Here’s what I’ve figured out from my experiments with a return to running after a 10-15 year break:
1. If I run every 3-4 days and not more frequently my foot pain does not come back in a big way (so far). That could change quickly if I take a big misstep or if my shoes wear down or if the foot damage is very gradual and cumulative.
2. Speaking of shoes, I think the new “minimalist” running shoes are a good thing for me. Not the ones with toes, but the half-way-to-barefoot shoes category. I think it lessens the strike on the vulnerable part of my foot.
3. Pavement is just as good as grass or gravel. Maybe better. It just works better with the shoe.
Here’s what happened on tonight’s record-breaking lengthy jog (a humongous 2.4 miles or thereabouts)
- I passed a guy who looked up at me and began clapping his hands in praise. What the heck? How did he know it was a momentous run for me? A fraction of second later I realized I was wearing one of my “Playa Info” T-shirts. The man was praising me for being a PI volunteer at Burning Man! I’ve had these shirts a few years but this is the second time someone has taken notice since I moved to Fremont. I have playa street cred.
- There are a couple places on the Burke-Gilman trail where the echo of your footsteps make it sound exactly like someone is running right behind you. I look back. No one is there. It’s a sound-reflection artifact, but fill in your favorite metaphor: guardian angel, death, your conscience, Bigfoot …
Aaagh. It was my conscience. I just looked up the shoe company (Brooks) and they have an ugly record of labor code violations in Honduran sweatshops. Dang.