this summer is going to look a lot different from previous summers, because i am on a strict no running, no hiking, no long walking regimen for the foreseeable future.
here’s how we got to where we are today.
i have had flat feet and weak ankles all my life. i sprained my ankles a lot as a kid, and when i was in high school i learned how painful shin splints are. when i started running 10 years ago, i was careful to run on smooth pavement and to not run multiple days in a row so as to not aggravate it, and for the most part i’ve done well. sometimes after longer runs my feet would hurt for a few days, but i would take some advil and call it a day. i invested in better shoes and good insoles and thought that was enough.
but then 2020 happened.
since i had so much more free time due to the pandemic, i was outside on my feet significantly more than in previous years. i ran over 100 miles, walked probably twice that, and hiked close to another 100. all of that activity combined with getting older put a lot of added stress on my joints.
i finally went to a podiatrist a few weeks ago, and he showed me exactly what was causing the problems. i went back last week to get fitted for some ankle braces – this summer’s coolest accessory – and to talk through what the next few months of life will look like.
and the verdict is: no running, hiking, or long walks until i build back some strength in my feet and ankles. no squat jumps or burpees [honestly, a blessing] or things that require jumping around. lots of yoga, swimming, and cycling are on my horizon.
and it sucks.
trust me, i understand it. i’m the daughter of two doctors and the sister of an ever-injured older brother. my mother just recovered from a broken femur. i know the importance of strength training and following doctors’ orders and taking things slow. but that doesn’t mean i’m very good at it.
summer is when i do my best running. i love my 5.30am runs before anyone else is awake. i love the trails at shelby forest. i love when alex and i go for a “short” walk and find out later we traversed 6 miles in downtown memphis.
but if i don’t take this time off now to heal, my problems will only get worse. he didn’t say i can never run or hike again. he said i have to take a break. so that’s what i’ll do.