Monday, June 23, 2014

Exercise Diary: No More Trail Runs, or Runs with Friends

I've been slacking off with my running (and exercising in general) last week.  I only did one short run on Monday, and didn't go to any yoga classes, despite the nice weather.  I've been using my foot as an excuse.  It still hurts even with just normal walking, and regardless of what shoes I wear (from the heavily cushioned running shoes to flat sneakers) I don't feel any significant relief with any one pair.  I don't know if it's still plantar fasciitis, or if it's my heel spur (I didn't know that there's this calcified little hook at the bottom of your foot until I saw an ad for heel wraps that are supposed to help with it), or if it's anything worse, like a stress fracture.  But it's been weeks since I first wrecked my foot and if anything my recent trail runs have made it worse.

After being cooped up for most of the week I decided it was time to go for a run on the weekend.  And on Sunday I went, with a bunch of people.  Ever since my friends heard that I started running they've been talking about doing runs together, and I've been resisting (subtly and sometimes unintentionally) for as long.  I'm still an extremely slow runner, and I like my slow pace.  My heart and lungs can't take a quicker pace, and I usually burn out if I try to follow someone else's pace.  But this time I agreed to go because there was a huge group of us, and it was a good motivation to get me off my butt.

Long story short, it was a disaster.  For me.  The others did splendidly.  Right after we started I could feel that I was going way faster than I'd liked, and I couldn't possibly hold a conversation at that pace.  After crossing two intersections I slowed down, and gave up on ever catching up with the pact.  Even then I was feeling the toll, and after climbing up a hill I was beat.  It was a bad start and I wasn't feeling good that day.  My stomach was full, my body was heavy, and I've been out of it for too long.  It was embarrassing.

And I think we got lost for a bit.  We sort of agreed on a route, and after losing sight of everyone I just went at my own pace around the route we had sort of agreed on.  I ended up walking the last quarter mile with a friend who was new to running and was overheating, and we took a detour to stop by our labs.  I particularly wanted to go to lab since I left my iPod there, which meant that I was running without any ways to track my run.  I know the route and I know approximately how far I ran, and honestly I don't want to know how I did since I did horribly and it's probably a good thing that it wasn't recorded.  But I like to feel "right" when I run, and I don't want to be constantly thinking about how I'm uncomfortable when I'm running.

After getting rehydrated and having my iPod back in lab, I decided to go for another run by myself, just a short run around the pond to make me feel better about myself.  I ended up going to the Pine Park trail  again since it's a nice 1.5 mile loop with shades and interesting terrains.  The run was nice and slow, and when I finished the loop it felt too short.  But I did seriously screw up my foot again.  It was inevitable to step on uneven ground with all the rocks and tree roots sticking out from the ground and at times there were some very alarming sharp pains emanating from my right foot.  I had to limp at times afterwards and today, and I iced my foot for a very long time last night.  I'm seriously debating whether I should go see someone and maybe get an X-ray on it.

So the take home message of yesterday is, I'm going to keep away from the trails for a long while.  Running on paved roads does upset my foot, but not nearly as badly as the uneven trails.  And also, no more running with other people.  To be honest I don't even know why I do it.  I like to listen to my iPod on the run (mostly recently StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson's cosmic podcast), and I like to run at a crawling pace (or more precisely, I like to not follow someone else's pace), and I don't like to talk to people when I run.  I think I only do it because others are kind enough to try to appeal to my interest.  I've never actively sought out companies to run with.  And I guess I just don't want to disappoint my friends.  But I doubt that any of them will want to run with me again after yesterday.  Which is perfectly fine with me and all I hope is that they don't think too horribly of me.

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