Written by Jon
And so, I began running again with my newly improved orthotics. From the moment I started running on them, I had my first pain in a few weeks. It wasn’t very severe, but it was definitely there on every step. All on my left leg and no issue on the right leg. Perhaps it was because of the new orthotics? Perhaps it was because my training had stepped up slightly, or perhaps I had tired legs? I didn’t want to speculate.
I rested for a couple of days and went out again. I did 5km this time and found the pain was there, but faded again during the run. I took this as a good sign and carried on. I was running at a recovery pace so not pushing myself too hard at this stage. I sent Greg as message to let him know I was having a few issues. He said that I should ice it, stretch it and put some ibuprofen rub on the area. So I did as he said, and it certainly aided my recovery.
I found that the orthotics felt far firmer with the new update and, along with the pain in my shin, I was also getting a stretching sensation in the arch of my foot. I went into see Greg again and he had a look at the foot, the shin and the shoes once again. He didn’t think it would be the orthotic that was the problem, and said it could have been a case of over running, or running too much on the wrong surface at this early stage of training. Greg did, however, say that he wanted me to feel very comfortable so decided he would decrease the firmness of the arch support, but only on the left side where I was having issues. He also added in a cushioning support in the heal of my shoe to try to lessen the impact felt throughout the leg and foot. Greg recommended I run only on the treadmill and grass for a couple of weeks so I could continue training, but not on the hard surfaces. He said that this would strengthen the area so I could, in time, head back onto the roads. I was told to keep up the icing and ibuprofen rub, keep stretching, and to do some strengthening exercises regularly. He told me not to panic, and that pain was OK as long as it was minimal.
I took Greg’s advice very seriously as I did not want to continue to feel pain. I really respect his opinion as he is so well regarded in the industry. No matter what you think is right, some advice I would give, is always listen to what your physio, podiatrist or doctor has to said to you when tackling a running injury. They are the people in the know and now is not the time to be Googling solutions. You need to trust the process fully.
I headed out for a 3.5km run around Avonhead Park in Christchurch, after plenty of stretching and icing the day before. I felt that the pain was still there slightly, but it wasn’t impacting my run. It was just a little niggle in the leg. The real positive for me came after my run. I did not feel any pain post run and into that evening. Often I would come home and feel like my leg was throbbing or that I needed a rest day to cure the pain. But this time, I felt nothing afterwards. So I took it up a level and went for a 6.5km run around Burnside Park two days later. I felt my leg was far stronger, even though there was still an element of discomfort. I would say the pain was about a 2 out of 10, which in medical terms, is acceptable. Again, after my run, I felt no pain at all. My leg felt strong after doing some good strength work on the calf and ankle area.
I’m due at A Run to Remember on Saturday but really not interested in my time. My aim is to get back to running 10km without pain and, it looks like a beautiful route on the Port Hills. After the run I’m going to see Greg for a debrief and hopefully be discharged with a plan of attack.