Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quarter Shy of 85 Very Happy Barefoot Miles

I have happy news to report.

From all observations during my 3.75 mile run today -- as I suspected -- it was not barefoot running which was the cause of my "toe-turf"-like joint malady.

In case you haven't been reading, let me bring you up to date.

A weird little pricker-like pain appeared at the joint in the ball of my foot.  I thought it was an embedded object, and my DH thought it was an irritation to the joint and over the past few days we ascertained that it was both.  I had minor surgery to remove the piece of debris, and gave my foot a rest for a couple of days to see if I would be able to continue to run.

On the surgery post, blog commenter Julie (Invasion of the Couch Potato Snatchers) picked up on the "doom and gloom" theme that was beginning to form in my mood.  This morning that theme was developing further. I had convinced myself -- despite reassurances from my DH --  that I was going to go out there today and find out that barefoot running injured me further and that I was going to have to miss running in the 1st Annual NYC Barefoot Run this Sunday, which I'd so been looking forward to.

Or even worse, I was worried that I would have to give up running altogether.  Six months off again.  Begin all over again.  Round and round the barefoot mile again.  Only to injure myself again and never ever get my run back!

I was so afraid to find all this out that I put off getting out there for a couple of hours.

In my defense, I will say that I have last year's terribly disappointing plantar fasciitis experience still fresh in my memory.  (See post: Plans: Best Made Plans from my Avocational Singer Blog)  You never really know how your fairy story is going to end up.  My fairy story this time -- the magical ending to that terrible tale from last year -- was going to be:
"... and she found barefoot running and lived happily every after ..."


Well, anyway, I hope you know that I really am taking this as it comes.  I hope I learned my lesson from the incident last year and don't believe in fairy stories any more.  But I do believe in perseverance and never giving up.  I do believe in getting up again when you are weighed down.  I do believe in flexibility, adaptation, and overcoming obstacles.

Eventually, I had to go face the music.  "C'mon, Daffodil, it's now or never.  Let's get out there and find out what it's going to be."

Well, it was the most beautiful day you could imagine!  It was magic!  It was a fairy tale.  I had put some layering pieces on, thinking that it was going to be cold like the past week had been.  But it was warm and sunny and gloriously beautiful, especially contrasted to the cold, damp rainy weather we'd been having. I was back in my barefoot summer honeymoon days.

And I was thrilled to take my first barefoot running steps and find out that -- just as I thought -- there were no motions that stressed that toe joint when I was running properly.  And once again, I experienced how fun barefoot running is, and remembered why I want to keep doing it.

I think I was a little stiffer for at least the first half of the run because I was afraid of bending at that joint or pushing off.  So, I kept my feet a little stiff, like I was running on ping pong paddles or something.

But eventually I realized that I wasn't achieving anything by stiffening up.  Anything I was doing could be done with relaxed flexibility, and I spent my time focusing on getting back to that state.

In order to avoid that nubby-sidewalked, asphalted lollipop loop through residential neighborhoods that I have been using to add distance to my run, I had to plan a different route that took me further out on the boulevard with the smooth terracotta tiles.

This was a route that I had been using the previous summer when I was run/walk training to do the Disney 1/2 marathon.  I hadn't been out that way in over a year.  I actually should have brought a pair of flip flops with me just in case.  I forgot that I had decided it was wise to bring them whenever I was trying anything new or further.

At any rate, I wished I had brought my camera with me because I came upon a really beautiful vista.  I was able to snap a shot with my cell phone camera:

I felt wonderful the whole 3.75 miles!  I never felt that pricker-y twinge once.

In fact, I'm even wondering if the barefoot stride -- when tended to properly -- is even somewhat therapeutic for this kind of joint issue.

It looks like I shall be able to continue.  I'll have to wait a few hours and see.  Sometimes these things don't show their effects until after a couple of hours or the next morning.  But as far as the run itself and immediate aftermath is concerned, things are feeling very good!

1 comment:

Julie said...

Very happy news indeed. Glad the Doom and Gloom gave way to your Fairy Tale Run.