I forgot how to tie my running shoes.
It really has been that long since I’ve been for a run.
A few months ago, the nice people at American Running Company taught me a special way to tie my shoes so that there would be less slippage in the heel. Of course, since then I’ve been stung by the injury bug, so thanks a lot ARC! Of course, my injury had nothing to do with my weird form, the lack of a break from training for at least two years, or too-quick buildup in marathon training. Nope, it was the shoe-tying; had to be the shoe-tying.
However, due to a forced (and quite frankly mean-spirited) running sabbatical, I haven’t had to lace up my running shoes for the last month. So when dusting off and lacing up the Mizuno Wave Precisions (which I love by the way), I forgot exactly how the shoes were supposed to be tied. Being that I’m now closer to retirement age than pre-school age, staring blankly at my shoe laces is pretty embarrassing. Fortunately, I didn’t have to ask for anyone’s help, although at the time I really would have liked some chocolate milk and a nap as a treat.
So, how did the run go you ask?
First, let me say that in the ten-plus years that I’ve been running and triathlon-ating, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a break from running this long. Even through broken bones, plantar fasciitis, over-training, under-training, bike focuses, and swim focuses (almost kept a straight face through that one), I’ve never taken more than a couple of weeks off from running. Running is the one event that I do pretty well at (at least compared to the other two), so I’ve always kept running. Plus, it’s just easy to get out the door and go for a run. No driving to the pool and hoping that the lifeguards don’t kick everyone out because they heard there was lightning in Oklahoma back in 1893. No driving to the bike path because riding on the roads of Tampa Bay is somewhat like the Rebel attack on the Death Star, except without any Wookies and a better chance that you’ll end up Darth Vader careening into space, barely escaping to make up with his son two movies later and then star in those three awful prequels.
Since I’ve been injured, the advice has been pouring in, and the best part of all this advice is how contradictory most of it has been. Run, don’t run; stretch, don’t stretch; ice, heat, both; drugs, no drugs (I liked the former better). In the almost six months since the injury first happened, I’ve tried pretty much everything at one time or another, and the only thing I can say that definitely works is – don’t get injured. Of course, you can’t always avoid injury, and as a permanent member of the U.N Klutz Council, I know that there’s no way to avoid hurting yourself if you fall down. However, by following the advice that’s been touted by all the best coaches of not doing too much, too soon, not running each workout like it’s the 100 meter finals at the Olympics, and taking some time off on a regular basis, then you can probably avoid the overuse injuries that prey on those of us who believe that pain is only temporary (whoever said that quote first should be stabbed very, very slowly), and that injuries can’t possibly happen to them or slow them down.
So my ankle feels much, much better, and thanks go out to Drs. Killjoy and Dubey-vorkian for making me take some time off. The road back will probably be hard and miserable, but that’s why we do all this, right?
As taking advice has never been a strong point for me, I’m going to ignore most people’s advice of easing back into running by racing at the Dunedin Triathlon this weekend. Last weekend, I did the race injured and had one of the most painful experiences of my tri-career, so I figure why not keep the tradition going and do a sprint tri on no run training? It should be a blast.