It turns out that the song was right after all:
The toe bone connected to the heel bone,
The heel bone connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone connected to the back bone,
The back bone connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone connected to the head bone
Well, it's right up until the point about hearing the word of the Lord, anyway.
To be fair, it is based on Ezekiel 37: 1-14, but if you're looking for that kind of stuff here, you'd probably better move right along.
So, a recap: my MS means that my balance isn't very good, particularly on my left side. This means that, when I'm tired, I drop my left leg a bit and scuff my foot as I run. Over the course of time and of around 100 running miles a month, this scuffing has started to tear the cartilage in my left knee and I now have knee ouch. As my body tries to protect my knee as I run, I've also developed stiffness and cramping in my calves, especially my left calf. This in turn has affected the way I run and has limited the mobility in my left ankle as my hips, knee and ankle turn away from the centre line of my body with every stride. This has apparently put pressure on the tendon in the sole of my foot - the plantar fascia - resulting in tightness and pain.
Who knew? It sounds so simple.
So, the smart person would probably figure out that they weren't built for running and would stop, right? Well, as we've long established here... I'm not a smart person. I've upped my mileage and I'm likely going to run the Robin Hood half marathon again in September. I don't even really like running, for goodness sake. Who does? I like the feeling I get when I've been running.... but I definitely prefer eating pies and drinking beer to running.
What kind of a weirdo would you have to be to enjoy inflicting pain on yourself like that? No matter how much you do it, it never really gets any easier either... not if you're doing it right. That's why most runners are really sympathetic to beginners: we know exactly how much it hurts: we might be running further and faster, but it hurts just the same. Maybe more.
I've said it before, I know, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let something as ridiculous as my puny, fragile body stop me from getting out and slogging my guts out until I can barely get out of bed the next morning. It's how I know I'm still alive. So I'll roll my calves with a foam roller, I'll ease the tension in my planta fascia by wrapping an elastic band around my ankle and using it to hold my toes up as I roll a little wooden ball underneath my foot, I'll do all the stretches and lunges that are apparently necessary to try and correct my wonky running gait. I'll even put mildly uncomfortable but apparently very supportive inserts into all my shoes. I'll do whatever it takes to continue inflicting pain on myself as often as I can. If you were in my shoes, my heavily built up supportive running shoes, you'd do the same too, right?
Yeah. Runners are freaks alright. Lycra clad freaks, at that.... Lycra clad freaks with no sensible place to put their keys... but definitely freaks. Well, if I'm not a freak, then I'm definitely an idiot.
Hill training tomorrow.