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Round the Bay

When walking around the house before this morning's planned 36.5km run around Brisbane Water, I could feel discomfort, but not pain, in the right arch that was a bit sore after yesterday's run.  I agonised over whether I should change my plans for a long run this morning.  Was it just a niggle, or the start of something worse?  It's not unusual for me to get occasional foot pain, but most times it disappears as mysteriously as it appeared, and I write it off to a pinched nerve or tying shoe laces too tight.

Looking across Brisbane Water on a much better day
Having only just got into the meaty part of my marathon training program, I was very reluctant to start missing planned sessions, so drove to my starting point in nearby Kincumber and set out in light rain and darkness soon after 6am.  Terrigal Trotters has an annual run called "Round the Bay" that follows much of the same course I ran this morning, but it includes some bike path and quieter road sections making it about 0.7km longer.  Not much difference, and you might ask why I would not run the same course.  It comes down to my long-held preference for running on the road where I can (bitumen is "softer" than concrete, and more even) and for just following main roads rather than winding back streets and bike paths.  If I'm on a long road run (they are seldom easy), I just want to get it over and done with.  The simpler the course, the better.  This course has become one of my favourite long runs for training.  It has hills, but not too onerous, and a lot of flattish road running that I think builds strength in the legs and an efficient gait.  I enjoy trail running much more than the roads, but don't think it is as good for building the leg strength necessary to run a good marathon.

The Rip Bridge is run across at the entrance to Brisbane
Water (in the distance)
This morning was not going to be enjoyable.  I wasn't very motivated, exacerbated by anxiety about how my foot would handle the distance.  The early kilometres were along the unlit Empire Bay Drive and I kept a close eye on oncoming vehicles in the misty drizzly gloom as the kookaburras called from the surrounding trees.  I could feel my sore right arch with every step, but only rated the pain as a 1 to 2 out of 10, and didn't feel like I was limping as a result.  As it became lighter, the rain became heavier and I was soon saturated and quite cold.  But my pace was OK, and I was generating enough internal heat to ward off hypothermia, though I did have trouble articulating words when fellow Trotter, Greg, slowed his car while passing to offer encouragement.

Aerial view of part of Brisbane Water
The rain continued for the rest of the run, with varying intensities, as did the pain in my foot.  The gutters were filled with rushing water and I gave up on trying to dodge puddles, some of which were almost ankle deep.  I found Dunlop Hill, the last before Kincumber, quite hard, but was generally happy with how strong I felt for the run.  However, I was concerned about the foot pain which was 3 to 4 out of 10 by the end.  My time for the run was 3:07, a bit slower than I thought I was travelling, but that could be attributed to the wet conditions and some favouring of my right foot in the latter half.

I'm now faced with a decision about whether a rest for my sore arch is necessary.  Walking around after the run has not been as painful as I might have expected, which makes me doubt the seriousness of the injury.  On the other hand, would it hurt my marathon training plan so much if I took it easier for the next three or four days in the hope the pain goes away?  I'll leave it to tomorrow morning to decide.  Tomorrow was supposed to be an easier recovery day anyway.