Diary of an Injured Runner Take 2

After my somewhat miracle cure for my tendonitis, I’m pleased to say I’m back to ‘normal’ and I can walk, which is the main thing!

Monday

My foot felt so good today, it’s the best day it’s been since the beginning of my injury. Clearly, my brain has decided to accept that I am actually not in any pain and I can walk fine #ThanksBrain

Tuesday

My first time at the gym in weeks! When I sat down on that spin bike I felt so happy I was probably smiling like a weirdo.

I decided to do my favourite Trip and it felt great! I have definitely lost fitness though as it felt super difficult but that’s ok, onwards and upwards.

After my spin stint I thought now would be a great time to test out my foot. I hopped onto the treadmill and did a little walk for around 5 minutes and then upped the speed to a slow jog pace.

Except my foot was agony from the second I started running! Sometimes, when you first start running, you get pains here and there and often they run themselves out and you can run comfortably. This is not what happened.

My plan was to run for 5 minutes and then call it quits but I was in so much pain after 1 minute I had to stop.

I was a little gutted. All that hard work and recovery and I’m not really much recovered from the injury at all.

Wednesday

Eugh, I was in pain today walking around but I think my footwear hasn’t helped much with this. I wore ballet pumps which slop off my foot a lot and don’t have much cushioning in the soles.

By the time I got home I was almost in a panic that my foot felt exactly as it did the day my injury surfaced so I made sure I rested for the duration of the evening.

Thursday

Another bad foot day today. I had to wear some questionable footwear to work but I had to choose comfort over fashion…

Friday

Still suffering with my foot today, I’m disappointed that I’m set back and still unable to run but I will use the spin bike and swim in the meantime, there’s no way I can go through that again and potentially end up in an even worse position.

In unrelated running news, I went to a friend’s house and we had a tequila party and watched a Zac Efron film while eating pizza and snacks…. it really was a perfect evening!

Saturday

I’m definitely taking this relaxing business a little too seriously and had another night in with my BFF to watch the final of The Circle.

We had circle-shaped snacks and drank a copious amount of prosecco (bubbles are round right).

I really wanted Tim to win but I was happy he’d won the viewer’s vote.

Sunday

Ah lazy Sundays. Had a lovely relaxing day today.

The plan for next week is to go back to the gym on Tuesday and test my foot on the spin bike as that was such a success last time and then do some strength training and swimming instead of running.

The Great South run was televised today and I watched a little bit of the beginning. I’m always fascinated that people can become such great runners without becoming injured!

Eilish McColgan was the female winner of the 10-mile race with a time of 51:36 which puts her second on the British all-time list behind Paula Radcliffe, who ran 51.11 in 2008.

She made it look so easy, she’s a total inspiration.

How to Not Go Stir-Crazy When You’re Suffering From an Injury

Belle’s Running Blog is, at the moment, ‘Belle’s Hobbling Blog’!

I’ve been diagnosed with tendonitis in my right foot and I’ve been unable to put weight on it for nearly 2 weeks to date, with no signs of improvement any time soon.

This means my normal routines have been difficult to maintain and day to day life has been challenging.

While I wouldn’t describe myself as ‘outdoorsy’ I would say that I was active and sitting on the sofa for weeks on end isn’t my idea of a relaxing time!

So here are some tips on how you can keep upbeat if you’ve become a little immobile and I’ll share some of the tricks I use to get around the house.

Keep to a morning routine

If you’re stuck at home and unable to leave the house, try and still keep to your usual morning routine.

For me, this is washing my face, brushing my teeth, moisturising, doing my hair, putting in my contact lenses and getting dressed. I’m not ‘dressing up’ necessarily but I make sure I completely change out of the clothes I went to bed in to get me out of ‘slob’ mode.

Change the air

If you aren’t able to change your surroundings throughout the day, try and change the air in the room that you’re in.

The weather right now is a little chilly, but I like to open the back door, let the rabbit have a run around the garden and get a bit of fresh air into the house (even if he does get soaking wet from sitting outdoors).

