Foot Frustration - Learn to Run Week 4

Thursday, July 09, 2015
Week 4 of Learn-to-Run is almost over but the problems with my feet and calves continue. Despite a great visit with my physiotherapist on Tuesday, when I ran on Wednesday the pain came right back without any hesitation. Yes, I know. One visit to the physio does not solve the problem but it’s frustrating nonetheless. New to the pity party and not sure what I’m talking about? You can read a bit of my past problems here, here, here, here and … here.  The short story is that I have done some bad things to me feet over the last 40 years due to my habit of sitting on one of my legs and wrapping both stems around the legs of whatever chair I’m currently sitting in. Attempts at running on and off over the past five years have met with the same result – I get to a certain point and my feet and my calves rise up in revolt and attempt a coup.

This new running journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. After the first class, I had my usual thoughts of quitting but rebounded quickly with some awesome words of wisdom from Robyn. While it’s been tough, moving as quickly as we do from one week to the next, I’ve enjoyed each run, even the bad ones. But then, after the first two weeks, my foot and both calves started acting up as if right on cue. Tight arches by the second or third set, accompanied by tight calves do not lend themselves to running success. It’s annoying and painful. I have managed, so far, to get through each run despite the pain but when does it become dangerous to do so? You hear horror stories of people snapping their Achilles or some other dreadful sounding injury. I definitely do not want to go through something like that.

I had success with both physiotherapists I’ve seen in regards to my running problems – Marcel for my feet and Joyce for my calves. However, neither round of treatment (and at home care) was really immediate or long lasting at the outset. It took multiple visits and, for my arches, it was recommended last time that I take a break from running to give my feet a chance to start righting themselves. This is not the route I want to take given the success (and fun!) I’m currently having with my running group. There is a wonderful core group of 4 or 5 of us that usually show up to all the extra group runs the Running Room offers and I don’t want to lose the comradery we’ve built together over the past four weeks. However, if things with my feet don’t improve, I don’t want to risk further injury.

Our next group run is on Sunday morning; the last of the R3/W1s. I will be spending the next three days doing my toe curls and stretching & strengthening my calf muscles as best I can. No decisions to be made immediately but without improvement of their current state, some hard choices may have to be made soon.


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