I’ve not loved November. I feel like I lost my way a bit with my exercise project. I’ve had an on-going issue with severe pain in my feet for months, which has been much worse over the last several weeks and has caused me to cut my running right down. When I last blogged I was in Thailand and I had completed 10 yoga practices in November at that point and I had done just one 5Km run!
After I blogged we moved to Krabi for 4 beach days prior to returning to Bangkok for an overnight stop before flying home. The first 2 beach days we were in a busy resort and there was no scope for running, but I could have and should have done some yoga, but I didn’t as I hadn’t planned it well enough so ended up prioritising meals, sleep and sunbathing instead!
We then moved to another, much quieter resort, but at this point the weather turned and there were downpours all day. So I finally made the effort to do some practice which I did in my hotel room on the Sunday. Class 11.
That same day I decided to do a beach run, my first run in 19 days. Sand running is always challenging and because my feet had been so painful I decided to run wearing my barefoot shoes. I ran for 3Km and despite the poor weather it was incredibly hot to be running. When I completed the distance I realised how fast I had been going – 5.25 minutes/Km. Most of my runs this year have been 6.30 minutes/Km on average. So it was a much faster pace. Perhaps because I haven’t run recently, perhaps because I wasn’t observing the speed or time, perhaps because I have lost some weight. Who knows?! Whatever the reason I was very pleased and my plan to up my running and yoga was in place, so things were beginning to feel more positive.
However, the next day my feet were agony. I couldn’t bear weight easily and was walking with a limp. We headed back to Bangkok and the next day we had a 13 hour flight home and I landed back in the UK with a cold. Gah.
This problem is a pain in the mid portion of my feet. Years ago I saw a physiotherapist due to knee problems and she commented that I have very high arches. I generally wear comfortable flat shoes and had my gait evaluated several years ago at a running shop where I was told neutral shoes would be appropriate for me, and since then I have always run in ASICS Gel Nimbus.
At a yoga retreat a few years ago I had been experiencing foot pain for a few months. I saw an osteopath there who clicked my right foot to move my 2nd cuneiform bone back into place as it was displaced upwards. It made a difference, as did taking magnesium tablets. Eventually the problem eased up but reappeared this year. I struggle to bear weight in the morning, it’s like it takes my feet a little while to get going of a day. The pain is mainly in the mid band of my foot. Squeezing round the middle of my foot causes me agony which would fit with Morton’s Neuroma – a nerve related issue – although I don’t get the other symptoms like numb toes and pins and needles.
I went to my GP 6 weeks ago and got referred to a podiatrist. The GP commented that my feet are quite flat – which means either she or the physio were wrong or that my foot arch has dropped. I don’t think I have particularly high or low arches but I’m no expert. I find I have less discomfort when I wear the barefoot shoes. My feet hurt more when I have run, but the pain lasts days. I’ve massaged and foot rollered. I realise writing this that I should go back on the magnesium tablets.
On Tuesday the pain was severe and so I called my private medical insurance to see if they could help to get me seen sooner but apparently podiatry is not included in the policy. I got off the phone and burst into tears.
There is this thing with depression, even when it’s seemingly dormant, that it manifests itself in perculiar ways. For me one of these ways is seeking help. Even for non-mental health stuff, even if I’m in agony and can’t walk, I avoid getting help. For months or even years since just deal with it. I don’t know why. But at the point where I do seek help it is generally pretty serious, and oftentimes I finally make the steps and find I can’t access the help I need which pushes me over the edge. Everything just seems so impossible.
I ended up going out, buying ankle supports and orthotic insoles which has helped a fair amount. I’ve rung the NHS referral to chase it up. Needless to say I put off running since the beach, and thanks to this stinking cold I’ve not practiced yoga either. I have done one weight training session, but all in all November had been crap for my exercise plan.
So in comes December and we were away at a wedding this weekend so all my hopes were pinned on getting myself back on track from Monday. So I sat and reflected and planned.
On reflection: I have 15 medals hanging on a rack for races I have done this year. The aim was 12; one for every month. In November I didn’t do a specific race but gained a medal for completing at least 75Km in September, October and November. So despite November being a bit shit I’m already beating my years intention and should be proud of that. I also have run SO MUCH more than last year. I feel like I’m not running consistently but it’s been such an improvement on last year that I need to recognise that I’m moving forwards and making progress.
I’ve done 160 yoga practices this year so far. Double what I did in the whole of 2016. That’s a massive achievement. My practice has improved and I have got stronger and more flexible. Other than my foot issue I’ve not had any running related injuries this year and I think the yoga has made that possible. Initially was trying to achieve 10 classes a month but have averaged 14.5 a month.
I’m also drinking less alcohol, I’ve now lost 12lbs and feel like I’m on an eating plan that’s working for me. I am going to see a therapist that seems to be a really good fit….finally!
So as the closing month of the year gets underway I can really see what a very different place I am in now, physically and emotionally, compared with this time last year.
Planning: I took some time yesterday to look at what I want to achieve in December. It’s a quieter working month for me but it’s much busier socially with lots of dinners and drinks!
So I’ve put a plan in place so that I can finish this year with a few more medals and all being well still meet the goal of 185 yoga practices meaning I will have done 1 class every 2 days this year.
Yesterday (Monday 3rd) I did a leg and glute weight training session followed by a 3Km run. I wanted to start at 3Km and gradually build up the distance this week as Steve and I have a 10Km run this Sunday to gain another medal.
The run was hard, my legs really ached for the first Km but it got a bit better as I went on. I definitely couldn’t have done 5Km as once I had told myself I was doing 3Km that was as far as I could have possibly gone as my mind was made up.
This morning I got up early and went to the gym to do a cross training session. I walked for 30 minutes at a gradient of 5, then used the static bike for another 30.
I had to drive to a work meeting at lunchtime and I had a car crash, accidentally driving at 30mph into a car parked on the side of the road. I had to stay by the roadside for about 4 hours in the cold and when I got home and warmed up a bit I realised my neck and back were tender. I was due to go to yoga tonight and so I have had to cancel that and so will have to wait to see how things feel in the morning. So annoyed with myself.