Run/walk 2.51 miles; 39 minutes.
Walk The Puppy 3.34 miles; 1 hour, 5 minutes.
The pain in my right foot is super intense right now, and it’s compelling me to wonder why the hell I subjected myself to the madness of almost 6 miles in this ridiculous weather and on a foot that feels like it wants to detach itself from my body.
So, because I’m feeling all introspective, here’s my “running story.”
I started running about a year and change ago. I had never, ever, ever run farther than a block (maybe) and if there was one constant throughout my life, it was that I despised running. I’m not sure what made me decide it was a good idea to try. I just realized that when I was walking on the treadmill or when I was on the elliptical at the gym, what I really wanted to be doing was running. A new colleague was training to run the Chicago Marathon and she said that she had never run before a couple of years ago. She was positive that if I did it “right,” I would like it and would eventually build up my mileage. But I had no idea how to start.
So I did what any decent librarian would do, and did some research. I was surprised to learn that there is actually a way to teach yourself how to run. There’s also this thing called Couch to 5K to help people learn how to run (who knew?). So I started following the Hal Higdon Novice 5K program in the gym on the indoor track and this Couch to 5K program when I wanted to run with The Puppy outside.
Things went pretty smoothly for awhile, even though when I first started I couldn’t even make it around the track once (6 times =1 mile). I invested in some Newtons after doing a ton of research on running shoes and proper running gate. I LOVE these shoes. I am 100% positive that the lug in the forefoot really helped me learn proper running form from the very start.
I’ll never forget the first time I made it 2 miles. It felt AMAZING. I remember punching my fists in the air as I crossed the invisible finish line. I’m pretty sure I looked like a complete tool but I didn’t give a shit. This was something I had never imagined I would ever be able to do EVER and had just run TWO EFFING MILES, BITCHES!
After that, I ran a few 5Ks and while they didn’t always go great, I enjoyed myself and felt a sense of accomplishment. And I didn’t come in last even though I was (and still am) incredibly, unbelievably, slow. Like, 13:30 minutes/mile slow. Embarrassingly slow. Still, I was doing it. I think my 5K PR is something like 38 minutes. The fact that I even HAVE a PR blows my mind.
The Boy, who had been skeptical about the whole thing, reinforced my commitment to running when he got me a Garmin 405 for my birthday in January. I was still really slow, but I was also building up my mileage. By that point I had completed a 5 mile run with no walk breaks and was planning to run the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in March.
As I went along, I invested a small fortune in cute workout clothes. I discovered the pleasures of Athleta & Lululemon, as well as the steady reliability of the C9 line from Target. I subscribed to dozens of healthy living and running blogs, and read them obsessively every single day (still do). I also bought another pair or shoes, the lovely Mizuno Wave Rider 15 in this fabulous color.
Then after running a local (as in, 2 blocks from my house) 5K, I developed an injury. To be honest, it had been brewing for quite sometime, but never felt bad enough to actually do anything about. Essentially, I was experiencing pain in the arch of my right foot. After that race, it had suddenly developed into intense pain in my right heel, which was developing into tightness and cramping in my right calf. Again, some research told me that it was most likely plantar fasciitis.
I was finally in so much pain that I could hardly walk on it, so I called my doctor. She said she agreed with me, that it was most likely plantar fasciitis. She told me to stop running (!) until I got things sorted out and to go have an x-ray. She also told me to start taking an anti-inflammatory and to make an appointment with a podiatrist.
I had the x-ray, took the anti-inflammatory, and made the appointment. I couldn’t come to terms with not running, however. What I found in the past year is that running is not only my preferred form of exercise. It has become a required stress release. Nothing takes its place.
So I did some additional research. The x-rays showed that I had what appeared to be a normal right foot with no spurs or fractures, so I felt that if I stretched, iced, and wore proper shoes I could probably still run, but would have to scale way back and take a look at what might have caused this in the first place:
1. Up to this spring, most of my miles were run on an indoor track. Suddenly, I was logging most of my miles outside. Even though I live in Illinois and the terrain is basically flat as a pancake, it’s a different surface and there is some variation in the elevation. Maybe I needed to start from the beginning and revisit Mr. Higdon’s novice program.
2. I had never gone to a running store and been fitted for a pair of running shoes. I’d read a few posts from other runners with the same kind of pain who were pretty much good to go after they got fitted, so I thought why not? If the pain goes away, FANTASTIC. If not, well, I still had the podiatrist appointment coming up.
This is really turning into an epic poem of a post, so I’m going to divide it into 2 posts. I think I’ve managed to avoid whining too much — so far.