When it starts to get dark I light some candles, switch on my cozy lights and change the mood in the house.

Do small household chores

I’m pretty immobile at the moment but I’m trying my best to keep on top of some easy household chores. Not only does this get me off of the sofa but it makes my living space just a little nicer, instead of trying to fight through a mountain of dishes (not so good for my mood).

I push my little footstool up against the sink and kneel up to do the washing up which only takes a few minutes. I’m not exactly cooking large elaborate meals at the moment because I can’t stand for long so I don’t have too much washing up to start with.

Try and stick to a healthy diet

When you eat rubbish, you feel rubbish and if you’re suffering from an injury, you’re probably already feeling rubbish enough already.

Try and have some healthy snacks and food in your cupboards so you’re not reaching for the chocolate bars and crisps. If you don’t have anything healthy in, order your groceries so it’s delivered to your home so there are no excuses.

Think of things like carrot sticks and hummus, celery and peanut butter and other quick and healthy snacks that don’t need any preparation.

Buy already prepared salad mixes so you don’t have to chop anything to make meals much quicker and easier to prepare (also less washing up!).

Don’t isolate yourself

Invite friends or family over to give yourself a little change of scenery. Sitting at home staring at the same 4 walls is bound to drive you insane if you’re unable to get around for a long period of time.

If you aren’t able to invite friends or family over but you have a furry friend, give them lots of cuddles and attention instead. They’re bound to feel grateful for the extra attention.

Do things that make you happy

Watch your favourite film or do something that makes you happy like watching some YouTube tutorials and practice some new makeup. Preferably you want to do something that gets you up and moving as much as you can so dust off some of your hobbies and don’t sit stagnant on the couch.

Bust out your favourite nail polish and paint your nails to make you feel a bit more glam.

Mobility Tips

Crutches

If you’re able to use crutches I’d say go for it. It gives you a lot more freedom to get around while also resting injured areas and I feel like I’m going to recover a lot quicker by keeping the weight off my foot.

I was previously hobbling around and most likely injuring other areas of my body by walking in a skewed way.

Props

My footstool has been my absolute lifesaver. It means I’m able to kneel up to the sink to do the washing up and do some bits and pieces. I’ll also put things on top of it and push it along the floor so I don’t have to carry anything.

Backpack

This might seem like a weird suggestion but if I need to carry something from one area of the house to another, I’ll pop it into my backpack so I can carry things better upstairs or just around the house without unbalancing myself too much (especially while on crutches).

Don’t go anywhere empty-handed

A rule that I use to keep my house tidy even when I’m not injured, don’t move from one area of the house to another empty-handed.

This is obviously more difficult if you’re having trouble walking in the first place or using crutches but if you’re able to take even something small with you, take it along with you.

This is going to be really useful in keeping your areas clean and tidy so you are eliminating any trip hazards and will also keep your home feeling homey rather than cluttered.

I hope some of these tips will help you feel a little better if you’re having difficulty getting around. Keep your spirits up, trust in the healing process and use this as an opportunity to relax!

Runner on Crutches – A Shocking Diagnosis

What a week! I get a totally shocking diagnosis this week after a swift visit to A&E when my pain came back and became unbearable… you won’t believe what they told me and how they fixed it!

To get you up to speed if you’re new here, in a nutshell, I ran 3 weeks ago and had slight pain on the top of my foot, which I’ve never had pain there before, but it wasn’t awful. I wore my heels in work all day Monday and all felt fine but then when I put them on Tuesday morning I had to take them off because I was in so much pain.

Since then I’ve not been able to walk properly or put any weight on it, which is putting my 10k PB dreams further and further back.

I had a disastrous time trying to get an x-ray a week after the pain started, I then had an appointment with my Doctor to discuss said x-ray the following week and was diagnosed with tendonitis and given painkillers and told to rest.

Nearly 2 weeks to the day from the first day of pain, I was starting to feel much better and was able to put a little bit of very cautious weight onto my foot which was great because I was able to get around a lot more… and here we are…

Sunday ~ finally feeling better

My foot has felt so much better this weekend, resting has clearly done a lot of healing. I’m using my crutches less and less which is great because it’s not easy using them.

