The three dreaded letters, DNF, did not finish, something that you go out of your way to avoid and something you never wish on anybody.
Well for me yesterday it finally happened and I got my first DNF. There were however, some positives to take from this, firstly it happened during a Park Run, so it was a free race and secondly it meant I finally listened to my body after a few weeks of ignoring it.
I have had a problem for a few weeks, and this happened at the same time as I switched running shoe brands and models, I went back to a newer version of shoes I had used in the past. The problem I have is that I have done something to my a nerve or tendon that goes down from my lower back to my foot. The issue manifests itself firstly as back pain, then once I am moving it goes to my hip and then works its way down to stiffen up my calf and finally to tighten the achilles. These don’t all occur at once but one after the other!
Over the last couple of weeks, the pain when running has never really got beyond pain in the hip but yesterday it went straight from the hip to tightening the achilles to the point I wasn’t sure if I carried I might snap it. I know that is an unlikely outcome but the stiffness was painful and a Park Run is not the place to risk it.
I have now found some exercises that seem to be making some difference and loosening things up, I am hopeful that this is not something serious and it is just something caught up or tweaked, I know I will be taking it a bit easy for a few days until I feel good again, and I have also ordered a pair of the shoes I have used recently to go back to the trusted ones incase the shoes did contribute.