I have not run since last Tuesday. Today is Monday. This is the longest I’ve gone without running since, well, not that long ago. I was sick between Christmas and New Year’s of this past year – not sick enough to not lift weights (which I did), but too under the weather to move around quickly.
My foot actually feels fine – at least when I walk. I’ve just been playing it safe. I always have. It’s both one of my strengths and one of my downfalls. I’ve never broken a bone or cracked a phone screen or gotten pulled over, but I’ve also never taken a picture from a hot air balloon because I will never ride in one. I’ve managed to stay alive and in one piece within the confines of a relatively safe bubble of rule-following, predictability, and routine. This is how I’ve always been and probably how I’ll always be.
I saw a podiatrist on Thursday – a very good one, recommended by my friend Meg Braun, a runner and singer/songwriter I met way back when when I, too, was a singer/songwriter (have I not yet mentioned my past musical career on this blog? Oh, the things I have yet to share). Meg is also the one who suggested I sign up with Fred’s Team to run the 2018 NYC Marathon. So if reading about my marathon training ever gets tedious, you can blame her. Meg is great. Check out her music.
The podiatrist – a warm, understanding-Dad-type, New Yorky, Henry Winkler-esque, clearly experienced pro – and a runner to boot – took x-rays of my feet and found nothing suspicious. He understood what had been troubling me, though, and gave me some felt pads to wear just below the ball of my left foot.
He could tell by the way my inner ankles stick out (or, in) that I overpronate, and suggested custom orthotics. His office makes them. He showed me his own: a pair he’s had since I was in 8th grade. He didn’t push them, which I appreciated, but I think he may be right that I could benefit from something to help correct my arches. He also prescribed me an anti-inflammatory and suggested icing my foot for 15 minutes every night.
I asked him if I could run the next day and he laughed.
He said something like “Well, you could. But it would be better if you waited a week.”
So I am playing it safe and following the rules. I don’t want to take chances when it comes to my feet. I’ll probably wait a couple more days because I just got my face skin lasered by a dermatologist and I’m told not to sweat for a day or two.
It’s interesting that I don’t typically feel the need to update this blog when I don’t run. I could, and sometimes do. There are other, running-affiliated things to write about. I just haven’t really felt like it lately. I’ve noticed I’ve been moodier this past week. More easily annoyed. Snapping at the dogs more (sorry, dogs). Almost like a ghost of myself. A shell. The eye of a storm. I’ve worked out every day as usual. Each day I haven’t run I’ve either lifted weights, done HIIT/cardio, or spent an hour and a half raking leaves (it counts). But not running leaves me feeling hollow.
Last night while doing dishes (when all the best ideas happen), I decided that not running was maybe like not having your kids around. I don’t have children, so I’m only guessing on this, but I imagine that not having your kids around for a week is a chance to both rest as well as deeply miss something – a vacation, but not necessarily a welcome one. Unless your kids are annoying. Then I guess this analogy doesn’t work.