After going from no running to attempting to run 4 5ks in 6 weeks, something was bound to happen…Before I started my efforts to re-learn running, I made sure to get the sign off from my doctors. I have reduced sensation in my feet, very high arches, and weak ankles. I wear orthotics in my shoes, and also wear an ankle foot splint on my left foot to correct my foot strike when walking long distances. When the physiotherapy team observed my (walking) gait in May, they said there was no reason why I could not try to start running again (see my “No More Excuses” blog from May). So I decided to start off nice and slow…Along the way I have had my challenges. I hurt a knee in early May, reinjured it and dealt with swelling throughout June. Wearing a knee splint helped me to build confidence while building up to 5k. I have kept it wrapped in all my races to ensure I do not reinjure it. So far so good.In early September I managed to string together almost a full 5k. But at the same time, I knew something was not right. My foot was sore, I was waking up unable to step on it until after a good long stretch. A friend joked that the solution would be not to sleep – but clearly that is not an option.This same irritation is what led me to the doctor in the beginning of my journey into fitness and learning that I had a nerve condition (2003-4). My left foot was really sore, and it persisted throughout training for my walking half marathon. I went to the doctor and wound up with orthotics to control my foot roll from weak ankles and high arches. In 2007 when I went back to the doctor before attempting my first triathlon, I was given an ankle splint to help my left foot stability.I was at the National Hospital for Neurology on Monday and asked for another splint. I suspected that my foot fall when running on my right foot was off, leading to same type of excessive ankle roll as my left felt in 2003, and was the root cause behind the irritation I was experiencing. The physio team gave me an ankle splint, but in addition they also asked to observe my gait.I did three jogs in the physio room – the first one with no splinting, the second with my left splint only, and the final with both ankles splinted. They counted my cadence and observed my foot fall.It was clear that I had a more even foot fall and stride with both splints. My cadence was less (so my stride longer) and I was more bouncy and relaxed. They also said that my over pronation was so severe on my right that 1) they should have observed my running foot fall in May and I would have been given an ankle splint at that time and 2) that I probably have strained my ligaments, my peroneal tendon, and also bruised my upper outer foot from the way I strike. None of this is permanent – but it will take time to heal.So I walked away from my appointment on Monday with new hardware. I will be wearing two ankle-foot orthotics when running, and probably when cycling too for a while (to keep alignment happening in my joint). It may be easier to just wear them cycling all the time in triathlon, given that transition time counts. Right foot (on the left) happy in black; Left foot (on right) happy in grey!I have not been out running since Paris on the 13th of September, and I expect that I will be taking a bit more time off (I’m hoping to start again on either the 4th or 11th of October – depending on how my foot feels). I miss the experience of learning to run and the sense of pure freedom while doing it. In the interim I am discovering training on an elliptical machine, which although kind of boring does actually make me sweat and I can feel that it works the same muscle groups. I will adapt, learn, persevere, and improve.I feel like I’m now battle ready. I can’t wait to start running again.