I hurt my foot while out watering the plants two nights ago. It was dark outside when I pushed open the sliding door and eased onto the stairs leading to the patio. As I stepped down the concrete block stairs, the heel of my foot caught under the ridge of the stairs and it scraped my heel, but not too badly.
The next morning was when the pain began. Not in my heel, but under the ball of my right front toe. It still hurts today, and will likely hurt for at least four or five more days.
For the meantime, I will be living with pain.
I’ve lived with all sorts of pain over the years. Most of us learn to limp along one way or the other. The risk in doing that is in coming down with some compensatory injury on the other side of your body. Putting additional stress on an opposing limb to make up for an injury is not always the best strategy.
I know this much: I won’t be running for a few more days. That means preparation for the October half-marathon planned as a teammate with my sister-in-law must be delayed. I ran seven miles on Saturday and have not run since.
Fortunately I can swim and likely cycle. At least the aerobic side of things will be maintained. Many times I’ve lucked through a running race based on my long history in the sport.
But a half-marathon is a different animal for a man my age. My joints protest after eight miles or so. That means it’s time for strength work to build up my hip flexors and quads for the additional miles.
Hit the pace
This year I raced 5K at 7:20 pace. Last year I raced 5K at sub-7:00 pace. But my goal for a half-marathon is going to be maintaining 8:30. If somehow my body wants to do more, that’s fine. But being realistic is important when you have not run that distance in training or racing in so many years.
At some point the race will start to hurt a bit. Fatigue will kick in. But that sensation I can handle. It’s the sharp soreness in my foot right now that gives me pause. Will it go away on something resemble a normal recovery time from injury? Or has something more dire transpired?
All one can do is wait, ice and medicate. So I bought a bottle of Advil and that helps. Living with pain requires a strategy. It’s part of life, but living with pain takes patience is a question of hedging our bets, and limping as little as you can.