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Friday, September 16, 2011

stacking the deck

In that past few months running has gone from life-giving and spirit lifting (as well as bum toning) to injury riddled and disgruntled.

Most of the lost of my running mojo I blame on the very unfortunate ankle turn the night before the Sugarloaf marathon.  My right leg has since been plagued with discomfort when I run, moving up from the ankle toward the knee and just above it.

I have rested it, cross-trained with biking and sun bathing and hoped for the best.  Sometimes I run without issue but often running now feels like a lot of effort to me.  My last attempt at a long run had me walking in pain at mile 7 of 11 and it kind of shot down my confidence in my body.  Now when I lace up my shoes I'm never sure what to expect of my body and I feel like I can't rely on it. 

My body has become like a ditsy friend who says she's going to be there for you but bails when you need her most.

In addition to the ankle/leg issue, I'm also convinced there is something very off about my gait.  I get chaff marks only on one side of my hip and my sneakers wear unevenly. I'm surprised no one has pulled alongside me on the road to tell me I look like I'm about to fall over.

After having read (and LOVED) the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, I became convinced that the cushioning of my running shoes were to blame on my poor form and injuries. (It is so comforting to blame something.) Sandi got me a pair of minimalist Nike Frees for my birthday to help me transition to "barefoot" running in the Vibram 5 Fingers.  McDougall makes a compelling argument for barefoot running as the way our bodies were made to run and how cushion and extra support undermine the structural integrity of foot leading to weakness and injury.

I have had a major fiasco getting my Vibrams and think, in the end, that I may have bought a counterfeit. There was no invoice with my shoes and they were mailed from China. When I emailed them and told them they were too big and I would like to return them,  I was told that would be too difficult and to wear them with socks. Hello...have you seen these shoes??

This all brings me to the point of my post.  Tomorrow is the MDI Half Marathon. I've considered not running it but I don't particularly care for that option.  I've never been comfortable giving up on something and I've already had to face not running the MDI full next month. It is going to be a GORGEOUS day in Bar Harbor tomorrow. September in Bar Harbor.  Running on the carriage roads.  And my MOM IS COMING TO BABYSIT.  Who would say no to this?
I've rallied my mental game here and I am ready for a race. I'm hoping to run and not have to walk at all , even if that means I go slow.  I've taken steps to ensure my success.  I've shaved my legs to help with speed.  I'm going to wear my cool arm bands my friend Amy gave me so I can feel tough. I'm drinking carrot juice today because it seems like a good idea.  I've got a playlist that included "The Club Can't Handle Me" because why not?  I might as well feel like a bad ass out there.
I will drive down tomorrow with Emilie, armed with a peanut butter and banana sandwich and a whole lot of hope, happy for a chance to leave the entrenchment of domesticity behind for a few hours.
But right now, I'm going to go bake a cake.

1 comment:

Zoe K said...

I agree with you about the vibrams. I pored over that website for ages before I bought mine, and those don't look quite right. But maybe take them to the folks at Epic Sports, they've been awfully helpful to me in the past!

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