“Now that was a dumb idea”. I continued to run after I injured my foot. But I thought I could ‘work through it’…
Here’s how it started…
About 3 years ago I decided to transition to barefoot or forefoot running. I had read the book about the Tarahumara Indians by Christopher MacDougall, ‘Born to Run‘, did some research on the benefits of forefoot running and thought I had it figured out. I started slowly as was suggested only going barefoot for short distances a couple of times each week. At the time as well, I lived near a long, wide, flat hard-packed sand beach and ran barefoot on that a couple of times each week as well.
Then the foot problem began. The first injury was a nasty and intense case of Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot. I tried everything from a Chiropractor (great for my back…not so much for my foot) to massage to shoe inserts. The only thing I didn’t try was rest! And yes, that December I ran the Half Marathon at Reggae Marathon. It was not one of my prettiest finishes…my Finish Line photo was a mask of pain.
Back home I did rest for a while. In fact it was early spring before I headed out for regular and increasingly longer runs in preparation for the Reggae Runners Half Marathon Challenge with my friends Dan Cumming and Larry Savitch. We each ran a half marathon that day in separate cities from Vancouver, Canada to New Jersey (More stories and photos here: Baldies in the Reggae Runners Half Marathon Challenge). While I could blame the right calf muscle pull I experienced at the 6 mile mark of my Half Marathon for my 3rd place finish, the reality was that I was mentally distracted with the nagging foot injury.
After another too brief rest, I got back to running this time adding some speed workouts at the local high school track. I was working on finishing my year at Reggae Marathon with a PB attempt in the Half Marathon last December. Then crash, bang!
After a short speedy run one evening I felt a sharp pain in my right foot. Darn…I’d never felt anything like that before. It hurt every time I put any weight or pressure on it. For a couple of weeks I skulked around trying everything except the obvious…having it checked by a medical professional. I guess I knew it was going to be bad and I didn’t want to hear any bad news.
And as a long-time runner who’d never had any major injuries, it was bad indeed: 3 stress fractures in my foot.
Broken bones! Prognosis? Foot cast for 6 – 8 weeks then maybe…a BIG maybe…running! Now Reggae Marathon 2012 was in jeopardy!
To stay in shape I went swimming. Lots of swimming including ‘Water Running‘ after seeing a video from Reggae Marathon Fan, Carrie Tollefson. I was determined not to loose too much strength and stamina…I had given up on the
Reggae Marathon Half Marathon but determined to run the 10K! Alas that was also not to be. Walking cast and all I trekked to Negril last December. joined the other Reggae Marathon 10K walkers determined to finish. And finish I did (you may have noticed me hobbling along the course). My finish time of well over an hour and a half was not pretty but I took advantage of the walk to stop and take some pictures along the way. I had never done that in the past focused as I was on my finish time. I also got to talk to some other walkers again, something I had never experienced to that degree.
Fast forward to today: I am finally back running! I’ve been humbled by my injury experiences: ‘No, I can’t keep running if I ignore my body!’ But I love running too much to stop now. As I get back to a regular routine I’m determined to keep running…comfortably and healthy. Running injured is no fun at all and I’m determined to run with you again this December 7 at Reggae Marathon 2013 in Negril.
Until next time…
Click here to register online for Reggae Marathon, December 7, 2013: Reggae Marathon Registration.
For more information check the Reggae Marathon Web Site.
Click here for more details on Reggae Marathon’s Abe Issa Award for Excellence.
This is a link to the Official Reggae Marathon 2012 Race Video.