Update on the ankle/foot problem and the 98th run

Remember I was complaining about a sore foot/ankle after trying the Speed podcast? I went to see my chiropractor yesterday in the hope that she could fix me. She could indeed! She asked if I'd done anything different like running up a steep hill or - get this - changing the length of my stride. I 'fessed up and she proceeded to adjust my big toe (huh???), and then spent a lot of time massaging the very sorest bit of the tendon. It was excruciatingly painful, to the point that I was sweating like a pig and yelping with pain. In an attempt to distract myself I asked what I'd done, and she dismissed it as 'just a bit of tendonitis'. I explained the situation with regard to the 100th run on Wednesday and she said I should be fine, provided I didn't over-extend my stride. She also told me to keep icing it if it was sore.

And guess what? I went for a slow, short run today, and although I can feel it slightly now, didn't have any problems at all during or immediately after the run. Woohoo! I plan to do a short 99th run on Monday, go for the 100th on Wednesday and then take a break if it isn't completely better.

I was dreading being told to stop running for weeks. It's interesting that she could pinpoint my poor technique, and fortunate that I didn't persevere with this in the hope that I would get used to running with a longer stride. I'm still not quite sure how to run faster without lengthening my stride, but I can play around with that over the next month or so. Hooray for good health professionals - God bless 'em all :)


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28 Replies

  • Great Annie. It's good to know you should be on for your 100th.

    Sorry, can't help on your stride problem, I'm sure someone will, but really pleasedfor you that you have the go ahead to keep going :-)

  • Thanks, Annie :) Fingers crossed it should all be okay.

    To be honest, I'm not that bothered about more speed - I just thought that's probably what I should be doing next. However, it doesn't really matter if I just keep on plodding on - at least I'll still be running :)

  • That;s great!! Really pleased for you :-)

    Take it easy and enjoy your 99th adn 100th runs!! What an amazing achievement!! :-D

  • Thanks - it is absolutely amazing that I have not only stuck to this for a whole year, but intend to continue :)

  • fab news! Interesting re the big toe issue! You can get faster with out taking longer strides. Top athletes do at least 180 strides a minute, so its lots of small strides that generate speed not big long ones. Also since I hurt my ankle and now come back to it I am getting quicker butjust from small gradual increases.

  • In theory I know that there are hundreds if not thousands of bits of us that enable us to run :D but I'd sort of thought that the problem was actually with my ankle - I'd never considered the part that my toe plays in running!

    Interesting about the stride thing - thanks for that. As I said above, I'm not that desperately bothered about increasing speed, it just seemed the 'right' thing to do. I'm glad you're getting quicker, and I'll see how I feel and perhaps have another go.

  • So glad you can get back out there Annie. It is amazing what they can do I agree! Enjoy the next two runs and looking forward to celebrating your 100th with you :)


  • Thanks Sue :) I never would have thought that I would be this keen! I'll no doubt be back here to tell you all about the 100th :)

  • That is great news Annie! I know what you mean about the fear of not being able to run due to injury, so I am so glad you were able to get your foot, ankle, toe fixed!! ;)

    Those little niggles that can turn into big injuries are really worrying. So glad you can achieve that 99 and 100. Good luck for Monday and Wednesday. I agree with Lynds. Maybe increase your strike rate instead of stride length could help with speed when you are ready.

    All the best. Tricia x

  • Thanks, Tricia :) Isn't it odd that I'm desperate to keep running, when this time last year I was firmly glued to that couch :)

    I'll play around with stride length after I get my 100th run in (not that I am obsessed or anything!) so will try increasing strike rate. Gosh, that sounds technical - hope I can do it :D

  • Just noticed this after replying to your other blog (duh!). Fantastic news, hope it will settle down from now on and everything crossed for the next few runs - I know how important they are to you.

    Afraid I'm no further forward with my hip pain, subsides if I don't run back to square one if I do. I was recommended a sports physio so will probably give a go even if a bit dear. Now after reading this wondering if a chiropractor might be useful.

    Re your stride, like Tricia I would advise trying to up your strike rate (cadence) the reason I'm saying that is because I'm really short (5'2") so my stride can never be big yet I can get to a fair speed just with quick short steps (I think it's Stamina podcast which advises this). Know I'm not the best advert at the moment but think this injury is more due to upping mileage and hill repeats.

  • Thanks for your good wishes!

    Physios vs chiropractors vs osteopaths... all of them have their supporters and their detractors. Certainly my gp recommends going to a specialist, but whether that's a physio or a chiropractor, who knows what would be best. My chiropractor does all sorts of stuff as well as manipulation - my daughter had acupuncture there for a problem a while ago. Some people are put off because what a chiropractor does can be quite violent in some ways. When I went to a physio, the first one I saw was totally useless and just told me not to run. He was a serious runner and basically told me I was too overweight to run and shouldn't bother because I would never get enough benefit from it and there's no point just doing 5k. (!!!) The next one I saw when he was most fortunately away on holiday was much better and helped the problem I went in with.

