So there I was, ticking along nicely, completing sessions, hitting pace targets, getting my strava kudos. 3 weeks to go until the marathon, nothing could go wrong! Weekly mileage was reducing, it was nearly game time..
Cue the wierdest injury I’ve heard of.
I have a deep, wide, split in the skin at the base of my big toe, just above the seam with the foot. I think I got it walking for an extended period of time on a cold floor with bare feet, but perhaps that just exacerbated a problem about to rear it’s ugly head.
Either way, Friday the 31st March I was aware of a little sharp pain under my left big toe. An examination revealed a little bit of red; closer examination revealed a small split.
With this I proceeded to soak my feet and then set-to them with a foot-grater! The further down I got the more of the split it revealed…
I had about a 1.5-2cm long, c. 5mm deep split through all of my built-up skin down to the red raw stuff underneath. Now at this point I was aware of it but it was OK, so I kept running on it for the next 4 days. However on Monday my feet got saturated and cold at work, for about 5 hours until I could change socks. Come Tuesday morning it was worse.
At work I was limping, with my toes curled up in my boots to try and avoid flexing the toe. Even with this, and especially without, there was a kind of ripping pain that was quite unpleasant. I saw a nurse that evening, got it partially glued…and on what would have been my 150th day in a row, had to let go of my run streak.
It’s 3 days without running later and, while I’m still a bit disappointed, I’m feeling pretty upbeat about the whole thing. For one, Tuesday was the worst point. The toe felt marginally better yesterday and has spent large parts of today forgotten about, a good sign.
Secondly, I’ve put so much work in, more than I’ve ever achieved. My highest mileage week (twice), highest mileage month, fastest long runs. I’ve set myself new PBs at 10 mile and 1/2 marathon distance, as well as my fastest ever time at our monthly winter club race.
Thirdly, timing-wise it’s really not too bad. I’ve got long enough for the split to heal but I’m also at the 3 week taper point. Sure, a full stop maybe isn’t the recommended taper…but this is a real chance for muscles which have taken a pounding to truly recover and re-stock. I’m certainly noticing that an appetite which had reached a state best described as ‘raging’ has calmed down somewhat. I don’t need telling that’s probably a good sign 😀
So fingers crossed, this might even be a stroke of good fortune in the guise of bad luck. Positive Mental Attitude always.