In the five months since I’ve started running, I’ve been most surprised by one thing — I enjoy it enough that it bothers me when I can’t go.
I’ve been through a couple little head colds since I started back in October, and took the necessary days off that I wasn’t going to risk making myself worse. In both instances — in the fall, when I was starting to feel really good about C25K and one during the winter as I was picking up the pace of my half-marathon training — it made me nuts to stop, even for a couple days. I was especially panicked in the fall, when I worried that taking even a day or two off would derail my progress. I know better now, but the illness earlier this year was no less frustrating.
And now? I haven’t run since Wednesday morning, and there’s a pretty good reason. I did three miles then, at a pretty brisk pace for me. I felt great during the run, but later in the morning, I noticed a pain in my right foot. The pain went from annoying to holy-crap-what-did-I-do by the end of the day, and I started thinking about the possibility that I had injured myself.
It was still with me on Thursday morning, and I limped through a Giant Eagle on the way to work to buy myself a couple bags of frozen peas so I could ice the foot while sitting at my desk. That helped, and the foot was feeling better. When when Mrs. Crappy and I got home from dinner Thursday night, she noticed that my foot and ankle were swollen. And Mrs. Crappy, being the experienced runner she is, laid down the law: More icing. No running, not even with the It’s Not A Training Group on Saturday morning. No Chuck Taylors or street shoes for a few days — old running shoes or something similar only.
So. More icing? Check. No running? It killed me not to go out to North Park Saturday morning — I’ll explain that in a later post — but I didn’t. And I’ve been wearing a pair of old cross trainers or — gasp! — Crocs pretty much constantly. Yes, even out in public.
As annoying as the illnesses were, this one is scarier. If it was just a pull, I should be able to pick up this week without too much trouble; if it’s a sprain or something else, though, I’ll start to wonder about how I’m going to prepare for the 10K we’re running at my sister’s house in April and the Pittsburgh Half a month later. It’s also troubling because I don’t have a clue as to what happened. There were no false steps during my run on Wednesday, nothing that I could logically look at and say “That’s when I hurt my foot.” Overuse? Maybe. My newish shoes? That’s possible — I hurt after running three in those on Wednesday, but felt fine after running 7 in a different pair the weekend before.
Or maybe something else? I have no idea. Crap.
But I know this: I’ll find out tomorrow morning. I’m going to run just a couple miles and I’m going to keep the pace slow. If I feel good, I’ll be able to ease back in to the training schedule without having lost too much time. I’ll still have to wonder about the shoes, but I’ll be able to figure that one out later.
And if I can’t finish an easy two miles because it hurts too much? If that pain comes back during the day? I’ll have my answer. And I’ll be off to see our doc.