Sunday, November 14, 2010

I've got the "my calf hurts, my foot hurts, and oh by the way...I have a fever of 101" blues

Oh woe is me!! What a week it’s been – quite a lot of bang ups and hang-ups in this one. Let’s rewind to last Sunday. It was a gorgeous day for the footsy gals to hit the pavement together for the first time in a long time. Even though it wasn’t effortless, we ran a solid three miles and I felt pretty good about it, until…Monday morning! I woke up andmy left calf was uber sore!! I chalked it up it being my first run outside in months and took Monday as a rest day.

Tuesday morning, with my calf still super sore, I ran for 40 minutes on the treadmill before I did a little cross training session with my trainer at the gym. Cut to discouragement about my run, as now the bottom of my left foot started hurting. Negative thoughts started entering my mind such as “oh this was fun while it lasted…just a few runs and my body falls apart.”

I talked to my trainer about my ailments and we stretched my calf out really well and he noted that sometimes, foot pain could merely indicate the need for new shoes. So I thought back and realized that indeed, the last time I’d purchased new kicks was a little over 6 months ago and they were looking a little beat up.

So I took Coach Jenny and the Penguin’s advice from their book I’m currently reading, Running for Mortals: “always start your running career with a new pair of fitted running shoes. They will support you mile after mile and decrease your risk of injuries.” That night I went to Georgetown running company (i.e. Heaven for runners and a store I will be frequenting,) and made a new friend! He put me through the ringer; doing the entire gait analysis letting me try out different pairs by running down the block.

Come to find out, I am a neutral runner, meaning I don’t over or under pronate. I also was enlightened to find out that since the last time I bought shoes I bought them myself and wasn’t properly assessed; I purchased stability shoes when I didn’t need them. The stability shoes were actually causing me to over pronate a little, thus the explanation for the outer edge of my foot hurting.

Oh yeah, and all that whining about my calf….turns out I have the treadmill to thank for that. Since my running relationship had been strictly treadmill save for Sunday – my first outdoor run in months; my body had grown accustomed to treadmill propelling me forward instead of my legs doing the hard work for me. Thanks treadmill!

So here I am – like a kid on her first day of school, brand new supplies and armed with new knowledge. I planned to bear the cold and do an early morning run outside (thanks to daylight savings and the fact that it now gets light around sixish instead of seven). I had a great run outside with my new shoes and a great Pilates reformer session afterwards.

Cut to noon that day, all the sudden I’m feeling awful! My throat is killing me, I’m suddenly a sword swallower with no training and my head feels like it’s been hit by a Mac truck. So I leave work early that day, head home to find out I have a fever of 101. I haven’t had a fever or a serious case of something other than the common cold since I was in college – i.e. I revert to an infantile state of someone that doesn’t know what to do with herself and needs her mother.

Don’t worry – all of this drama, but I’ll survive. I plan to take it easy today – exactly one week from my weary decline – with an easy run. After all, these miles aren’t going to run themselves. But I do think this was a real lesson in forcing myself to take it easy. It about kills me whenever I can’t do a work out- much less a run when I need to. BUT – I do know that it’s important to listen to my body, so this has been a very humbling exercise of, "ok body, what’s wrong with me today?"

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