Holism

For the last few weeks my running effort has been consistently quite high, which sounds good, but I’m not so sure. I did a couple of long runs last weekend and then I remember feeling ’empty’ Sunday afternoon. Not tired, more drained.

This last week was better, but I seem to be having a bit of an anxiety relapse at the moment. Maybe it’s also because I’m still gradually coming off the tablets, but I feel very bleh today. I woke up at 4 AM and felt quite stressed, which is something I used to experience all the time, but I haven’t had it lately. I feel tired now because of that. I don’t know if I feel worse now because I’m tired. I want to wake up tomorrow feeling well rested and content. I think whether I am awake at 4AM is a good barometer for my mental health.

I don’t really feel like I’m running any more than I have been doing, but I have various apps tracking my running intensity using various methods and they’re all saying I’m training the hardest I have been since I got a heart rate monitor just over a year ago. I don’t feel like I am, but the numbers say I am. Maybe I am over training a little. I don’t know.

The other thing is that I have something called a neuroma in my foot. Or at least, something with the symptoms of a neuroma (I had an ultrasound a few years ago which didn’t show anything, but the podiatrist I was subsequently referred to thought the ultrasound was probably not significant. And after trying to look at ultrasound images of neuromas myself, I have to agree with him).

So, a neuroma is basically an enlarged nerve. They can cause a lot of pain (it’s a nerve), but for me it’s been nothing but the odd twinge or tingle for years, possibly thanks to a pair of insoles the podiatrist gave me, which have a metatarsal dome on them to lift the metatarsal bones when I run. Neuromas are not uncommon and they can be removed surgically, and if they’re limiting your life then that makes sense, but for me, I’d like to avoid it getting to that point. (Paula Radcliffe had one removed). I mean, I think inevitably one day I will upset it a bit too much and I’ll have to have it removed, but I’m hoping that’s 15+ years away.

Unfortunately lately it’s been twinging and tingling quite a lot more than it used to. I think I set it off by wearing a new pair of shoes, either because I didn’t have the insole in, or because they were laced slightly too tight (I suspect this option), or perhaps even because it’s been so hot and my feet have swelled a bit and put more pressure on the nerve.

The problem with the insole is I have only one pair and it’s really worn. I have tried so hard to find a replacement and it’s just painful. Most of them are unfit for purpose because they’re too soft, they’re not durable, the dome is so big that it completely misses the point, blah blah blah, maybe there’s the perfect metatarsal dome on Amazon but it’s hidden in a sea of rubbish. The insoles I have are from a German company called but trying to get hold of another set in this country is near impossible (unless you’re the NHS, presumably).

Anyway, I did some research and there is an alternative method people use, which is to cut out the dome shape from a sheet of self adhesive podiatric felt and then stick that into your shoe. I ordered a sheet of felt and I now have a lump of it stuck to my shoe. I’m not completely convinced, because it’s flat and not a dome, but maybe that doesn’t matter. We’ll see.

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