This morning I went to see my Doctor (at 7.10am, I am impressed that we are able to get an appointment that early). And following that I went to see a physio to work out the best way to get around the foot pain problem (and to address/prevent it from reoccurring)
Without my prompting the Doctor came up the the diagnosis of some bruising around the bones and the seamoiditis that I had thought sounded likely. And while it means I should hold off running for as long as is possible it does mean that as long as I can put up with any pain on race-day then I will not be doing myself any permanent damage. But I should defiantly consider doing as much walking during the race as is feasible.
We rushed out to see Toni the Physio (who luckily had a cancellation at 8am) we did get there a little late (oops sorry). She did a full analysis of the problem and tracked it back to a number of issues with how I carry myself, and the types of warm-up/warm-down and stretches that we do. My muscles are a little too tight in various places. This in turn leads to my feet, knees (and legs in general) not being a sideways flexible as would be desired.
All of this makes total sense as I currently tend to run or cycle for exercise, which is a very push pull without much of a sideways release of tension.
We went through a number of exercises which I need to do each day, and a whole new set of stretches and jiggles to release the straight line tension and therefore free up my feet to do their jobs in all directions and therefore not putting as much stress on the same repetitive tension building movements.
I also need to soak my feet in ice water for three ten minute stretches up to three times a day to reduce the swelling on and around the two little useless bones which seem to be causing the problems.
All in all a very positive morning, which was well needed after my last few days of gloomy doom feeling about the whole thing. The relief makes me feel like bursting out in tears right now, but still I need to bear in mind that this isn't going to be easy.
I need to keep up the exercises and stretches; missing out on the long runs, while taking it easy over the next few weeks, means I won't be fully prepared for the races. Races which will, more than likely, involve a lot more foot/toe pain than desired, but at least it will only be painful and not damaging...
I know that it's not good to wish your life away, but at this point I really can't wait until these three weeks are done, and there is no 39.3 mile obstacle looming.