24th February 2015
I don’t know where to start. Maybe the beginning? Or rather at the point where I realized there is a problem?
After running 2 half marathons I realized something is not right with my feet. They don’t land on the ground correctly and tend to bend on one side. A bit of googling and I found out about something called ‘pronation’. I visited stores like Nike/Reebok/Adidas/Puma to check if they have shoes for pronation. Guess what? They don’t even know what it is.
The ASICS test at the ADHM expo is the best thing I got done. My doubts were proved right. I am a severe pronator.
Wikipedia defines pronation as ‘the inward roll of the foot while walking or running’. It’s natural and not acquired so changing the way you walk/run is impossible. And it’s not a problem in day to day walking or even normal running. But when you are a half marathon runner training for a full marathon it can be a cause for concern.
2 weeks before the Mumbai Half Marathon, I could not get the form for weighted squats correct. The problem is that for 1 year the trainer at my old gym made me do them incorrectly and it’s taking a lot of time and effort to get them right now. Anyway, a trainer helping me out said that my legs are stiff and running is not exactly good for them.
He is right about the former and I don’t really care for his latter opinion. Since then I have started taking yoga seriously to increase the flexibility in my legs.
I haven’t faced any issues when it comes to running till this Sunday. My Nike shoes have provided enough support and cushioning for 3 half marathons now without any issues. I had the 14 km trail on Sunday organized in a forest near the Faridabad toll road. I had not planned to run because this Sunday was rest weekend before the half marathon at F1 track next Sunday. But since I ran 16 km on the treadmill previous Sunday I thought a trail run would be good preparation for the HM.
It was a beautiful morning and so chilly. I even managed to talk to a 50 year old lady who struggled through her HM last year in September when I had run mine for the first time. Since then she has run HM at Delhi, Mumbai, 25 km at Run the Rann and was running 28 km that day followed by HM at F1 on 1st March. I was super impressed. I hope I have even half her drive at that age.
The run started off without a glitch. It was so nice being outdoors in the middle of nowhere. At 4 km my left foot started hurting and after 5 km I could barely walk. This has never happened to me before and I decided to get help at 7 km when we had to take a U turn. I didn’t want to screw up my foot for a 14 km run with a half marathon looming ahead in a week. I got a lift back on a volunteer’s bike followed by a ride in the car. It was heartbreaking…. sitting in the car when I could be out there running. But I kept telling myself this was just a run. It’s ok if I stopped. The half marathon is the big one. I had hoped to see a doctor who would give me medicines, a cure and viola I would beat my timing at F1 track on Sunday.
That’s not happening.
Did you know the science on foot care is called podiatry?
Did you know most hospitals don’t have a podiatrist?
Did you know that the earliest appointment I could get in Gurgaon was on Friday?
I went to an orthopaedic on Sunday, told him the problem and the cause of the problem (pronation) but he seemed to have no idea and wrapped the consultation hurriedly so he could watch the match. He also gave me gyaan on how running after 30 yrs is not good and creates problems later in life and blah… blah.. blah…
Today I saw a podiatrist in a posh hospital at Vasant Vihar. KC had suggested I don’t tell him the cause of the problem and let him come to the conclusion himself to check whether he knows his stuff. Turns out, he does.
So now I have a cast on my foot which can be inflated and deflated. Cool, na? I can imagine KC spending hours playing with it.
Just got a blood test done and have to start physiotherapy sessions soon.
Some could say I am pushing myself too hard. But I have been doing this long enough to know that’s not true. When we push our bodies to their limits, we will reach a breaking point. We have been treating our bodies like shit for years. Of course, it’s weak. I can either say ‘This is the limit. And this is where I stop’ or I can say ‘Ok. Let’s correct this and push beyond the limit’.
Which one do you think athletes choose? If you want to be fit, limits are where you pause, correct whatever is going wrong, start again and cross the limit.
Limits are not where you quit. Failure is when you quit.