All this recovery makes Jack a dull boy…


It’s been six days now since I finished the ultra and my recovery seems to be going quite well.

My legs feel fine but my feet are still off being 100%. Although the skin on my toes has largely healed or hardened, I still have my forward arch taped up over the blister. But compared to how my feet did look at the end of the event:

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To how they look now:

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I think they are doing okay. I know, feet are awful really aren’t they!?

UPDATE: Just this evening I have removed the KT tape after a bath. I almost posted a pic but thought better of it 😉 I have cut the flaps of skin off now yet the ‘new’ skin underneath is still pretty red and blotchy, so it’s definitely not ready for a run, however it has stopped being sore. So I’ve cleaned it up, added anti-septic and kept it dry with powder. I have not re-taped so it can now breathe. Hopefully be a day or so until it’s okay to run on 🙂

Before I ran the event I took delivery of quite possibly the best authority on foot care for nutters like myself who run long distance or just spend a lot of time on their feet: ‘Fixing Your Feet‘ by John Vonhof. I never had time to read through this prior to running the event, but if I had, I may have had feet in much better condition by the end of the 70k. That said,  I’ve since had my head firmly in its pages and learnt a heck of a lot about foot care and prevention of common injuries. I often thought that I could use kinesiology tape to tape up blisters, due to its great adhesive qualities and the way it will mould perfectly on just about any part of your body or feet. And low and behold, there in the book was John’s advice on how to use this to that affect.
As you can see in the above image, I used two over-lapping strips to cover up the healing blister, after first cutting holes in the skin to allow it to fold and not bunch, then applying anti-septic cream, the tape and then powder. In hindsight though, I would have stuck the rear section on first, so that there was no ridge to catch on socks or footwear when putting them on. It’s been on two days now with no sign of peeling off and my foot feels all the better for it 🙂

Whilst reading John’s book, I also discovered something else and it was if I’m honest, a bit of a ‘Eureka!’ moment. If you look at my left foot in the top image, and the toe to the left of the big toe, you’ll see that it’s a little longer. I try not to diagnose myself with injuries or syndromes, but I appear to ‘suffer’ with a common ailment called ‘Morton’s Toe’ . Now I’ve always had problems with a weak left ankle and I have rolled it very painfully countless times (usually off-road), and after consulting with a podiatrist she diagnosed me with “hyper-pronation” on the left foot. This is often very apparent by observing the tread patterns on my running shoes, especially on the road. You can see in the image below, that the sole on the right (left shoe) is far more worn around the forefoot than that on the left:

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These shoes are retired now and just worn for general use. But just from reading the book above, I can see now why my left foot rolls more than the right, which I have never once rolled. I know I have digressed from the original topic of the post, but I just felt like it was a good point to add that in there.

I’ve also had a day at work in the mine, which unfortunately, exacerbated my blisters as I have to wear wellies, and although they fit okay, generally not the best footwear for healing feet! One of my jobs is guiding people underground in the dis-used slate mines of North Wales. The linked-to post above was prior to me being employed in that role. The walk up to the mine is steep and technical, but my legs felt okay. I took a trekking pole with me though, as the walk out of the mine from the top of the hill is a good 2o minutes downhill with a capable group of people on again, technical, loose terrain. The pole just helps to take the weight off one’s feet a bit 🙂

Yesterday, I spent a nice day doing a short walk with my wife and 8 year old little girl. I wore my Inov-8 Roclites, as I knew I could sinch them up tightly without my feet slipping around. Although as it turns out, I didn’t tighten them enough, as I just wanted to get them off towards the end of the day. Normally though, these shoes are awesome!

Here’s a couple of nice pictures from where we had our walk up a little hill called ‘Mynydd y Dref’ or ‘Conwy Mountain’ although a literal translation from Welsh to English would be ‘The Town Mountain’. It was my daughter’s first ever little peak (modest at 244 metres / 801 feet); very proud of her 🙂

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5 minutes into the walk
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Looking to The Great Orme and Llandudno

 

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Marker post and Conwy beyond

After the armageddon-type conditions that Storm Doris brought with her the day before this….

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This tree was torn asunder as we were in the office. Half of it is precariously balanced like The Sword of Damacles above one of the main roads in and out of North Wales, the A5…

….it was a beautiful but chilly day. Conversely, the weather outside today is totally awful!

I’ve been carrying out a little light stretching, mainly before bed in an attempt to stop my legs twitching; currently my legs are saying yes to a light recovery run (I can run up and down the stairs now), but my still healing feet are not! They need to heal faster or I will be going mad soon. I guess I could go swimming, at least then I’m doing some exercise a little more strenuous than walking.

Food wise, I have been eating a mixture of stuff really. My wife is a vegan and vegetarian, so I generally get good, healthy food anyway. However, I have also eaten a lot of rubbish in the form of cake and biscuits; maybe not the best recovery food, but good for sugar cravings! As yet, I’ve not noticed any signs of immune dysfunction i.e: I have not had a post-ultra cold, something a lot of ultra-runners experience after an event, as their immune systems can ‘bottom out’ for the 48 hours immediately following the race. I do take 1,000mg of Vitamin C every day though and that has certainly contributed to me not getting any colds throughout 2016; which reminds me, I need to take today’s.

So, that’s where I’m at. Hopefully in a couple of days, my feet will be ready for an easy 10K recovery run, then I can start getting out in them there mountains again 🙂

Right, I’m off to take my vitamins. Thanks for popping by folks, and I’ll  catch you in my next post.

Elton

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