if in pain, then stop, else keep running

So it happened.



Further to my last post, yesterday I ran a steady 10K on flat, off-road terrain along the coast (4:58/km, 50:14). This was supposed to be a slow run, but as I had a feeling I would not be running today (after my shin started to complain), I ran it faster which probably only served to f**k my right shin up even more. Stubborn mistake numero uno. At the 5K mark I hit concrete for around 300 metres and my shin was very unhappy, but I carried on running to complete the 10K. Stubborn mistake numero dos.
About 500 metres from the car, I slipped in the mud and grabbed the nearest thing to me to prevent a full-on face plant, a convenient barbed wire fence:

Bugger. Nothing really hurt but pride.

Had to ensure this was protected as I stretched so I didn’t rub sheep crap from my shoes into it.

When I run faster I tend to open up my stride and not increase my cadence. This is bad for shins that are already pissed off. Research has shown that increasing cadence can reduce symptoms quite quickly. I carry out all the correct stretches after a run religiously, but as I’ve said previously, I’m rubbish at working on strengthening exercises in between runs.

Over the past few years I have seen osteopaths and chiropractors. They have looked at my alignment and it always transpires that I am mis-aligned. Seeing a masseur friend of mine recently, this was confirmed again. She also looked at my feet. I’ve always known that I have a bit of an odd gait cycle. On the left foot I pronate and on the right, supinate or under-pronate. Thing is, during the gait cycle when I run, on the left at the start I pronate, but mid-way through the cycle I supinate and land on the outside edge of my shoes; this is weird to me as I’d expect there to be more wear on the right shoe, but in fact the opposite is true; my left shoes are substantially more worn around the mid – forefoot area. If you’d like to understand this a little more, here’s a basic explanation.
I very rarely heel strike and generally I’m quite light on my feet, in a 78kg sense 😀

So here’s what my silly treads look like from the rear; it is hard to discern, but the left arch is definitely more collapsed than the right:

20160217_185158_HDR (2)
Don’t feet look weird?

And here’s how the wear pattern looks on my long-run road shoes. Look at the difference on the left shoe (the right shoe on the upside down images, obviously)! The outside edge is almost through the outsole (click for bigger images):

Just below my index finger there is a lug that is oddly worn, showing signs of pronation. So you can see that an imaginary line could be drawn from that lug, to the upper-outside edge of the left shoe, that kind of illustrates how my foot rolls.

My friend linked me to a very interesting article (thank you 😉 ), which kind of fits in with what I am experiencing. Some terminology I have no clue with however. I also found another article which isn’t as technical, but still interesting nevertheless, that discusses Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome or ‘Shin Splints’ if you want the catch-all term that most runners use, often incorrectly.

Why can’t I just have ‘normal’ feet? I’d rather pronate thank you very much. But I am hoping to return to see my friend who can advise and help me to sort out my dodgy feet.
Problem is, I have other bio-mechanical issues also, relating to my back and how my sacroiliac joint moves and this can have a direct effect on my feet due to my hip imbalance.

Shoot me now.

Sure, worse things happen at sea, but I am going to have to stop running again until the pain subsides. This is going to knock my Edinburgh training plan back which is a major disappointment for me, not to mention that if I can’t run, my depression kicks in, as does my back pain. I know, get the violins out. And if my back pain starts, like it has today, I can’t ride my bike either, leaving me bored as hell and irritated at home. Walking in the mountains is also bad as I have to carry at least a 15kg backpack in winter conditions and the constant pounding on my lumbar spine leaves me in pain afterwards. This time of year I have to wear what are known as ‘rigid’ boots so I can fit crampons; these are murder on the spine when descending as there is very little shock absorption with them.

Instead I will have to do my best not to be lazy and work on rehab exercises in the mean time.

Just when I thought my training was going brilliantly, it all goes t*ts up. So I feel a bit like Grumpy Cat now:


Right. I suppose I’d better settle in and get comfy-ish and get a hot water bottle on my back. On the plus side, I have just been offered some freelance work, an opportunity I may have missed had I been out running….

Until next time folks, take it easy 🙂





9 thoughts on “if in pain, then stop, else keep running

      1. No idea what is going on there … this wordpress thing spooks me … might be gravatar or some old link stuck there? I had changed names after a while to better fit my slowness! What does it show?

  1. That’s a bummer! Strangely if my back hurts a session on the bike usually sorts it. Hope it all sorts itself out, with help. I wish all the delights of Edinburgh upon you when the time comes.

  2. Hope it turns out ok sooner rather than later. Try and consider the enforced rest as just a chance to let the whole body rest. Glass half full kinda thing. Good news on the freelance work too.

  3. Hi there, i think your body is trying to “talk” to you. Sometimes we just need to stop and listen. There’s a popular saying in Portugal that goes like this: some good comes following bad. Great news about the extra work then.
    I sincerely hope you get well enough to carry on your training plan. But try not to worry too much and rest instead. Adding stress and worry will not help your body to heal properly.
    I’m glad you don’t loose your sense of humour even when grumpy :;
    You’ll be fine Elton, trust in yourself.

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