Monday ~ back to square one

Everything was going so well…… woke up with ‘normal’ pain this morning while walking and hobbled around like I have been doing for nearly 2 weeks.

I was so glad that things were starting to look up and I was feeling super optimistic that I’d be back to walking in no time.

Except, as I was hobbling upstairs (not unusual), I felt a sharp pain where my tendon has been sore and that was it… it was so painful I couldn’t put it to the floor!!

So I’m now right back to square one and I’m upset (understatement).

I had a little bit of a meltdown because I feel like any progress I’d made the past few days has been ruined and there is nothing I can do about it.

Out came the crutches again and I’ve made the decision to not put my foot to the floor until I’m super confident that the pain has subsided considerably.

I may or may not have nearly fallen down the stairs trying to use my crutches (I just can’t do it, so going up on my knees and going down on my bum is the order of the day).

I know you’re not supposed to, but we all do, Google makes it seem like it’s a straightforward injury that will heal with around 2/3 weeks of rest. It suggests that you can do other forms of exercise, like cycling and swimming, rather than running while you recover.

That’s great, except I can’t put my foot to the floor without being in a considerable amount of pain so walking is out, let alone any forms of exercise.

I’m due to go to London in a months’ time and it’s not looking hopeful that I’ll be able to go, which will be awful… so I’m trying not to think about it.

So… back to square one, I’m not putting my foot to the ground at all, I’m making sure my foot is up the majority of the time, I’m putting frozen things on it when I can, I’m making sure I take my tablets and keep it out of the bath.

I’ve got my backpack out so I can carry things from upstairs / downstairs and use my crutches at the same time. I’ve also been wearing one of my trainers on my good foot to reduce some of the pressure from using it exclusively.

I look like I’m about to go on some sort of weird adventure, backpack on, one shoe…. looks totally legit.

(My good foot has definitely been suffering from all the hobbling and I’m a little worried that I’m going to end up with 2 bad feet…..).

I’m also trying to give my bad foot a little massage every now and then to try and keep the blood flowing around it and make sure that I’m moving it around a bit so I don’t end up with another problem!

This is, without a doubt, the worst injury I’ve ever had.

More frozen veg

Tuesday ~ mastering crutches

I’ve managed to keep off of my foot for a full day today using my crutches and I even managed to go up my stairs at home using them!

It definitely feels more ‘dangerous’ but it makes it so much easier to get around once I’m at the top instead of trying to haul myself off of the floor.

So I had that mini-accomplishment there but then when I got in bed I had the weirdest sensation in my foot.

It felt like all of the muscles from my ankle down we’re just about to get cramp. A little like a tingly sensation.

This went on for hours and I wasn’t able to sleep properly because the covers felt very heavy on it and it was so uncomfortable (I can’t put it outside the covers, the monsters might grab it).

Then I got a shooting pain up through the bottom of my foot and it hurt to even rest my foot on the bed… all fun stuff.

I haven’t suffered at all at night with pain or anything so it seems strange to me now all of a sudden I can’t have my foot touching anything because that hurts.

What the heck is wrong with my foot?! I’ve done so many google searches since I’ve been diagnosed and not one of them mentions anything about these symptoms!

2 weeks today was when the pain started and I’m even further away than I was at the beginning to being able to walk on it.

A very (un)helpful bunny

Wednesday ~ the worst day so far

My worst day with this injury by a mile.

I woke up this morning and my foot was in pain and still felt a little tingly. I spent even more time on Google trying to figure out what was ‘normal’ and how much longer I should expect to be out of action for.

I’m looking for just a little bit of hope or information on how much longer this is going to go on for. As per previous searches, I found nothing useful or reassuring.

While I was waiting for the bath to run, I looked down at my feet together and the right one definitely looks more swollen in comparison to the other.

I’ve been doing everything right so what is going wrong and why does it feel worse? I haven’t put my foot to the ground since Monday so it should only be feeling better going forward… except it’s not!

