Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Long Walk

The title of this posting is also a Steven King short story that, in many ways except the deadly ending the King story has, my walk was similar.  I set out for my long run about 3:30 in the afternoon yesterday and I have been wondering since then how to chronicle what a disaster it was.

Starting from the beginning, it was a perfect day here in PA. It was 75 degrees and sunny. Perfect. I decided to run without a shirt. Now trust me, I will get ribbed by Erica for making that a part of this story, but this is an important part (plus, I’m sorry, but I like to run without a shirt when it’s warm). I also had my brand new fancy combination handheld water bottle, mini storage pocket thing on my hand and I was ready to go. IPod check. FiveFingers, check.

As soon as I started running I didn’t feel right. My feet seemed to hurt from the run and my issues from the other day, but it wasn’t enough pain to stop, so I kept running. During the first couple miles I was on public roads for 3 miles to the park near me where there is a 7 mile loop and I was trying to remember if there was a turn off on the way to the park to make the run shorter because of my feet. But in the end I decided to keep going and head to the lake.

Around mile 3 I felt better. There was still pain in the right foot every stride, but I was getting a good, loose cadence. Then, as I was on the trail next to the lake about 4 miles into the run it felt like someone shot me in the top of my right foot. Even with my iPod on, blaring Iron Maiden I could swear I heard a pop. White hot, raging pain ran though my body. I was glad that I was on a bit of the trail that was empty at the time because I am sure I looked stupid.

I was 4 miles away from home and I knew I wasn’t running another step and walking didn’t seem like too much fun then either. However, with Erica away camping with her girlfriends and me without my phone anyway, I was hoofing it 4 miles home. Each step elicited a groan or swears as I started to hobble.

After I made it back to the busier part of the trail and then the roads home, I’m sure I looked like an idiot to all the other runners, dog walkers, etc.. Imagine a 6 foot 4 guy with wraparound glasses, omnipresent iPod wires hanging over a shirtless body, black shorts and these black, house slipper looking shoes, limping along cursing with a sweaty contorted face.

I eventually made it home and after a night of thinking about how this will impact my running progress I am not sure where I stand. This morning the foot is swollen and it hurts to walk on it. I am trying not to go into too much detail in this blog entry because I am thinking so many different thoughts right now I would ramble on and on. Bottom line questions are

• I’m I just not made to run?
• Am I running wrong?
• Barefoot running??

Of course I realize this is just an injury, but this is what I am trying to avoid; run, hurt, miss days of running, run again. It’s depressing.


  1. maybe it was the five fingers. In my barefoot beginning I could not transition back and forth even from a minimal shoe. My mind was programmed to run a certain way with a covering on my foot. I do hope it heals quickly for you. RICE it and relax. Don't forget to cross train. A strong body will stay aligned for good form.

  2. ... Thanks Angie. Much appreciated and yes, I have the bike out often and I'm a regular at the gym, so I have those to get my fix, but man...... I wanna run.