The Crave

Something new is going on with my running. I've been on a five-day-a-week running program for 14 weeks now. I never thought I'd be more than a 3-days-a-weeker, or maybe a 4-days-a-weeker when training for a specific race, but I'm really getting into running 5 times a week. Sometimes I wish I were running on that 6th day!

If I haven't run, I crave putting on my shoes and heading out the door. Even if I only run 2 or 3 miles, the need to run is firmly entrenched into my being. (When did it become a need?) I know running is a healthy addiction when not taken to extremes, so I guess it's ok. (Some might say that running 5 days a week and training for a marathon ARE extreme.... but I digress.)

Some runs are better than others. Some feel free and easy and even joyful, while others are difficult and painful and make me question why I do this. But I guess even a bad run is better than no run at all....

Speaking of "no run at all," I visited a podiatrist this week who prescribed a 10-day hiatus from running. On my 18 miler two weeks ago, either my right shoe was too tightly laced or my foot swelled from all the pounding, but I developed a painful area on top of my foot. I babied it (and everything else) with a light week of running the following week in preparation for my 20-miler on Saturday. The foot was fine (in different shoes) until mile 13, and at that point, the tongue rubbing on the top of my foot became so painful, I seriously considered taking my shoe off and finishing in just my socks. (But it was my expensive Ininji toe socks, and I think I paid like $18 bucks for them, so I kept my shoes on.)

I took Sunday off and on Monday tried to put on my running shoes. Ouch. I couldn't even walk in them. I decided I'd better call in an expert. A local podiatrist had a cancellation and could see me that morning. I was thinking stress fracture.

However, an x-ray of that foot was clear and he diagnosed tendonitis or inflammation in the soft tissue on top of my foot. (It's very subjective, this podiatry thing.) He told me to take 10 DAYS OFF from running and to avoid wearing shoes that aggravated the condition. Here I am 5 weeks from the full marathon and 2 weeks from the half. TEN days off? I got my anti-inflammatory meds filled (both oral and a gel) and rested my foot for all of ...... Monday.

Since I'd just read Born to Run about a tribe of barefoot running people, on Tuesday I decided to give a quick shoeless run a try. After only ONE DAY OFF, I was jonesin' for a run. I ran an easy 1 mile in my sock feet completely pain-free, then went to the Y and rode a bike for 8 miles. I wore my running shoes to the Y, I just unlaced the first two eyes on the shoe. (Thank you for that idea, Runners' World message board, where someone has experienced every injury out there!)

On Wednesday, since the shoes had felt fine the day before and I was still pain-free, I went on a 3.5 mile run. On Thursday, I ran 4---two on the treadmill without shoes and two with. Today, my feet hurt slightly on the bottoms (apparently this barefoot running thing takes some getting used to) during my 2.5 mile run.

So, rather than OFF, I took it EASY.

It was weird. It was like the doctor was asking me to stop breathing or something.

I know I *should* listen to the doctor, but this time, I listened to my body instead. Mistake #1 was panicking and rushing off to the doctor instead of giving it a couple of days' rest myself.


Kerrie T. said…
You are crazy! How do you make time to put in the mileage with three kiddos? I have a hard time with one and I've only gotten up to 8 miles! I've seen barefoot runners on a trail I run. That's cool that you tried it. Great post!

PS: Found you on Lisa's blog. :)
lawmonkey13 said…
LOL. What is it about "Born to Run" that makes us all want to run barefoot? I'm considering buying a pair of Nike Free's to kind of wade into the barefoot thing. I saw Chris this morning and he said that you were doing okay. I'll be in Clarksville for the 1/2 also, so I hope to see you there!
Meg Runs said…
I might be crazy and a little addicted but I'd listen to my body too...I had an experience this last week that proved that to be true. I hope you continue to get better. Ice, light massage, ice!
With your races coming up, glad you're able to do some easy running after all! Maybe you're tapering for the half now? If that wasn't the plan before, maybe it's your revised plan! ; )
I hear ya -- I'd run every day, if I could. I crave the run, too.

Hope the foot continues to feel better!