A lot of people joke when they hit certain milestones in their life (30, 40, 50, etc) that everything goes downhill and starts to fall apart. I’m starting to believe that’s true. Although I’m only 27 I feel like my body’s ability to resist injury went downhill after 25.
In high school the only running injury I ever struggled with at times was Achilles tendonitis. I attributed it to the fact that my small feet (size 6) couldn’t handle the impact of my body weight particularly because I ran hurdles. Fortunately this was more of a “nagging injury” that I could continue to run through. If my ankle would swell at all I would just go home and ice it back to normal size, run the next day and ice again if needed. It never caused a lot of physical pain though so I didn’t mind bearing the annoyance.
Flash forward to last winter. With my intentions set to train for my first half marathon a bothersome knee pain kept plaguing my right knee. A visit to the family doctor and then a specialist resulted in me changing running shoes. Ironic how I had worn the same type for at least 5 or 6 years and had no issues only to find out that they weren’t really the ones best suited for my foot shape. This alleviated some of the problem, but it was still frequent enough to be a hindrance. Accepting the fact that maybe I was just too old to lace up my sneakers and take off out the front door, I finally started by keeping a slow pace the first half mile to mile of my run. A genuine warmup. Fortunately it worked. I still had some flare ups at times, surprisingly more often on my short runs than my long ones, but I was able to log the miles needed to complete the half marathon.
Flash forward to 2 weekends ago. I went for a short, flat run by myself because I couldn’t stand doing another workout DVD. My left arch kept feeling slight pain at times during the run. When I came home though is when the real pain kicked in, making even walking a troublesome task. I gave it a few days and by mid week I seemed back to normal. This past Sat. I went out for a run again. The run was great, beautiful weather and no pain in any body part. Unfortunately once I came home and showered the pain started up in my arch again. Introduce plantar faciitis. I called my dad because I knew he struggled with it before and he recommended freezing a water bottle and rolling my foot over that. I’ve been doing so, but boy he wasn’t kidding when he said you feel it most often in the morning once you get up. I was in pain nearly all day despite having a desk job and not having to walk too often. It’s stuck with me through the evening and has just now calmed itself down. I’m hoping it’s not nearly as bad tomorrow when I wake up.
Greater than the physical pain in my foot though was the emotional pain I felt in having to come home and not go for a run. 50 degree days are a rarity this winter, a blessing to be enjoyed by running outdoors, and I couldn’t do it. It’s such a devastating feeling when you want to run as opposed to doing it to just get a workout in, and not being able to. Depending on the pain sometimes I would fight through it just to do it, but not this time. When walking is close to torture I can only imagine what running would feel like at this point.
So needless to say I will find a way to battle this injury as well. In my mind high school and college don’t really seem that long ago, but I guess to my body they are and it’s reminding me in unpleasant ways. Maybe it’s just a phase like puberty or something. I mean plenty of people much older than me are running injury free. I don’t want to be tackling a new injury every year. Running keeps me sane; I’m too young to give it up.