The frustrations of the armchair runner

[Originally posted on Bristol Running Resource, 28/04/11]

The early burst of warm weather we’re experiencing this year will no doubt be welcomed by many runners. But it is deeply frustrating for those of us sidelined to the armchair. It would be great to be putting in a few miles in the sunshine. I’d been planning to make the Bristol 10k my first race for six months, but that isn’t going to happen.

I’ve had a problem with the ball of left foot, under my big toe, on and off for months now. It comes and goes. It quietens down for a bit only to flare up all of a sudden. A flare up could follow a run, but it could equally appear apparently out of nowhere.

I’ve suspected for while that it is something to do with my orthotics not correcting sufficiently for over-pronation. As a consequence too much load is being sent through my toe joint rather than being spread out. Perhaps my over-pronation has been getting worse over time? Who knows.

So before Easter I headed over the bridge to a podiatrist recommended by a couple of people. Given they work with the Welsh RFU I was hopeful they would be in a position to deal with the problems raised by fat blokes running.

After the usual assessments and wandering over the electronic pressure pad a few times the podiatrist came to pretty much the same conclusion that I had arrived at myself.

Unlike previous podiatrists I’ve worked with, I had new orthotics made while I waited. Putting on my trainers with the new orthotics was positively a revelation. Immediately the pressure was lifted off the joint. What a relief!

I’ve now had three weeks pretty much living in trainers and walking but not running. The pain has now all but gone. I feel it’s time to get out of the armchair see how it all feels on the run. So tomorrow’s going to be the big day – and I’m not talking Royal Wedding. It’s going to be slow. But if it isn’t painful that will be fantastic. Wish me luck!

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