Monday, July 5, 2010

My Foot Goes Gangstah

I don't want to alarm anyone, but I have reason to believe my feet may have joined the family. My toes aren't packing or anything (though there is a very suspicious callous on my big toe), but what with the dull but pulsing ache in the top of my foot that reared its ugly head this weekend, I can't help but feel my feet are trying to send me a message I can't ignore.

Plus there's the gravelly gangster voice my feet use when they talk to meyou knowin my head:

What fresh hell is this, Toots? Huh? You make us foot those extra pounds all these years and when you finally lose them you think it's slam-the-sidewalk time?

You feel that twinge in your tarsal bones, babe? Do ya? Yeah, I thought so. Keep running, Toots. Yeah.

You just keep it up.
After running 18 miles on Friday, my feet were a bit tired, by Saturday they hurt, and following Sunday's five-mile run in the hellaciously hilly country my mother-in-law calls home, I was in pain. I iced. Four times, I iced. I took ibuprofen. I surfed my husband's iPhone for information on stress fractures. Fortunately, this was definitely not a stress fracture. Not nearly painful enough. What it was, in fact, was an embarrassment: I'm lacing my running shoes too tightly.

Well wrap me in a toga and call me Bam-Bam!

So before my walk this morning, I tied my shoes while arching my foot to allow for extra space, trudged up and down those same hills, and poof!the bark of the don living in my foot was almost completely stilled. Good news, clearly.* But I do have one persistent worry:

If I spend an extra minute or two tying my laces just so before my eight-mile run tomorrow morning, does that make me the Tanya Harding of marathon training?

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, an independent writing center in Boston, MA. Sponsor the run (and quite frankly, her second wind) at

* Kidding aside, I want to go on record about how lucky I feel to have avoided injury. I know training for marathons isn't a smooth ride for everyone, and I'm grateful. Even when I poke fun, I'm grateful.

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