Epsom 10 – 22 November 2009

After Saturday’s 7.5 mile cross country race in Wimbledon Common I knew this was going to be a real tough one – and I had no plans of racing it hard.  The plan was to ‘back up’ the previous days run with a solid 10 miler around some new surroundings.

The weather was windy but the rain was just about holding off and at 9:30 prompt 235 runners headed off from Epsom Downs on this 10 mile undulating course.

The first mile is downhill and pretty fast, but you soon have to head back uphill – and this was pretty much the story of the race – up, down, up down, and so on.  I was feeling surprisingly good in my legs and only lost a couple of positions once we’d settled down.

At about 7 miles the top of my left foot started to hurt.  I’ve no idea why or how – it was just a gradual pain that seemed to get worse.  It was as if my shoe was laced up too tightly (which it wasn’t).  The pain got worse and the last mile really wasn’t much fun.  Rather than run on my mid/forefoot (which I often do) I was forced to run more on my heels to minimise any pain.

The final turn into the finish at the Queens Stand at Epsom racecourse was something different – it was blowing a gale at this point and because of a funnelling effect from the surrounding buildings the 50 metres or so into the finish was unbelievable – you were barely moving because of the headwind!  It felt so so slow.  I crossed the line in 33rd position with a time of 67:17 which was good considering the previous days race and my foot pain.

After collecting my finishers momento and watching the prizegiving (the race was won in 54:06) I hobbled back to the car.

This is a great race, with friendly marshals and great directional signs on the course ensuring that you can’t get lost.  Thanks to Epsom and Ewell Harriers for running the event.  I thought that finishing at the racecourse was great, and with the prizegiving/HQ in the jockeys weighing room it made the event a bit more special.

Something was seriously wrong with my foot so later in the day I went to the A&E department at the local hospital and they took a couple of X-rays.  There was no sign of any break or fracture (the problem is around the metatarsal on my middle toe) so they sent me home for rest, ice and ibuprofen.

Two days later I’m still hobbling badly but it does seem to improve during the day.  Most bizarre.  I’m now taking some rest from running (well, I can barely walk!) so will try and get some swimming done instead.  Yes its a pain but I’m not completely hacked off about it….yet.

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