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All natural

What’s that expression? Two steps forward, one step back? Close, but no cigar? Making a pig’s ear of it? Stop now before you blow your freaking calf as well as your foot?

I’m not sure which one I’m after really, but here’s the good news: I ran this weekend and felt no pain in my feet. That’s right, no pain at all during AND after my run. This is big. Huge really. Because up until Saturday I could run short distances, pretty much pain-free, but would suffer hours later when a heel and foot ache would almost certainly set in.

The bad news? My 5K run came to an abrupt halt around the 4K mark when my left calf tightened so suddenly and extremely I was afraid that if I ran another step something inside my leg would actually pop – and not in an exciting, “Hooray! It’s the Queen’s birthday let’s celebrate with champagne and fireworks!” kind of way. So I stopped, prancercised it home and assessed the situation.

In the end, I concluded it’s just my calf begging for mercy. It’s been working hard lately and needs a break. You see, physio Steve’s been working on my running technique. He says that if I want to avoid heel pain when I run, I shouldn’t land on my heel (seriously the guy’s a genius! ). As such, we’ve been working on mid-foot striking or, as it’s also called, “natural running” and that involves a lot of calf work. But I’ll be honest, this technique feels about as natural to me as Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, but not nearly as awesome. My toes hurt, my calves are screaming and worst of all, you can’t even squeeze a gel into that plastic bikini (believe me I’ve tried).

miley Cyrus

Nevertheless, I’m sticking with Physio Steve’s plan. Because I think he’s right – my feet are getting better and after some Advil, a wicked encounter with a muscle roller and a glass (or three) of red wine my calf feels almost normal again.

What’s more? There’s that other expression my mum keeps throwing at me: “perseverance breeds success.” Giving up now is not an option.


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