I decided I should call the doctor (he told me to return if it didn’t get better) and he advised that I should go to A&E because it should definitely be getting better, my tablets don’t seem to be working and because of the sudden pain I had on Monday.

So far, medically trained suggestions for my foot issue has been, a hairline fracture, tendonitis and gout.

All I know is I want to know what is wrong here so I can try and fix it ASAP.

Slightly swollen

Thursday ~ trip to A&E

The pain was really bad today and getting around the office is not easy but everyone is so lovely and I’m having to accept help from people which is very difficult for me (Miss Independent here).

My work BFF (and all around angel) Naomi, took me into A&E and I met my mum by the entrance.

I felt quite upbeat and I was glad I was going today in such a positive mood as opposed to yesterday (definitely not positive).

I went in on my crutches as I still can’t put my foot to the ground but luckily we didn’t have to wait long before we saw the doctor.

The doctor looked over my original X-ray results and she said I had lovely straight toes (I took that as a compliment) and there was definitely no break there.

She asked me a bunch of questions and then tried loads of manipulation on my entire foot, bending my toes back, forward, each toe and so on and it was super weird how I didn’t feel any pain at any point.

‘I’m not faking it I swear, it’s been really difficult to pinpoint the pain because when I walk my entire foot hurts’ I explained, feeling pretty sheepish that it appeared to be ‘fine’. I was so confused.

She then held a finger under one of my little toes and had me putting a little weight, then 50% then all of my weight onto my bad foot and it didn’t hurt at any point.

I was thinking this is so weird that none of this seems to hurt!

The doctor then put a little bit of gauze and tape under the toe she’d had her finger underneath and asked me to go onto my tiptoes.

Miracle tape

This was the ultimate pain for me as any bending backwards of my toes has always hurt immediately which is why walking has been so difficult.

Except… it felt…. absolutely fine!

By this point I’m thinking that it must be this toe or this tendon which is giving me trouble and having it taped is why I don’t feel any pain.

I then had to walk up and down the room, which was so difficult because I haven’t walked in 3 weeks, and the doctor was encouraging me to ‘walk normally’. Except I just couldn’t… but couldn’t say why.

‘How does it feel, does it hurt?’ she asked me. ‘It feels…… I can’t explain it… like I’ve got really bad pins and needles through my entire foot’.

‘Ok, come and take a seat and I’ll tell you what’s going on’. As soon as she said that I knew exactly what she was going to say and I felt embarrassed straight away.

‘So you can walk normally because there’s nothing wrong with your foot, your brain has been telling you there’s pain there, but there isn’t’.

I’ve never felt so happy and mortified all at the same time!

She explained to me it was a little like the phantom limb phenomenon where people who have lost limbs swear that there’s pain or itching in the limb that’s now missing.

I couldn’t believe it. So my ‘brain’ hasn’t been doing this the entire time can I add!

She thinks I started with the injury (which I tried to push through and hobble on for over a week) but over time my brain was telling me it hurt when it didn’t after it had healed.

This makes sense that I could only find recovery times for tendonitis at 1/2 weeks yet mine seemed to go on and on.

You’re probably thinking I’m a total hypochondriac at this point but I’m the absolute opposite of this!

When I first had the pain I was like nah it will be fine, and only went to the doctor after I’d been suffering for a week, which in itself is completely against my usual behaviour.

When he diagnosed me with tendonitis and he told me a recovery time of around 2 weeks I said to myself ‘no way I will rest it very well and I’ll recover way before that’.

The day after I sustained the injury, I was going to go to the gym, even though I couldn’t walk properly and had a very noticeable hobble. I only didn’t go because my colleagues convinced me it wasn’t a good idea.

Thinking I can’t do things is not my style. I think that’s the number one thing that makes you a great runner!

You mentally have to push yourself when you’re exhausted, defeated and have all the will to stop… yet you don’t, you carry on despite these things.

I am without a doubt a determined person. Once I make up my mind about something I’m doing it.

