One of the things which was suggested might reduce the discomfort and strengthen my feet was running in Vibram Fivefingers - which I have also mentioned before. The idea of minimalist running shoes fits nicely with the whole "naked running" concept which I find rather appealing, so accordingly, I purchased myself a pair of Vibrams and headed out last Saturday for my first run.
|Vibram Fivefinger Bekilas|
The most notable difference of course is the way I ran. My stride felt significantly shorter and I was probably landing with less of a heel strike, although I was definitely not landing on my toes. As a result, my balance felt completely different and took a bit of getting used to. I had expected of course, that all of this would result in sore calves for a while as my muscles adjusted, however I was pleased to discover the following day, that I was discomfort free.
Not wanting to push things too far, I returned to my usual running shoes for our longer World Rivers Day Run the following day. No problem there either.
|Geelong Runners at Barwon Valley on World Rivers Day|
Likewise on Friday afternoon I did two slow, 3km runs along the river. Still sore, but no apparent problems. On Saturday I headed off for my run with the group. Still stiff, I was happy to take it slowly. We headed out to the turn around point and began to make our way back. I noticed a small amount of pain in the top of my right foot. In an attempt to ease the discomfort I wiggled my toes a few times. As I did so, I felt a pop. That wasn't good. It wasn't painful, but running was no longer an option.
Realising that something wasn't right, everyone stopped and together we walked - well they walked and I hobbled - back to our starting point. From there it was just a matter of heading to the x-ray department (via a much needed coffee at my favourite haunt in East Geelong: Gobble Food and Coffee).
Several hours and an x-ray later the end result...
|The injured limb|
So, my challenge now is firstly to stay fit without doing any form of exercise which substantially involves my legs and secondly to consider ways of accessing the Barwon which don't involved running, riding or - for the moment - walking any great distance.
I suspect perhaps that my next post may involve disabled access to the river - not an issue I've considered prior to the present...