An intersection of running and writing

Today’s post is scheduled to be a running topic, based on my self-imposed plan to alternate between posts on running and writing for children.  Enthusiasm for this challenge is lacking because this is my third day of not running, two days more than my training plan dictates.  But one of the cardinal rules of writing is, as Nike says, “just do it”.  Get your bum in the seat and write.  So here we go.

The reason I missed a scheduled training run is because the top of my left foot started to hurt a few days ago.  It wasn’t an end-of-the-world kind of pain, so part of me thought, “Let’s just go out and have an easy run.  It’ll probably feel better after a few miles.”  But another part of me reminded the first part that this approach had been tried a few years ago with disastrous results.  Better to stay off it for a few days.  So that’s what I’ve been doing.

Instead of hitting the trail yesterday, I spent that time engaged in problem solving by mining the Internet to find a quick and easy answer for my new foot concern.  Those of you who share this form of self-directed health care know that you can find plenty of scary options online for what ails you.  For pain in the top of your foot, possibilities seem to range from tying your shoes too tightly (easy to overcome) to having a stress fracture (not what I want to hear), with many choices in between.  You can find a plethora of diagnoses, treatments, and other suggestions from health aid venders, pharmaceutical firms and profit-based medical centres.  You can spend hours watching YouTube snippets showing you how to treat your feet, how to tie your sneakers differently, or how to stretch your foot out.  Some useful information and advice can often be found on comment threads of the injuries forum at Runner’s World.  However, despite all investigative efforts to find an instant cure or a categorical statement that running through it is the best approach, the bottom line – as usual – is RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation – plus ibuprofen.  That translates into: take a few days off.  So that’s what I’m doing.

Although writing about running is not a satisfying substitute for heading out the door into the sunshine to go for a nice run, there are several things that writing and running share:

  1. Writing and running engender passion among their adherents.
  2. Writing and running are individual activities (there are running groups and writing groups, but they’re not team sports!).
  3. Writing and running requires their adherents to dig deep to accomplish their goals.
  4. Both activities help their practitioners understand themselves better.

As well, both vocations have a seemingly similar underpinning:

–    for writing, sit down and write, and,

–    for running, put on your running shoes and put one foot in front of the other.

Unfortunately, with running, sometimes you need to listen to your body and leave your running shoes by the door.  Sigh.

Whenever I get a twinge somewhere that relates to my ability to go for a run, I think to myself, “This is it.  I know I’ve been living on borrowed time for running.”  This time, I’ve added, “But, dear body, please just let me get through the Ottawa Half at the end of May and then the Chicago Marathon in October.  That’s all I ask.”  Last year, I asked to get through New York in November.  That worked.  Hopefully I’ll be as lucky this year.

Let’s see, I’ve been resting and behaving for 2 days now.  I should be good to go by tomorrow!


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4 Responses to An intersection of running and writing

  1. Unlike the commentator before me, I’ve never been pregnant, but I have run a few miles (225 miles from Houston to Dallas; 663 from Copper Harbor, MI to Pontiac stadium; 3,160 miles across the US; & loads of other ultra distance runs). After a while you get a sixth sense about listening to your body and knowing what to do. When I first started when I had huge doubts and confusion about what to do I would always error on the side of caution. No one has ever made an injury worse by resting. Sounds to me like you are doing the right thing.

    Be encouraged!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Thanks, Steve. You’re right, that’s what I had to do. You know, I had to come around to your being a mega-ultramarathoner one step at a time. The first post I read was your “really long post”. It was a fabulous read, but I couldn’t decide if it was pure fiction or based on fact! Based on fact. 🙂

  2. Running in Mommyland says:

    When I was pregnant with my twins I Internet searched every ailment! It was not very smart and created huge anxiety! I try not to do it anymore, but sometimes can’t help myself. By the way, I didn’t realize you were planning to run Chicago! You are my hero!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I’m guessing that family docs know more about what to watch for with twins than they seem to with soft tissue injuries in runners. In my experience , if the right comment thread can be found, there is some good advice to be had – including warnings of something to avoid – from similarly afficted runners who have preceded me in experimenting with treatments. I’m hooked! Yeah, I’ve signed up my hisband, my brother and myself for Chicago! My husband is now recovering from a “gym” injury (doing way too much) and may have capped his long distance running “career”, but I’m hoping for at least one more. One at a time. 🙂 Thanks for following.

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