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I made a mistake and then repeated it again. The dictionary calls it insanity, personally I think of it as one of the 7 deadly ones. Pride.
The runs were coming along just fine, the plan almost faithfully adhered to with just one twist. They were almost all barefoot.
My first mistake was a 10k completely barefoot last Sunday, followed by a shoe-shod 6k on Tuesday which felt dull and then a 10k on Thursday which started out with shoes for a couple of miles before it became a barefoot run. That was the second mistake.
By the end of that run, the bottom of my right foot felt super tender. I thought the usual care would take care of it but the tenderness was stubborn and slow to go.
I waited Friday out and thought I might do a small 3k on Saturday but the monkeys took over. I was scared. Sunday was the long run which was dutifully prepared for but I did not go. I had fuelled well, rested well but my mind was not in it. I had already written off any running for the rest of my life and had given full play to all that chatter in my head. The insanity had to run its course and after chasing my demons, it finally came down to a realistic stock taking.
Now what.
The biggest blow was to my pride. Running barefoot felt good so it didn’t take long for the compulsive part in my head to take over and against good sense and advice (thank you bgddy and AJ), I ran barefoot too much, too soon. I didn’t want to blog about it or talk about it because, “how could I be so stupid?”
Made my peace with my foolishness and got a move on. I took myself to the doctor today and he gave me a clean chit and told me to keep the shoes on for a while. He had me get an X-ray taken and I was mesmerized by the image of my foot on the screen. The foot is such an elegant structure. I always thought of my feet as ugly, they weren’t petite and ladylike. They were just long and thin but the black and white image on that screen was beautiful. Not because it was my foot, but just because it was a foot. I digress here though.
In all this melee, the scales were tipped in favour of running compared to asana practice. I did do my practice but my thrills were in running barefoot. I need the balance and grounding that a solid asana practice gives me to keep perspective. It has to be in that order for me always.
Barefoot feels right but I suppose I need to ease into it. A little rudimentary yoga does not wipe away years of imbalance and instability. So hopefully, I can get back into it with a little humility and maybe eventually be a barefooter and not just a barefoot runner.
In this entire drama of a few days, the monkey mind took control completely. I questioned my ability to run at all. I thought of completely ditching the training and giving up on running. I had a pity party with myself thinking of all the things that I didn’t have in my favour. That’s not my natural state. I’m a bit of an unrealistic optimist most of the time and like to look forward. In my books, this stumble is good. It keeps me grounded and takes me back to basics, my trusty old tadasana that humbles me time and time again. Someday, this will be an episode that I will smile at, actually I’m already smiling.
Today, while walking back from the library with my little girl, we broke into a run and all was fine. I will get out tomorrow. It’s a 6k as per the plan so will just do a 6k and keep my shoes on.

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