a twinge in the outside of my left knee, but I think they are follow-on injuries, caused by a subtle change in gait due to the foot pain.

I started stretching more regularly and I started doing a few strengthening exercises. But what seems to make a difference is massaging it every day. I can easily find a number of sore spots. Interestingly, when running it hurts in the arch of the foot, but the massaging clearly shows that all the sore spots are in the heel. Anyway, early signs indicate that massaging the heel once or twice a day seems to lead to some improvement. Today was the first run in ages where I didn’t wince at all at the start.

The weekend weather was not too bad, which we used to plant a number of fruit trees in a newly cleared section of our garden. In 2 or 3 years we will hopefully have our own apples, pears, cherries and plums to harvest. I can hardly wait! Unfortunately, the weather forecast got it right for today, the heavy rain duly arrived, and tomorrow is supposed to be worse again with high winds as well. Just like last Tuesday, I had mixed intervals on the schedule, and again I opted for the Ard-na-Sidhe road. I probably could have run it on a different stretch because there was very little wind, and a less uneven road surface might have been preferential. At times I was slaloming around barely visible waterlogged potholes while running close to 6:00 pace, which wasn’t ideal to say the least. I was still happy with the way the workout went, especially when I compared the figures to last time.

2 Sep: 3k @ 6:42, 1m @ 6:28, 1k @ 6:14, 0.5m @ 6:02
9 Sep: 3k @ 6:38, 2k @ 6:28, 1k @ 6:12, 0.5m @ 5:53

I’ll take that improvement, especially with the longer second segment. Those mixed intervals will get harder as the length of the segments are increasing; I’ll see how I get on, but I’ll have to decide if I should opt for a different road. Even if there are no flat roads, I could at least opt for one with a smooth surface. It seems rather obvious when putting it like that, doesn’t it?

8 Sep
9 miles, 1:13:46, 8:12 pace, HR 135
9 Sep
8 miles, 1:00:32, 7:34 pace, HR 158
3k @ 6:38, 2k @ 6:28, 1k @ 6:12, 0.5m @ 5:53