I've been getting some pain in my left foot since a little while before the marathon, and its been getting worse. Basically its a soreness on the outside edge of my left foot, just behind that sticky out bit, about half way along and it happens as I push off when running and, to a lesser extent when walking.
So last week I decided it was bad enough that I would have to see someone about it and booked into the RunRight podiatry clinic in Helston. The podiatrist, Steve Bloor, came to fame last year when Tesco's staff refused to let him walk barefoot in the store (see here).
Anyway, I was quickly diagnosed with a stuck Cuboid. Some manipulation and things seemed to improve almost immediately. Steve carried out some gait analysis and basically gave me a full MOT from the waist down. Being interested in barefoot running it was great to chat with someone who knows their stuff and could give credence to some of the ideals I am starting to adhere to.
I was especially pleased to have someone look at my gait and tell me I'm doing it right. Basically I'm running mid foot now and have found, after a fairly long transition from heel striking, that it had all come together; but its always good to have someone else give the thumbs up.
So that afternoon, feeling liberated from my annoying pain (though, if I'm honest, a little tender from the manipulation) I thought I'd go for a run. I dropped Bronwen off at Brownies in Hayle and headed out for a run I am very familiar with - across the dunes to Gwithian and back, a total of 8 miles, which gets me back just in time to pick up Bron at the end of Brownies. For the first 4 miles I felt great; after that, not so much. Rapidly feeling the returning pain increase I opted for running back along the beach rather than the dunes. By the time I got back I was really sore.
D'oh. Should have rested up for a day I think. Saturday came and went and there was no way I was running. No improvement on Sunday either. By Tuesday morning I was back to where I had started on Friday. I called Steve and got booked in for a second visit. He advised me I might benefit from an orthotic, which was really something I had hoped to avoid as it felt like a retrograde step; having just spent a year working down to as little shoe as possible the idea of orthotics just seemed wrong. Still, if Steve, being a man who spends most of every day barefoot or in very minimal shoes, thinks its the way to go then I guess I have to give it a try. Its not a permanent solution though, just something to help me recover.
I also got a spiky ball and instruction on how to exercise my foot and build up the strength to prevent this kind of thing recurring. Since Tuesday I've run a couple of times and I'm still getting a bit of soreness so am staying below 6 miles but I think things are slowly improving. Its frustrating though, I should be back up to some pretty high mileage weeks by now and I'm not very good at taking it easy.