This is what pain looks like. This is torture in its purest physical form.
This is a foam roller, and it hates you.
I realise it doesn’t look like much – a tube with padding on it – but that’s its most insidious quality. That’s how it gets you.
After last week’s footsplosion I’ve been trying to rest up. My biggest fear, especially with a sixty-nine mile race just five weeks away*, is that I’ve developed plantar fasciitis. If you are also a runner you will know what that is and shudder at the thought. If you are not, then know only that it is lingering, crippling foot-hurtyness for which there is no quick fix and which makes distance running almost impossible. It is a bad thing.
As well as resting I have been rolling my foot daily, trying to loosen it up and work out the kinks.
And I have foam rollered using the above device, particularly along my calves. The principle is simple. Place leg atop roller. Lift rest of self so body weight is applied. Roll back and forth and get a splendid deep tissue massage.
Seriously, it hurts a hell of a lot. I broke out in a cold sweat and felt sick the first time I got to work on it. It absolutely hates me. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s immediately effective, I would never have used it again.
But it is effective. As soon as I stood up I could feel new life and flexibility in my legs. It’s absolutely brilliant.
But also I hate it and it hates me back.
We have a very confusing relationship.
I have also replaced my running shoes. Nothing makes my better half light up with joy more than discovering I have bought more shoes. It’s like an explosion of purely encouraging joy.
Tomorrow I’ll put them to use, and see if I have it right this time. If they don’t actually cripple me it will be an improvement on the last set. I’ll also discover whether that rolling has been for an actual purpose and the foot pain is gone, or whether I’ve been hurting myself for no reason at all because the Interwebz said so.
So not only am I running for sixty-nine miles along Hadrian’s Wall next month, but I’m also inflicting daily doses of agony on myself to get there. That’s got to be worth a sponsor, right?
*Holy crap I can see it on my calendar, turnitoffturnitoffturnitoff!