    My appointment on Friday wasn't cheap at £30, but I walked in not being able to turn my head properly and limping on a sore foot, and walked out again with localised tender patches but fully able to run and to turn my head. That'll do for me :)

    Regarding stride length, I am 5' 2" also so my stride is never going to be long. It looks like quick short steps are the answer. I'm sure Laura said something about this and where your body weight should come, but I was so busy chanting 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4 I never heard her :D

    I really hope you can get your hip sorted out soon. It must be so frustrating for you not to be able to run.

  • Cheers Annie - well you've certainly proved that first physio wrong thankfully (sad to think but that would have discouraged many people). £30 seems to be the going rate as I've been told it's what the physio charges, the woman who recommended her is a PE teacher and several members of her family have had good results from her so my expectations are building.... I'll hopefully shoot out of the door like Paula Radcliffe... :-D

  • I really hope it works for you and you see some improvement quickly. Even if it's not that quick and you have exercises etc. to do, at least it will be addressing the problem. All the best with it, Paula :D :D

  • Hi Annimurph, I'm visiting a sports physio just now for pulled tendon hopefully tomorrow will be the last session cos quite frankly although its been worth it but at £32 a time its not something I would want to have to pay for too many sessions. I've been to a chiropractor many years ago for a back injury, well worth it but can't recall what his charges were in those days.

    I played about with my stride length when I came back from a 3 month break after sciatica as I found my stride had shortened due to trying to protect my poor hip. The outcome was I still take a short stride and only lengthen it on a gradual downward slope which gives me the faster speed on a run. If I try and lengthen it too much on the flat I end up running with a heel strike which gives me shin pain after the run. As you say once you have done your 100th you can then play about with it a bit. I'm a little short leg as well only 5'1" tall, well OK short!!!!

    Good to hear your injury is settling down though and I wish you all the best for your 99th and 100th runs. Where did that year go, it will be 2 years for me in August, yikes.

  • It's really not cheap, is it, but worth it to me at least. I hope tomorrow is your last session.

    I can't quite think why I thought I should lengthen my stride in order to go faster. Perhaps it's to do with this image I have of myself as a gazelle :D I'm very conscious that I am overweight and stump along like a... well, I don't know what, really - words fail me :D Anyway, short strides for the next couple of runs and we'll see what happens after that.

    Thanks for your good wishes - I'll be back blogging all about it on Wednesday, no doubt!

  • Good luck Annie, look forward to hearing all the details of your 100th run.

  • I've read that shorter steps and aiming for more steps is the best way to build speed - I'm hoping to start practicing this on the treadmill using a metronome app on my phone - you can tell it how many steps per minute you want to take and it will give you a beep for each step. Sounds annoying but I think it may help if I use it for some interval training. As far as injuries go, I've found that, after weeks of achilles tendon pain, hills are much more comfortable if I take smaller steps so there may be something in it. Good luck !

  • That's interesting, about the short steps up the hills. I'm not sure about a beep for each step - let me know how you find that, and if it's so irritating that you hurl your phone across the road, perhaps I won't try it :D Like I say, I'm not at all sure why I felt that longer strides were the answer :(

    I hope you achilles problems are gone now and that you're happy with your running.

  • I think that longer strides are perhaps an "earlier" idea and now the "experts" have decided that shorter and more frequent is the way to go.

    Achilles is still niggly but I think I'm learning to manage it.

  • Someone on here - perhaps even you??? :D posted that they had bought some wonderful new socks that protected the achilles tendon and had made a big difference to their comfort level. I think it was these: amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00...

    Might be worth a try, perhaps. I hope it clears.

  • Yes, that was me ! They certainly help and I've ordered some more :-)

    Thank you !

  • :D Sorry!

  • Glad your visit was productive - all very interesting to file away mentally for future use, as I haven't so far needed to investigate physios etc. Roll on run 100!

    The big toe bit was curious too!

    It might be interesting to read up on what the chi running people say about going faster - I haven't looked recently (and when I first read it, going faster wasn't remotely of interest to me!) but I vaguely recall it was along the lines of not changing step-rate, but leaning forward more, and something like 'stretching the pace out behind'. Which gives me the impression of somehow getting longer paces, but not by ending up heel-striking? Anyway, you can ignore it if it doesn't make sense, as I may have got it wrong anyway. :)

  • Long may your physio-free running continue :) Goodness knows about the big toe, but it worked!

    Leaning forward more - I think Laura told me to keep my body above my feet, but given that I mis-remembered everything else she said, perhaps I was wrong about this bit too. I might go and look it up, although I haven't investigated chi running yet.

    I think slow and steady with my little trippy steps will do me for the moment. I know I have imposed this 100th run thing on myself, but I would be so disappointed now if I didn't make it that I'm not willing to compromise anything before then. After that's out of the way I might try a bit more experimenting.

    Thanks for your good wishes :)

  • I think you're right to stick to your plan until you have reached your target and leave the experimenting until afterwards. Good luck !

  • I'd agree with sticking to the plan for now - I only mentioned the chi thing because I think it is a different way of going about things to 'Laura's' way, and if Laura's way doesn't seem to work for you, the chi way might be worth considering.

    But as I say, I don't really know!

  • Before I started this running lark I thought you just went and ran. Who knew it would involve extra kit, fascinating statistics and interesting theories? :D

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