I became a runner when I started running track at age fourteen. I have run consistently since my freshman year of high school and it is now a big part of who I am –sometimes I even wear my running shoes around the house because they bring me so much comfort.– The one and only time I took a break from running was the summer I was fifteen, and it was so painful to start up again after a mere two week halt that I vowed I would never do it again. Eight years later this has held true; until about a month ago.
I’ve run through injuries my entire life. Should I? Probably not. But as long as I was able to and didn’t collapse from the pain, I always did. I’ve typically gotten one injury a year that I’ve always run through, either in the fall or winter. However, since the middle of February, I’ve been nursing injury after injury. First, it was my hip. It was extremely painful to run, but I trudged along anyway. In mid March, right when my hip got better on its own, the top of my left foot started to hurt. I’ve had running-related injuries on my heel and the outside of my feet before, but never on the top. I typically run in Saucony’s and had just changed to a new pair of Asics, so I ditched the Asics –even though they’re a better running shoe– and resorted back to my trustworthy Saucony’s. During this injury I took a few days off to give my foot time to heal, but I was still running a solid three days a week. Shortly after this debacle, my right calf started acting up. For a few weeks I ran through the discomfort, but it eventually got to the point where the strained feeling became unbearable. On May 20 I went on what was to become my last run in over a month.
Oddly enough, my calf was not the injury that proved my downfall. A week after I stopped running I went on a 4 mile walk, feeling fine until I was a block away from my apartment. That’s when shooting pains started searing through the bottom of my left foot. Every step I took was a challenge. My foot suddenly couldn’t take any pressure on the bottom of it, which clearly made walking a huge issue. After barely making it to the train the next morning on my commute, I made the drastic decision to go to the ER. This is saying a lot, because I never get injuries looked at. I didn’t even want to go to the hospital after getting hit by a car, but my parents and relatives demanded this to happen. I assumed that I must have randomly gotten a stress fracture in the bottom of my foot. However, after four hours at the ER, multiple X Rays, and no results of broken or fractured bones, I was at a loss as to what was wrong with my foot. Skipping ahead five weeks, I am still baffled as to what is wrong with my foot. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor twice a week and I am finally able to walk and lightly run again, but I’m not nearly healed. It feels great to be running after a five week hiatus in my active lifestyle –although I’m horribly out of shape to the point of it being painful to start up again,– but running 2 miles a few times a week isn’t me. This is not how I planned to spend my summer, the part of the year that is typically the most active for most people. For the last month I’ve felt trapped in my own body. Mostly, I’m just frustrated that so many different body parts have been failing me lately. That isn’t supposed to happen until I’m much older! For now I’m adjusting to this alien life of not waking up at 5:30 for a 4 mile morning run and I’m getting by—but just barely.