It’s 18 days until my first 5K and I have a hitch in my giddy-up. I think it happened two weeks ago during cycling class. I had to shove over and take the fourth bike on the first row rather than the third bike that I always ride. The shoe clip on the fourth bike was a bit loose. I clipped in, it seemed stable enough. Halfway through a series of jumps, my shoe unclipped [because I was pointing my toe down — bad form] and my foot jerked off the peddle. The muscles running up the side of my calf and thigh cramped a bit, but I re-clipped and motored on.
In class that day was my gym nemesis. You know her — the formerly unfit, overweight middle aged woman who wants to save the world from obesity. Before every class she imparts unsolicited biking advice. She shares diet tips. I love when she squarely looks at me when she shares a new bit of fat loss wisdom. She was the one who took bike three on the first row causing me to move over a bike. Clearly, she’s trying to take me down. And I wasn’t about to stop mid-ride in front of her because of a little cramp.
Later that day I didn’t make the connection between my hip being tender and the unclipping incident. If I pressed on my hip near my hip bone, it felt like I had slammed myself down a flight of stairs. [A practice I am not unfamiliar with.] My hip wasn’t visibly bruised. [Though my knee was thanks to an unfortunate crowbar accident.] Within a few days I was walking like my foot was broken. It wouldn’t bend at the arch until I worked up some momentum. This is a problem. Bruises, I can handle. Tenderness, I can handle. Walking like I should be riding a Rascal around Walmart, well, that’s uncool.
Z and I went to Fleet Feet Sports for new running shoes. My shoes were worn out and Z’s shoes carried the musty order of having walked through a third world country. Ted, my sales guy, measured my feet, fitted me in a pair of Brooks and took me outside for a run around the block. I like ’em. They are cushy. And because my foot hurt, he totally sold me on the inserts. I had to sacrifice plushness for a stable heel. Still not making the connection to the unclipping incident, I was convinced my foot was saved.
Let me point out that at no time was I actually in pain. I was more stiff, like I had been riding in a car for the past twelve hours. So even though this carried on for two weeks, I didn’t pay it a great deal of mind. Beside, after all of the fertility and dermatology appointments, I was over the whole experience of going to the doctor for advice. What I did need though was a massage. I’m not going to lie. I get a massage every month. It started out only being a special occasions like my birthday. Then I started working with middle school children and the need for a massage intensified. I increased to a special Winter Break massage and an End of the School Year massage. Before I knew it I had convinced myself I needed one every month. It’s great for stress relief. I internalize stress… until it’s not internalized anymore and I come off like a villain in a Marvel comic. I consider my massages to be a public service.
So last Saturday I went in for a massage at my gym. I told my massage therapist about my weird foot malfunction and she said she would take a look. I was hoping for a foot massage. Instead, she pressed her palm into my hip. A half second later I shrieked and almost fell off the table. She nodded her head knowingly. It’s your IT Band [Iliotibial band], she said, you probably just strained it. She said my foot was off because I was overcompensating for my tender hip. She prescribed stretching morning and night and a week’s rest, which has helped tremendously. I had already skipped a couple training days last week, so I consider today to be the end of my respite. I need to get back at it tomorrow. Eighteen days will be gone in a blink of an eye.
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