So I was taking part in the Round Norfolk Relay. My favourite event of the year in the running calendar. A relay of 17 in a team, covering 198 miles
of the Norfolk border carrying a baton. Over 60 teams taking part. I was team manager so was up and ready at the start for 6:30am on Saturday morning to start the clock running for our first runner Louise and her support cyclist Louise. Then moving on to each handover to press the stop watch lap button as the baton is past on to the next runner in our team.
I put myself down to run the longest leg of the 17, running nearly 20 miles from Scole to Thetford starting at about midnight. With Louise as my support cyclist and behind me in the night support car, Chris and Ritchie.
I was feeling really good to start with, very comfortable and keeping my pace down nice and steady as I knew there were a few inclines to run up further along the route. If you ran this route in daylight you’d be bored to tears. It’s basically straight on and straight over a few roundabouts. Running through Thetford forest at that time of night is great with trees either side of you and no light other than that provided by the support car behind you.
Less than 5 miles in I started to feel a bit of discomfort in my right foot. Nothing unusual there, I always run with discomfort in that foot. However as the miles ticked by the foot discomfort turned to being painful. Eventually it was bad enough to mention it to Louise. Lou Lou is great at knowing when to chat and when not to. She knows when I struggle I don’t want chat – so she fell silent. By the 11th mile I was really struggling and had started to run with a limp, eventually I pulled over to give my foot a wiggle and a stretch. I ran on for a short while but around the 12th mile Louise came up with the idea of stopping for pain killers which we hoped the support car had. Ritchie had thought of just about everything and gave me two nurofen. So after a further 3 miles of hobbling down the road the pain killers kicked in and I was able to pick up a bit more pace and five miles later, after counting to 100 several times (my mantra when things are hard work), I managed to pass the baton on to Charlotte (who, by the way was 19 weeks pregnant). Ritchie had lobbed an ice pack out the window to Louise so that was ready for me when I stopped.
So limping I carried on visiting each hand over until Sunday morning when it was all over. I drove home and eventually by midday I took my trainers off. What I saw made me realise I had done something bad to it. By the evening I knew it really wasn’t right and needed to go to A&E. So one x-ray later and it’s confirmed that I have a fracture of the 2nd metatarsal – slightly displaced and they also confirmed that the pain I normally run with is arthritis in the first metatarsal.
The fracture clinic rang me the next day to tell me to keep my lovely hospital shoe on for 4 weeks then ween myself out of it into rigid shoes. Strict instructions from the consultant to not run or cycle for at least 6 to 8 weeks.