Although I have been running since the stress fracture mended, my left leg has never felt quite right. There have been all sorts of aches and twinges just above the ankle and a dull ache along the plantar fascii; however there has been lack of pattern to the aches and I have been unable to tie them to any run or type of activity. As a precaution I have therefore been cautious in mileage, surface and speed – just sort of ticking along really. This does nothing to increase my fitness and I have needed large dollops of faith to believe that everything will be OK in the end.
Now I actually believe things will be all right because I have had one of those blinding eureka moments when another example of my stupidity became clear. The problems are the result of my posture at work, where a large part of the day is spent in front of a computer. Without being aware I have tended to sit for long periods with my legs bent backwards under the seat, on the toes of my left foot with my right ankle resting on my left Achilles. This has stressed my tendons with a passive weight and kept the plantar fascii under tension – not very clever. When this suddenly became clear I stopped. Magically my foot has started to feel easier. I am now making a conscious effort to sit straighter, be more balanced, and keep both feet on the ground in front of me. This must be good.
It only goes to show that not everything on your run is caused by running. What we do throughout the day: how we hold ourselves, how we move, how much we move, all contribute to how we run. If we repeatedly put our body out of balance we will create a weakness that running will magnify because the pounding of running makes it an attritional activity like water on the landscape.
The problem is that most of what we do during the day is habitual and unconscious and it is difficult to be continually aware and know whether we are doing the right thing.
I think I will just have to try harder.