Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bupa London 10,000 Week 9 / 9

I think I've figured out what's going on with my foot (by the way, this is the other foot, not the one pictured below). It suddenly started giving me problems a few weeks ago. Here are the clues that have lead me to me conclusion:

- The pain only occurs when I tread in a particular way and seems to be in the end of my second, third or fourth toe but I am unable to reproduce it by squeezing them hard.
- Sometimes when I am running - especially at slower speeds - my toes start to feel numb
- I have a bunion (hallux valgus) on that foot which causes the big toe to bend inwards touching, but without overlapping the second toe
- (This is the big one.) I was able to reproduce the pain, finally, by pressing hard on the bottom of my foot, near the big toe, while letting the toe bend inwards

What do you reckon? To me, it looks like a trapped nerve. Searching on Google for "bunion trapped nerve" threw up enough results to make me think that my diagnosis is close to the mark. I suppose the good news (assuming I am right) is that I can safely run through the pain without worrying about a possible tendinitis or - as I had initially feared - a repeat of my stress fracture in that foot. I'm trying to find a podiatrist with a sufficiently open mind to running in Vibram Five Fingers (although I probably won't mention it!) who won't send me straight to surgery.

I also went for a massage today as my right calf muscle was starting to get a bit tight. I'm pretty sure that this is a result of treading defensively for fear of the foot pain.

In other news, my back (which was giving me grief before the Half Marathon in the Hague) is much better. Every day, the first thing I do when I get back home from work is lie on my back on my foam roller and I usually get a couple of very satisfying "clicks" if I haven't already clicked my back myself, by pressing my fists into the middle of my back. I think the exercises I have been doing as a result of the Functional Movement System are actually helping, so I'll probably go back soon to see whether I have improved and can move on to the next level.

Apart from the brief interruption due to my head cold, the training has gone pretty well I'd say. I have to confess I'm slightly worried that my progress on the treadmill won't translate directly into better race times on the road but I have most certainly been making strides on the treadmill (if you'll forgive the pun). For example, being able to run a sub 36 minute 10K with a 3% incline or 5 sets of 3 minutes at very nearly 3 minute per kilometer pace not to mention the split 10K (=1+3+2+3+1) at a pace of 3:25 with rests of only 1 minute... Ideally I would have liked to do more training outside in the real world but time commitments, general laziness, the high quality of TV series these days and the excitement of getting a new treadmill have made this difficult to achieve.

As for the race, it looks like it will be relatively cool if not a bit humid and, hopefully, it won't rain too much during the race itself. Tune back in on Monday to see how I got on: my aim is to improve my Personal Best time of 35:48...

Monday: 1K+3K+2K+3K+1K @ 3:25 w/ 1' rest
Tuesday. 40' @ 4:00
Wednesday: 10K (5' @ 3:30, 1' @ 5:00)
Thursday: 40' easy
Friday: -
Saturday: 20' @ 4:00

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