Still annoyed by the fact I managed to sideline myself for several weeks, I've been reviewing my training logs and thinking long and hard about what I did to hurt my foot. Have I done this right? Did I do that wrong? Could I have done something different? And that's when it struck me: yes I could have done something different. I could have put my ego/desires in my pocket and listened to my body, but I didn't.
It was whilst reviewing the training log entry I made for my run on 22 June that the penny dropped...
Hill piggies barefoot
I wanted a hill session, but was in the mood for making it a bit of a stinker so I did doggies (pyramids of 200m, 400m, 600m, 800m, 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m fast with equal recovery between each to other people) but as each fast rep it uphill, I called them piggies. Unfortunately I developed a bit of a twinge on the top of left foot on the 2nd fast 800m so stopped after that rep and didn't do the whole stack.
Felt good and felt as though I could have come back down the other side of the stack, but better safe than sorry. I don't want to injure myself.
What I didn't document was the beginning of this training session. As I set off out of the office, I felt a little discomfort in my left foot. At the time it felt like a joint in my foot hadn't "popped" yet - that feeling you get when you think you need to crack a knuckle or something to release a bit of tension or pressure. I've encountered these in my toes and ankles for years (as a kid, all my joints used to "pop" after a period of inactivity which was a bit embarrassing in a huge dead quiet school hall at a prize giving ceremony) and thought this was another one of those occasions.
It took nearly 7km of running for my body to tell me in no uncertain terms that this wasn't one of those occasions. All through this run, I kept trying to pop the joints in my foot to relieve the feeling of needing to pop them, but the pops weren't coming and neither was the sensation dissipating. The final twinge on the last 800m that I did was my body telling me in no uncertain terms: STOP!!!
My foot was then tender for just over week. Had I listened to my body when I first set out, I probably wouldn't have had the discomfort during the run, the discomfort during the next week and a bit and the pain that struck at just after the 8km mark in the race.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing from which I need to learn. Like a naughty schoolboy, I've been told off by my body for not doing as I was told and now I'm paying the price.
So if this post has to have a take away message it's: listen to your body. This is continually preached in the barefoot running circles, and I've preached it myself, but now I need to actually take heed and start to really listen. I need to, and will, err on the side of caution from here on in.