I resumed my old “Almost to the beach and back” route for long run # 2. It was a rather uneventful 9 miler aside from two disturbing trends I decided to start hating. I’m fueled by blind rage so I need something to stew while I’m running and this time it was – aggressive yielding and toe pain. I’ll tackle the toe-pain first since it is short and relatively benign. Since disavowing heavily padded shoes in favor of proper form I have had to relearn how to run. I’m a relatively frugal man, so rather than pay a coach, I figured I’d teach myself and teaching me is rather slow and painful.
The idea behind minimalist shoes is: if you run wrong it will hurt more than running wrong in padded shoes and if you run properly it will hurt less than padded shoes. To be sure: running shoes do not prevent injury. This is a heated topic and though counter-intuitive I have seen more credible evidence from the minimalist side than from the shoe company side. Add this to my personal history and you have made one runner who has passed on the pads. Running still hurts when you push the limits of speed or distance, but it’s a different type of hurt that to me is more of a painful slap on the back than an alarm. But then there’s bone or joint pain, which I am going through now.
The pain creeps up between miles 4 and 5 – sooner when heavy downhill running is occurring – and starts towards the front of the ball of my foot behind the gap between my big and second toes. Every landing makes pain shoot forward along the insides of both toes. If I stop and wiggle the toes for a bit it goes away. Luckily my beach route is rife with traffic lights and cross walks so I get a lot of opportunities to do this but alleviating the symptoms is not my goal. I have to shorten my stride and be lighter and rest. I’m not going to rest. I’m going to run in padded shoes for a week and then go back to the minimalist shoes once I don’t have pain during the day. I’m also laying low on my signature boat shoes as they lead to the forefoot slap that at least exacerbates (if it doesn’t cause or contribute to) the pain which I’ve heard could be either Sesamoiditis or Morton’s neuroma or another M word that I forgot. Is it clear that I’m a recovering hypochondriac? It was never that severe but I tend to get fanatical about health problems ever since the Ulcerative Colitis [mis] diagnosis (which is a story for another time).
Aggressive yielding is scary and annoying. It’s when a car pulls into a crosswalk that you’re in, and stops and waits for you to continue about an inch past them and then hits the gas and goes off to the dickbag convention they’re so obviously late for. It’s so obviously dangerous that I refuse to even argue why. Mitigating factors: they possibly (usually) are oblivious to the presence of a runner, especially at night and stopping when a runner is in the crosswalk is what the law demands. But if you’re going to sit in your car and wave me on like I’m the asshole who’s holding you up, I want you to consider my position: dodging a two-thousand pound battering ram with a less than attentive pilot at the helm who’s body language suggests a considerable lack of mutual respect.
The worst are the drivers on their phones. I usually smile and laugh off the person who was watching traffic, saw a hole and half-gunned it – I’ve been there. It’s embarrassing and impossible to apologize from a car to a near-victim. I do take it personally, however when a driver is making themselves unfit to operate a vehicle safely. So I tell them. I have never done it nicely, either. Usually I stand where I should be allowed to cross and wait for them to notice me before mouthing “HANG THE FUCK UP” or “GET OFF THE PHONE” and giving them a stink eye. Sometimes, if I’m in a rush I’ll give a decent wrap on the body with my knuckles. I’ve even mis-timed it once and had to dukes of hazard slide across the hood (well the front left quarter of the hood) (they got out and yelled at me, I told them to call the cops, they probably didn’t because they knew they almost killed me). Or if it’s a piece of shit car that looks scary, I’ll just run behind it. Running is dangerous on its own, it should not be compounded. And don’t get me started on cyclists. At least cars pretend to stop at stop signs and don’t drive on the sidewalks. Jesus.
Monday was weigh-in day. As predicted: my complete lack of self-control and Irish / Italian roots caused me to pack in potatoes and pasta and bread and booze and cheesecake and just about all the garbage you can fit on a plate for four days straight including bacon fat popped popcorn and a meal that was replaced wholly by kettle corn and Belgian beer. This of course resulted in a bit of a setback and an overcompensation, which I’m so good at.
At the beginning of week three these were my stats.
Body fat: 24%
Third category: 53.1 (I still am not entirely sure what this is. Could be hydration.)
So I’m up 1 pound and .3% body fat. Which translates to 51.88 total pounds of fat which is an increase of: .88lbs fat (and .12 lbs. muscle!)
So of course now I’ve altered my nutrition drastically, which I will delve into more another time. I do have to say that it is not the cookie diet this time. It’s much more nutritionally sound.