my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise
I started this blog way back in January of this year, and this post marks a big milestone for me in that it is the 50th blog post I’ve written. That might not seem like a lot to those avid bloggers out there who post every other day, but it’s something I consciously have to find time to do, and so reaching 50 is BIG!
Thank you in advance for all your congratulatory messages, I’m pleased you follow my blog and have read this special anniversary one!
Far be it from me to think I could possibly alter your mood, but recently, my mood altered BIG time, when during my measly little 6.5km run, my right calf muscle felt like it had just been hit by a sniper’s bullet. Normally, I’d try to run off a knock or injury, but this was different. I hadn’t just been hit by a cricket ball, or aggressively tackled by a pot-bellied footballer. I’d simply continued running at the constant speed I’d been doing for the previous 6.4km.
I knew something was wrong and so, like the good little boy I am, I stopped running. I stretched the muscle out after walking on it for a while, but it didn’t help. My leg hurt. Not scream-out-loud painful, but worryingly painful. I then only cycled for a week in place of when I’d run to work or home. It felt less painful a week later, so I tried again. I even got up at 5:30am on my lie-in day to go for a run before it got too hot. Yes, I AM in England…Yes, I did just say I needed to get up early before it got too hot. C-R-A-Z-Y weather situation going on right now…it’s hotter here than in Crete I think! We’ve been experiencing temperatures hovering around the 30 degrees Celsius mark for the past week!
So, back to my run. I ran slowly for about 2km, but my app for some reason couldn’t find a GPS signal for the first time ever. After about 12 minutes, the pain got too much in my calf muscle again, so I had to stop. Again. And I never stop on a run. I can’t put into words the anger I was feeling at this point. I’m sure my bottom lip was out too, like an angry little boy who hasn’t got his way. At this point, I decided to walk to the nearby Nature Reserve anyway (where I was hoping to RUN, not walk), as it was a beautiful morning. When I got there, I got this bizarre idea into my head that as I couldn’t run, I could walk the route I was going to take…barefoot…on loose gravel.
You can see my walk of misery here: http://app.strava.com/activities/67428214. However, as much as I was trying to be moody, I couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty and serenity of this special time I had in the nature reserve. I did feel close to God during it, away from crowds and time pressures, and I did get a great deal of praying in during it too!
My stubbornness won and so I took off my shoes. After the initial few hundred metres of painfully getting used to the terrain, my stubbornness kicked in another gear and I therefore resolved to walk the ENTIRE way round the nature reserve barefoot…on loose gravel. Did I say I was walking on loose gravel yet? Well, I was, and it was HARD!
When I eventually got home, I didn’t actually feel any better for having walked barefoot on loose gravel, because I was still INJURED. BUT, I was slightly satisfied that I’d put my wussy body through a bit of pain. That’ll teach it…I thought. But then I realised that the body belonged to me…and my feet hurt…on the underside of my heel…ALOT. Wiping away the muck and dirt, I uncovered two whacking great big purple blisters on either underside of my heel. So, THAT’S why it hurt when I was walking on loose gravel! My feet were telling me to STOP!
The moral of the story is coming up soon folks!
So, that’s a positive point about barefooting. You get good, accurate feedback. You just need to watch that you take note of what you’re being told and do something about it. I SHOULD have put my shoes and socks back on. OR, tried barefooting on a different, slightly milder form of terrain before attempting loose gravel.
Anyways, now I not only have to wait for my calf muscle to heal, but I now have two constant reminders of my stupidity on the underside of my feet that now also need to heal before I’m going to be able to try running again. To add insult to all this talk of injury, I have a race against time now (sorry, poor pun!) to be fit and raring to go for my next race, a 10k on 2nd August. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some training in before then, but for the meantime I’ll have to concentrate on my core strength.
Hope you learn from my mistakes!