So while I hobbled in on crutches on the way into the doctor’s office, I came out walking!

Anyone who saw me in the waiting room must have thought that they were witnessing a miracle seeing me walk out! (If It were me, I’d be thinking I want to see THAT doctor!).

Mum and I were laughing the whole way out in total disbelief.

Then we walked, perfectly normally, out of A&E about half a mile to the car park to go home!

I messaged people on the way home telling them ‘it was in my head’ and most people thought I was being sarcastic or just trying to be funny.

Then people were like ‘wait, what…??’

I felt like a total idiot! When did my brain take over and decide I was still in pain? How long had I been ‘recovered’??

I’d been so miserable not being able to get around and yesterday I even sat on the edge of the sofa and said to myself ‘just get up, just stand up and walk’! But didn’t…

I don’t know how much longer it would have gone on if I hadn’t gone to A&E!! Imagine that!

When I got home I just couldn’t process the whole thing. It didn’t make sense to me why and how my brain had done that.

The doctor had told me that I wasn’t going crazy and it wasn’t my fault and encouraged me to go home and look up some examples of other people who had the same thing.

Then I spent the entire evening trying to make it make sense to me and I couldn’t. I felt silly, confused and then confused some more.

Friday ~ it’s a miracle

Much like when I walked into A&E on crutches and walked out without them, I walked into the office this morning perfectly fine.

I still have the tape under my toe which I’m a little scared to take off! She gave me some to go home with and I have to reduce the thickness of it little by little as it’s ‘training my brain’ to think differently about my foot’.

The look on some people’s faces when I walked in was priceless. I was concerned that people wouldn’t believe me but it made no sense for me to make it up either!

I’m not sure if someone told me the same thing whether I’d believe them! But everyone seemed convinced that I was telling the truth which was such a relief!

Lots of people said to me that their doctor had told them that their condition was all in their head too except it was undeniable that I couldn’t walk yesterday but today, I could… there was legitimately no other explanation for my recovery!

I did have some pain throughout the day though but it was back where my original injury was so it feels ‘real’. Or was it? I was so confused!

By the time I drove home it was agony but when I stepped foot at home it seemed to be gone!

My brain feels broken so I don’t know if I do actually have some pain from my injury and walking on it all day has just made it sore… or is it not sore at all…

I’ll literally never know!

Saturday ~ ‘running’ errands

I’m still so cautious putting my foot to the ground but I had a ton of stuff to do now that I could get around.

Where I live, the car parking situation at the shopping centre is atrocious so I had to try 3 different car parks before I could find a space and it was on the opposite side to where I needed to go.

Usually, I’d walk the entire way from home but I didn’t think that was a good idea because I was still a little shaky on my foot and ankle.

I had to park really far away and with a mild hobble at that.

By the time I’d run my errands I was walking really well and I’ve only got a little pain (or do I) in my ankle and the inside of my foot presumably from underuse.

I’m very upset that my gym app now says I am ‘low activity’ as it’s usually ‘very high’ but all in good time… I can’t WAIT to get back on the spin bike!

We all take our health for granted and it’s only when we’re struck down that we reminisce to the days when we were better and scolding ourselves for not appreciating it more.

I was ecstatic that I could walk up the stairs unaided, that I could bend down and say hello to Teddy Bun, I could get in and out of the bath, do my washing and the biggest one I COULD CARRY FOOD/DRINK OUT OF THE KITCHEN!

So please look after yourselves, appreciate your health (hoping you’re in good health) and go and live out your dreams!

You only get one life, you must live it while you can because there are no second chances! This is is! Your time is RIGHT. NOW!

196 Day Challenge ~ Week 5

This week, I get a diagnosis for my ‘hobble’ and it’s not the best news but it’s also not the worst news ever.

Sunday ~ day 29

After all of my hobbling around on the weekend, today is going to be a total rest day because I perhaps over did it going out in town Friday and Saturday nights…

Monday ~ day 30

Against my better judgement, I decided to drive today. I hate asking for help, I hate not being able to do things myself but it perhaps wasn’t the smartest decision.

