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Central Park, Malvern
Sadly, it was evident to me after a few hundred metres of jogging this morning that my right arch is still not right.  I feel a weakness in the arch that causes me to slap my foot down more than I would like, so the problem remains.  It was very tempting to keep jogging, which I could have easily done, but common sense finally prevailed, and I walked the remaining 3km of my loop in very cold conditions, cursing my bad fortune.  Even crossing Malvern's Central Park near the end of my walk didn't raise my spirits.  Thirty years ago, I used to run along the eastern border of this small suburban park during one of my favourite mid-week long runs after work.  It was a source of inspiration then, and now, knowing that one of my childhood heroes, John Landy, spent many hours training there.

John Landy leads the Mile in the 1954 Empire
Games in Vancouver
It's hard to explain to someone who is not a runner how much you miss it when you can't run.  The warm and sweaty glow, the breathlessness, the tired limbs, the feeling of physical capability and power, and the sense of having done something worthwhile all contribute to a sense of well-being.  I have tried cycling, kayaking and swimming as substitutes when injured previously, but none of them quite fits the bill.

I came home from my walk and devoted an hour or two surfing medical websites trying to match my symptoms and work out the best rehabilitation plan.  Of course, I could go and see a doctor, get scans, orthotics, etc., but I do feel the injury is repairing, but it's slower than I hoped.  After looking at various possible diagnoses, the one which most matches my symptoms and seems the most probable is a minor strain of the Posterior Tibial Tendon.  The suggested treatment is rest and an arch support, and the pain is likely to last three months or longer.  The treatment wasn't very different for the other foot injuries that shared my symptoms, so there doesn't seem to be much point in pursuing medical help at this stage.

However, another three to five weeks of rest will certainly rule out any chance of a good performance in the Melbourne Marathon, so I need to reassess my goals and change my plans.  I do need a goal to give my recuperation and running a focus, but there's no need for a hasty decision.  I won't design a training program for another marathon, perhaps Hobart in January, until I'm sure that I will be able to train free of pain.

In the short-term, I do need to get my diet back "on the wagon", and work out whether I want to try cycling while the arch heals.  The argument for cycling is that it will give my cardio-vascular system a work out, but the arguments against include the inconvenience and my view that cycling builds leg muscles I don't need for running and will slow my comeback when I begin running again.  I'll take another few days to think about it.