If I were you, I’d pass on and not read this post at all. I can guarantee you it will be 100% whinefest from start to finish. I can barely contain myself. I just want to scream “Injured!” out there to the whole wide world. I don’t even care if they listen. So pass on. You’ve been warned.

But, if you insist on staying…

It’s my feet, right? Kinda essential to this whole running lark.

They clash with my determination, somewhat. Feet scream “Stop!” Determination says “No F*cking Way” (Determination has a limited range of vocabulary). And so the ugly cycle has been running(or not) for the past year and more.

So, waaaayyy back, a million years ago in 2012 when I was training for my first and only marathon, Feet fell apart a couple of times. And Determination kept on going. Almost literally fell apart. I’m not kidding. Like the whole sensation was of my feet spreading. They didn’t look any different when I ripped off my runners and socks (oh boy, the relief of that!) but each step after that was A-G-O-N-Y. That was one of the pre marathon Long Slow Runs. And, dress rehearsal that the LSR is, I was well prepped when the same thing happened to me on the actual marathon. Just well prepped enough to rip off the socks, pop the runners back on and let Determination take me through thirteen more miles of AGONY.

Of course my feet were in bits after that. I was, to all intents and purposes, hobbled.

Went to a podiatrist two weeks after the marathon. She told me my joints were hypermobile. That explained a childhood with easily sprained ankles, tons of flexibility, a love of gymnastics and a predisposition to fall over easily.

Not the best condition for running. But Determination is a lousy listener.

Somehow, with swimming and biking as two alternatives for maintaining fitness. I managed to keep the fitness going and stay on my feet to some degree.

I wore the orthotics that the podiatrist had prescribed. Bloody dear things, in my opinion. Not ones moulded specially to my foot but mass produced rigid ones for around the heel and halfway along the sole. €100 a pair. How could two heel inserts be that expensive..

Mind you,they certainly stopped my falling over on a couple of occasions-I could actually feel the grip in the heel. But, my feet still ached after-and often, during- a run.

This has had an adverse effect on my mileage. When I’m out there the skin and tendons in my feet hurt. But more especially after a run. And especially when I get up first thing in the morning. I put my foot on the floor and gah! I almost crumble from the achiness in my feet.

It was something I really wanted to sort out this week. So I changed orthotics. Bought a Scholl Sports Orthotics in the local chemists. Unlike my prevous orthotic, this runs under my troubled sole (sorry, couldn’t resist!) as well. And I bought a foot and ankle that purports to help “fallen arches”.

I’ll get to the more technical part of ‘Fallen arches’ in some other post. Or maybe I won`t. But for now, it`s enough to know that I am a fallen woman with a troubled sole.


The test run wouldn’t be a run at all. But a walk. See, walking is something that bugs my poor feet even more than running. I’d do my damnedest to walk around a place only to feel that foot achiness striking up even sooner than on a run. And the worst bit was resting immediately afterwards-say, on the bus journey home and then I’d feel like screaming “_________(Insert your choice cuss words)” as soon as I’d set foot on the ground.

I’d swear our national bus company, Bus Éireann would hand me out a free bus pass just from analysing my gait at the end of a bus journey. (And I’d take it now too, thanks very much cos it sure won’t be there when I hit 65.)

But, happy days! Last week, I slipped those new orthos into my boots, whipped on the ankles supports and walked all around Dublin and down to the Patrick Scott exhibition in the IMMA.(Yes, blog post to follow, but don’t wait for it, just go to the exhbitions yourself.) And No Pain! No Discomfort! Determination didn’t know what to do with herself( Yeah, ‘course Determination is female.)

I even failed the Does She Need a Bus Pass test at the end of the bus journey. Not that my feet were totally ache free mind, but boy, there was a difference.

All good, I thought. And ran five miles Saturday and another three yesterday.

But yesterday`s three miler was telling, though. This time the achiness came back in my ankles, not in the soles or arch area. Just like the pain had shifted most of its focus somewhere else. And last night, when I hauled myself off the sofa, well darn, I could’ve passed the Bus Pass Test again. Totally hobbled.

In all of this, of course, you won’t hear me mention going to any experts anywhere. beyond that initial visit to the podiatrist. See, I still think, eighteen months on, I can resolve this injury myself. That Stubborness came with the package marked Determination (and possibly Cynicism and Parsimony). It also probably more than a smidgeon of Stupidity in there. But self acceptance is everything, right?

I’m heartened by this week’s results. Obviously doing the five mile and three mile back to back isn’t the wisest thing for my feet right now. Gotta take my time with this. Even though the package marked Determination rarely has room for Patience.

The new orthotics are helping a lot. So are the ankle supports.

This is just going to take a little more time. And Determination.

Now my only problem is that the day job is taking me on yet another secret mission this week. This time, to Italy. And most of that mission involves a serious amount of walking.

I bagged myself a restful day today. After that, its all up to my top secret weapons: my new orthotics and ankle supports.

Well, you’be been brill to get this far. I will reward you with a follow up report on my return. I may even get brave enough and try a quick post from my smartphone while I`m rambling around ancient Roman ruins.

However and whenever I post though, I promise it will be more winefest than whinefest.

11 thoughts on “Whinefest

  1. A good vintage whine (that refers to quality, not age, btw). Very frustrating (to put it mildly). Hope you get to do some good sightseeing in Italy and that the wine is good for both the soul and sole.

  2. i think we were separated at birth–I too have hypermobility in my feet/ankles and fell over often as a child! I always attributed it to having feet too small for my height. I second Still A Runner’s advice to see an orthopedist or podiatrist. One shoe I’m considering is the Hoka–super duper cushioned. They look almost ridiculous, but if you can find something that works, then it’s worth it. Enjoy Italy!

  3. I assume you’ve tried (with caution) minimalist support shoes? Funny how all the racing shoe manufacturers have quietly slipped lots of these into their range after many years of trumpeting support, stability, blah. I’m a believer in running as nature intended but not everyone is able to transfer, and I’d certainly caution that any such experiment is done very gradually. However I could never go back to ‘ordinary’ shoes and I carry a fair bit of weight around 🙂 Enjoy Italy.

  4. First off, can I have your job and if not, a position as your traveling assistant? Next, have you been to a really good running store where they have a pedorthist to fit your feet to a correct running shoe? Finally, consider seeing an orthopedist, one who has some experience. Not saying this is true for you, but sometimes when a) is hurting its not a) has a problem, but that b) has a problem resulting in pain in a). There is a resolution out there for this – just may take a little while to find it.

  5. Sorry RH but I had a real laugh at your expense this morning – I loved the internal chat between yourself and Determination, even with her limited vernacular vocabulary. I am truly sorry you’ve got trouble with your feet – I bet Pam Ayres has a poem about sore feet somewhere.
    Looking forward to the winefest after the secret mission is complete. Probably a good idea to purchase some roamin’ sandals while you’re there.

  6. So glad to hear of someone else with achy feet…. I am intrigued to know how Determination and orthotics work out… you could become my consultant!!!! Enjoy Italy…. if the feet ache, put them up and drink wine 🙂

  7. Whine away dear Red Hen. That is just plain annoying. Glad the new orthotics are working but don’t let Determination and Stubbornness take over looking after yourself.

    A secret mission to Italy. Sounds intriguing, I hope the feet and ankles can keep up with you 🙂 Take care!

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