Late November

No blogged a sporting blog for a bit. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been putting off putting some difficult thoughts down in writing.

To be very honest, my injured left foot is not really getting better. It’s nearly six months now since I started getting significant pain in the ball of my foot and my first two toes. This was traced to a failure of my medial arch. Kinesio taping provided temporary relief, and insoles with a high arch provide relative comfort when standing and walking. I survived six weeks walking in the Alps, during which time the pain didn’t increase, but didn’t go away, either.

I made a tentative resumption of training a couple of weeks after returning from the Alps. I saw this as “training for training”, and began quite gently. However, running still hurt. I worked around this, doing some good aerobic work on a static bike, and beginning some promising weights sessions. But what good is it if a sprinter can’t run?

It’s also reached that time when I need to set my strategic targets for 2013. That tends to be dictated by the need to arrange flights and accommodation for any major international events in the year. For 2013 these are the European Masters in San Sebastian, in Spain, in March, and the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy, in August. My problem is that I simply cannot envisage me being at either event.

I mean that literally. Part of the preparation is being able to “see” the event in the mind’s eye, and then to work towards it. I can’t. The image won’t come. Bottom line is that I’m just lacking the confidence or the drive to mortgage money and time on another event I fail to get to. That’s “another” on top of the World Masters Indoors in Finland last Easter and the European Masters outdoors in Germany in August. Failure to turn up is becoming a habit.

My priority, of course, is to repair my foot. Nothing happens anyway unless that happens. I get more advice on this shortly. Finding that where it hurts is probably not where the problem resides has made me very cautious about jumping to remedial conclusions.

I’ve already begun thinking in terms of a 2013 season built around just local competition. Possibly not even national championships. On one level, it makes sense. Masters athletics is based on five year age bands. I will be in the top year of my current age group in 2013. That will make it tough to do well, in terms of positions and wins. That’s not a disincentive as such, but objectively makes it a good year to step back from things, perhaps.

And that’s as far as I’ve reached at the moment. No decisions, no solutions, though I am acutely aware that if I just sit on my hands, the passage of time will rob me of some of my options. And writing it down is maybe a way of me coming to terms with the inevitable.


(ps: The title is that of a haunting Sandy Denny song)


One Response to “Late November”

  1. Jan Vlamings Says:

    Hi Tom,
    Sorry to hear that you probably will not compete in San Sebastian.
    For what it’s worth, I also had a painful foot that took a lot of false diagnoses before I found a solution.
    Please take a look at
    The simple home made pad did the trick for me.

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