Looks like that might be the end of my brief life as a runner.
Lately I've been waking up with numb toes (along with a few other recurring sore spots, but it's the toes I was worried about), so I went to the doctor to get checked out, this morning. Provisionally, it looks like I've got herniated disks, which are getting inflamed, and impinging on the nerves to my toes. I'll find out more tomorrow. If you leave this condition, it just gets worse and worse, and eventually you need surgery.
She told me I'd get permanent numb toes if I went on this way (carrying on running - ever again), and I actually heard myself, say, "Just numb toes? ... " I was weighing up the choices. Maybe just get the numb toes, and carry on running? They're only a mild irritation, really.
Anyway, I suppose I'd better spend the next day or so rather hoping that somehow I have "the other numb toe condition", where they just give you an injection, and away you go. She hasn't looked at the X-Rays yet.
I suppose this just means I'm going to have to adapt. I need exercise, and I like going out there where things are happening, so I'll have to switch to cycling. Is there a cycling "couch to 25 km" programme out there somewhere, I wonder?
I'm already scheming about sneaking in the occasional Parkrun for old times sake, too. This is cumulative, so if I can postpone the surgery for say 5 years by only running occasionally, maybe that's a reasonable trade-off. And maybe I can walk them. Even race walk. Race walking may even be preferable to cycling.