The foot story

Well, I promised during a previous story to tell you the story about the foot. It’s important that you read this post carefully 🙂 There are a lot of lessons in it that I learned the hard way. It would be great if some of you could avoid this burden and allthough I will never know …

It all started last year when I was quite eager to run harder, faster, stronger. I felt like I could do better but then I needed good coaching. I found the perfect coach. A good coach is something personal. It has to fit. Tim and I understand each other. Tim has seen many athletes like me before who wanted to improve desperately and he knows how to handle people like me 😉
So I started running different, and slowly I became better. To me this was quite addictive. Endurance to me feels very much like a drug. It just feels great when you feel you are improving. Running more in a natural way (natural running) also means you need better shoes. So I bought a new pair of running shoes. The advice in the shop was not to switch from one day to the other to the new shoes. I had to use them next to my old shoes. What I didn’t keep in mind was that both shoes were actually completely different. The old shoes were classic running shoes with a quite high heeldrop. The new one’s were natural running shoes with a much lower heeldrop. So when I started to run longer distances I was actually forcing my legs and feet to adapt to a different position each time I switched between the two types of shoes.
That was actually the reason I had a first (small) injury. I should have thrown away the old shoes much sooner. It was an infection in my right foot. I had to rest for 2 weeks.
Of course, you should already get to know me by now, I wanted to come back as quick as possible. I bought another pair of natural running shoes and switched between these 2 pairs from one training session to the other. But this time I switched between 2 pairs with a low heeldrop. So far so good.
It took me a few weeks to get back were I left before the injury and I felt like I was getting better, faster. During training with my friends I noticed that I ran better compared to them and compared to last year. I knew I was starting to see progress and I felt like doing more. I ran faster and more than was mentioned on my schema. I thought that running 25km’s in stead of 20 was not that big of an issue. It isn’t, if you do this only once in a while. It is if you do this every week.
So one day, during an interval training, with speed work of 2 minutes with 1 minute of rest, I ran quite fast through a corner and felt something in my right foot. It hurt at the moment. Afterwards it was less painful. The morning after when I came out of bed I felt something was wrong, but as the day evolved the pain went away. I could still run but I always felt like something was not really ok in that foot. I kept on running because I didn’t want to stop and rest again like in September. Winter was coming so during the holidays of Christmas and New Year I could train less and then I thought this little injury would heal.
And so I did, for about 2 weeks I ran less and even a whole week I did not touch my running shoes. I planned to do a testrun of 5k to see how it felt and I must say, it felt like someone was putting a knife in my foot. Almost halfway I had to stop and walk back home. I realized something was wrong. I made an appointment for an x-ray, I even took my bicycle to get there, and the doctor told my my foot was broken.
Nice … That was not the gift I was expecting under the Christmas tree.
The doctor said that I couldn’t do much but rest and tape 2 toes together to stabilize the bones. It was my second metatarsal in my right foot that was broken. But then, on newyear’s eve, my wife and I were preparing some nice food in the kitchen, when the phone rang. It was my doctor to tell my she had looked again at the x-ray and discussed it with the orthopedist. She told me I needed plaster to fix the foot and that the hospital was already expecting me.
Really nice … We spent New Year’s eve in a room at the emergency room where my foot and my leg up to my knee got plastered.
Already after one day I felt that the lower part of the plaster, the part around the foot, became quite soft. So in fact, the part around my calve was hard as a rock, the part around the foot (where the injury was located) was as soft as a spunge. To me it felt useless to keep this plaster. How on earth would it help me to stabilize the bones in my foot with a soft plaster? So I decided to remove the plaster. I had worn it for 3 full days.
The next day, my wife had an appointment at the doctor for our baby son and she told the doctor about my plaster. She was furious! How could I be so stupid to remove this plaster? Well, because it made no sense. Really! So she suggested an alternative. I got a prescription for an Aircast Boot. On the same day, by noon, my wife picked me up at work and we went to the store where we bought this Aircast. I wore it for 2 months. I can advice this to anyone in the same situation. Aircast rules! It is comfortable, light, has inflatable zones to fix the bones in the foot, I mean, really, this thing was a thousand times better than the plaster I had.
Another advantage of this Aircast is that you can remove to take a shower, or to go to sleep. I could even ride my bike on a Tacx trainer!
Eventually I have worn the Aircast for 2 months, then started rehab and started running again after another 2 months. Yet another 2 months later I did my first triathlon (quarter distance). For my body, I think, it is good to switch sports. My body needs the cross-training. Even for people not aiming to do triathlon, I would advice to do some cross-training and go cycling once a week or something. For example to prepare for a marathon I can assure you that cycling will help.
Keep training,
Nico