Do You See What I See?
Comedian Dave Attell said he’d never become a jogger, because joggers are always the ones that find bodies. I hope that’s never me. The most I ever expected to see was car parts left from wrecks during my New Year’s Day morning run. I didn’t. But here’s something I did see…. blood bags.
They were empty blood bags, but blood bags nonetheless.
It happened last weekend, during my first post-op long run. They were spewed along the road. I saw them and thought they couldn’t be what they looked like. When I backtracked, I got a second look. I still thought, “No, that can’t be.” I glanced at a bag and saw stickers with bar codes. One sticker had a big “A.”
“That’s such a generic letter,” I reasoned. “I’m sure it doesn’t stand for Type A blood.”
Then, I stopped and stared at another one. It had a different label - “O+”.
I couldn’t think of any non-blood-related O+ references. I have to start asking other runners what kind of stuff they’ve run across.
That Old Feeling
During today's run, I felt a little tug at the bottom of my right foot. When I finished, I got a water bottle out of the freeze and rolled my feet over it for a while.
I'm paranoid about getting plantar fasciitis again. The last (and first) time I had it, it lasted eight months. I still have a closet full of splints, shoe inserts, and wraps.
It's the inflammation of the tissue that connects your heel to the ball of your foot. Like me, most people will notice the pain when you take your first steps in the morning.
Here's what I think caused it: my Brooks minimalist shoes. This is nothing against Brooks. I'm a fan of their gear. This is just another cautionary tale of selecting the right shoes.
I went to my local running store and got recommendations to replace my old (and first) pair of proper running shoes. They recommended two pairs. One was a minimalist Brooks shoe. I had never heard of a minimalist shoe. It was very light (and, yes, they were pretty). I was sold.
About a month and a half passed, and I started to feel the pain on my right foot, when I took my first steps in the morning. Soon, it hurt when I took most of my steps. Oddly enough, my foot didn't hurt when I ran.
My shoes were practically new. The store recommended them based on my old shoe. It couldn't have been my shoes, I thought.
I would've made the problem worse and delayed my return to the store, but I had just started with Team in Training. I figured I need to make extra sure I had the right gear.
I went back to the store, told a (different) salesperson what was happening and found the fatal flaw. When deciding on the Brooks, neither the first salesperson nor I talked about the distance I was running. I learned the Brooks minimalist was recommended for two miles or less or a trip to the gym. I had been increasing my distance from a 5K to a 10K, so I was exceeding that.
(Quick note: I know there's disagreement on using minimalist shoes for long runs. But my experience matched the second salesperson's view on the matter in this case.)
I switched back to a pair of Asics for the remainder of my Team in Training experience and the following months. I ran comfortably, but the pain didn't go away. I tried splints, special socks, foot inserts, massage devices and so on.
Eventually, a cortisone shot, some meds and four weeks without running helped. What I think finally got rid of the pain was, oddly enough, the opposite of the suspected cause. I bought some maximalist shoes (aka fat shoes) - a pair of Hoka One One Conquest.
So the lesson is when buying shoes make sure to tell the salesperson how far you're running.
First Post-Op Run
A little less than two weeks after my gall bladder surgery, the doctor said I could return to my normal activities. As I’m the paranoid sort, I waited another week before I went for a run.
It was just a mile. I felt more jiggly than usual, so that was oh so encouraging. About halfway through, what felt like a large paper-cut irritated my left side. That made no sense as my incisions were on the other side. I kept having to pull my shirt away from my skin.
My time was disheartening. I returned to my old very, very slow time, instead of the (improved) just slow time. Ah, well, at least I was moving again.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.