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Imagine ... If I Wasn’t A Heel Striker...

At least ... 🎶 “I’m not the only one ...” 🎵 Ringo, Paul (who obviously had just finished reading 📖 “Born To Run” 🤣) & George all look like they’re heel strikers too ... verdict is still out on John 😉.

I‘ve never been a runner, so unsurprisingly up until a few months ago I had never heard of phrases like “VO2 max”, “lactate threshold”, ”negative splits”, or “running stride”. Finding myself unable to walk in mid-January of this year should have tipped me off as to what the rest of 2020 might have in store for me, but it was that cold fateful morning that I realized that something was seriously wrong. I had taken a few weeks off over the holidays / after our first ever marathon in December 2019, but had gone out for a run the day before and felt perfectly fine. It was then that I considered that perhaps I might be “running wrong”. I immediately sought the help of a physical therapist & sports medicine doctor, and it was confirmed. I run bad (the irony 😉). I was told I’m a heavy heel striker, and that fact did not bode well for my plantar fasciitis diagnosis. After months of extreme pain, frustration, hopping around the house on one leg, feeling sorry for myself, depression, quarantine, battling the keto flu (that’s a whole other blog post 🤣), countless physical therapy sessions (that I thought would involve comforting heat wraps and lovely relaxing massages but in all reality had me cursing under my breath and sweating profusely and totally exasperated) ... I realized I would essentially have to re-learn how to run. After months of rest, rehab and only walking, my physical therapist had me run a mile on the treadmill in his office. I was petrified that I’d wake up the next morning in the same state as I did in mid-January. Somehow, I was ok though. That was such a happy day! Then, our running coach Meghan, started me out doing a short jog/run (5 mins) every other mile every other workout a few months ago. A few weeks later she had me incorporate a jog/run for 5 mins and then walk 5 mins, every other mile. Soon after, I was alternating running and walking every single mile. Just a few weeks ago, Meghan then started me jogging/running for 5 mins and then taking a 1 min walking break, every other mile. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be just running full stop one of these days (tricky Meghan Canfield!!).

All this to say, I’ve had to completely overhaul my running form. Now I am totally focused on hitting the ground with my forefoot / mid foot, keeping my shoulders down, staying tall, hyper aware of my posture, keeping my feet under my body... nary a heel touches the ground when I run now 🤣 I guess the saying is true: “you have to re-learn how to run before you can walk!” -J 👱🏼‍♀️ 💓

Marathon des Sables 2021

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