Sunday, November 20, 2011

My right foot, part 2

Three years ago, I wrote about how I faithfully read Runners' World magazine every month and how I wanted to be a runner. You can read that (if you want to) here. A thousand days later (more or less), I can now say I'm running. I may be a beginner, and I may be pathetically slow, but at least I'm doing it.

Thanks to a nifty Couch to 5K iPhone app and the Active Trainer, I'm now in week 3 of my running training program. I can run three whole minutes without stopping now - whee!!! I'm sure those of you who've been running awhile are probably guffawing, but if you know me, you understand that this is a big deal.

You see, I'm a person who's been plagued for years with issues with my right foot. I've sprained it, broken it, and even had surgery on it. I've had plantar fasciitis and tarsal tunnel syndrome. It's been a rough journey. But I can't blame everything on my right foot. Even when I was young and fit, I could never run more than a mile. Maybe because I didn't care to back then.

A few months ago, I visited with an orthopedist to discuss my right foot. After reviewing my very long case history, he took some new x-rays and gave me some good news: my right foot is perfectly healthy. He said there was no orthopedic reason that I shouldn't be able to run a little, if I followed a reasonable program. He fitted me in special brace that I could wear to keep my foot from wobbling, but so far (touch wood as my friend Eli says) I haven't needed it.

I'm paying close attention to my form now. I'm aware of how my entire body feels from the first nanosecond that my foot strikes the ground (at mid-foot, I've noticed) until it lifts off again and goes into the air. I've never paid attention like this before. Hopefully, if I can keep this focus, I can avoid future injuries. Maybe someday, I'll even run an entire 5K (supposedly, I'll be able to in six more weeks if I keep up with the program). Keep your fingers crossed for me!