Driving didn’t hurt too bad but it definitely didn’t feel good either. Unfortunately, everything is really far away in the office so I had to do a lot of hobbling around.

I’m trying not to let this put my challenge to a halt!

Tuesday ~ day 31

Managed to keep off my feet a fair bit today but it didn’t help the pain

Wednesday ~ day 32

Finally got a resolution today, and there was no break on the x-ray which was great news!

The doctor thinks I have tendonitis though and I’ve been given some really strong painkillers and anti-inflammatory tablets and been told to rest it.

I’m not good at resting and I’m not good at not being able to do to things so these things are going to be the real challenge.

What is also a challenge is trying to carry my drinks out of the kitchen without spilling them all over the floor… turns out, I can actually solve this one!

Thursday ~ day 33

Obviously, no improvements today which is unfortunate and disappointing. I thought that with all of this down-time, I’d be able to get tons of Spanish done amongst other things but I’ve been a total slob and just sat on the sofa and watched Netflix

Friday ~ day 34

Tried to make an effort and get myself off of the sofa today. I dare say my foot feels a little better so I don’t need my crutches quite as much now but I’m still very much hobbling and very much in pain.

I made a list of all of the things that I need to do to make myself feel better now that I can’t get around and I’m going stir crazy already and I’ve only been ‘resting’ it since Wednesday!

Saturday ~ day 35

I’m still in pain and still hobbling around but my foot feels ever so slightly better today. All this rest and those tablets are clearly doing some good.

I’ve already been thinking about when I can get back to the gym! I’m absolutely devastated that I’m wasting my money not being able to go. If I could get there to swim that would be great but I still can’t drive at the moment so I’ll have to be patient a while longer.

I even considered using my spin bike at home and cycling with one leg… I mean, it’s still an option!

One thing we always take for granted is when we’re healthy and well and when we’re struck down with sickness we think ‘I wish I’d appreciated being healthy’

I’ve been out of action before but I’ve never been this immobile for quite so long and it’s been a mental challenge as well as a physical one.

I feel like I’m just about seeing a dot of light on the horizon and I’ve got high hopes for a breakthrough next week! Watch this space because the days are ticking by and I’m not intending to waste any more of them!

Why women make such great runners

Who run the world… Girls!!! Literally!

Don’t been fooled by our quaffed hair and dainty mannerisms, women make the best runners and here are some of the reasons why.

They have amazing mental resilience

The modern-day woman has to deal with full time high pressured jobs, multiple children, husbands, partners, parents, social lives, keeping fit, maintaining a home, improving themselves, living their best lives and generally keeping everyone happy.

If that doesn’t show tough mental resiliance then I don’t know what does. If you can keep on top of any one of those things then running is a walk in the park in comparison!

Let’s not also forget that women have to deal with catcalling, name-calling and safety issues all while trying to get a run in.

Women are physically strong

While men are naturally stronger than women, women are proving that across very long distances, they’re running right alongside even the best male endurance runners.

In April 2018, Desiree Linden won the Boston Marathon under extreme weather conditions to beat all of the other men out there, which is all the proof you need!

They have supportive friends

Women turn out in flocks to attend Race for Life events (which have always been for women only but I believe men are now able to participate) and they support each other every step of the way.

Tanya’s fallen over in her fancy dress outfit but, unlike guys who would likely spend at least a couple of seconds laughing, the rest of the girls are there to give her a hand up and a motivational boost ‘run like Brad Pitt is standing at the finish line’.

Running is harder for women but they get on with it anyway

Women typically carry more body fat, have a higher risk of injury due to hip positioning and have smaller hearts to move the oxygen around their body than men. But even though compared to men they’re at a slight disadvantage, they don’t mope around the house feeling sorry for themselves, they get out and run anyway, despite these challenges!

They are tenacious

If you’ve ever run with a male of any kind, doesn’t it always seem like they can do half the amount of training and run twice as easier as you? But you know what, they’re still going to run with you.

If you think being a female runner is awesome too, let me know why you think you make such a great runner too!