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!