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Even on the drive home from work I knew I had to go out.  I was tired.  I had to go out.  I was stressed.  I had to go out.  It was wet and cold.  I had to go out.  The light was fading.  I just knew I had to go out.  

My foot has been bothering me for a year and it had not been the best day for my foot while at work.  I hadn’t eaten in quite a few hours.  I ran through a lot of reasons in my head why I should stay in.  I still felt the pull to go outside though.

So I went inside, grabbed some running clothes (I couldn’t have cared less how I looked or whether I could find something warmer), did some mobility exercises (because my foot was, as a friend once put it, “grumpy”), warmed up (I have too many old niggles not too), and I went out the door.  I couldn’t even find a headlamp to take with me in the dark.

I walked to the trail.  I walked up the trail.  The darkness was more of a comfort than a hinderance.  I began to run.  I knew I didn’t have much in me.  I think I only went out for maybe a mile and a half.  I stopped at one point and squatted down and looked out at the bright lights of Reno and said a prayer.  It was cold and windy but somehow I felt just a little bit of my burden slip away in the dark out there on the trail.

I brought home less weight than I took out.  I didn’t go far.  I walked half of it.  It wasn’t perfect… but it helped.  When I was cooking dinner at home after the run (I am being generous with the word “run”) I felt more grateful and just a little less stressed- I’m really glad I went out (even if it had to be alone) and I do not want to take that for granted.

Mobility Post Script:

Some of you might want to know what my mobility exercises were.  I like to take a small ball and divide the bottom of my foot into sections.  Then I stand on the ball in each section for about 30 seconds with as much weight/ pressure as my foot will allow.  It relaxes the soft tissue and allows (among other things) the joints to move more freely (and often affects pain if I am having some).  I don’t always recommend doing it right before a run unless you follow it up with some foot activation (like short foot exercises)- but if you have tight feet and ankles and make mobilizing them a habit- you will learn your own body more and know when you need to do it.  I mobilize my feet at least once a day (often in the morning or at night).  I recommend everyone learn how to do “soft tissue work” on yourself- it can reduce pain, help speed up recovery, and help you learn the wonderful body that we all get/ have to live in!

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