So after the euphoria of running every day in Dec, the plan was to train for the Edinburgh Rock and Roll half marathon. Well I say the plan but to be honest I had signed up to this in the usual – and with apologies to serious athletes out there- time honoured fashion of responding to drunken Facebook exchanges – you know those times when you are full of hope and swelled with big portions of self belief – so you think hey ! another half marathon – why not? – April is months away…
The race was a full 12 weeks away and on the upside having a goal to train for meant a reason to keep to a training schedule – no bad thing after December excesses – so I started upping my mileage and introducing some longer weekend runs.
All was going well until the second week of Feb when after a 7 mile Sunday run, I noticed my left leg had a bit of a twinge and the pain was quite evident after running. As I had developed quite a bad injury after finishing the Edinburgh half marathon in 2011, I was nervous of this so decided to err on the side of caution, and ease up on my mileage.
I tried icing , resting and stretching, but truth was each time I did any distance I was getting the same pain, and becoming cautious about putting any real weight or effort into my running. I thought I better get some advice.
There is nothing quite like a runner who can’t run to gladden the hearts of the assorted experts – physios,trainers, podiatrists et al. We will give anything a go if it fixes the problem, and otherwise rational thoughts about parting with cash for unproven cures seem to vanish. But after a few weeks of intensive internet research followed by several visits to a Pilates based therapist-I was no further forward. Whilst I did enjoy the massages and stretching, and had some very interesting chats about running and motivation, I was still unable to run much further than 3 miles without feeling pain.
My running buddy Alison suggested I reconsider visiting a podiatrist, so on the basis that I had nothing more to lose, off I hobbled. Visiting the podiatrist was quite soothing if a touch surreal as she took various measurements, using a very lo tech measuring tape and noting everything down on her clipboard. Then after making me walk up and down several times she told me my legs were different lengths.
Turns out this is quite a common thing and although it creates an image of me walking in a ‘hopalong’ fashion, I think what it really means is that my hips are not aligned and so when running one leg was hitting the ground with more force than the other. The recommended cure was orthotics to even up the length so I parted with more cash for the special orthotic insoles and crossed my fingers for a miracle transformation.
Luckily for me wearing the insoles did have a fairly immediate effect and now after several weeks it would appear that the insoles have done the trick; the leg pain has shown no signs of returning. Unfortunately the time it had taken to get to this stage had eaten into my half marathon training, and with only 3 weeks to the race I did not feel confident enough to give it a go.
It is disappointing to pull out of a race, but I have found previous half marathons quite hard and each time have vowed either never to do one again – or as time elapses decide to do it but this time with proper preparation. So no Rock and Roll for me – but as I was back to running and delighted to be ‘cured’ by way of an alternative I signed up for the Ignis Glasgow Woman’s 10K.
Better do some training then.