I just might be getting back to running. As I type I am stopping frequently to knock on wood, cross myself, eat raw garlic, etc. - whatever will prevent me from jinxing myself.
The new wide Hoka Gaviotas have greatly improved my foot's quality of life, especially with the help some of you gave me with lacing strategies. The combination of Lydiard and crossover lacing , and then heel lock lacing seems to be doing the trick. Early last week I did a trial two minutes on the treadmill, just to see if it hurt and how I recovered. Apparently I survived, because the next day I was at it again, doing a whole whopping four minutes, in one minute run/one minute walk intervals. Two days later I did nine one minute intervals... I told you this was a slow return. Not only was I really cautious about the injury, and worried about my new gait, but my fitness was, and is, pretty lousy. My daily half-hour on the stationary bike hasn't done much to get me in running shape.
An outing to the park resulted in 12 minutes actual running, and then this past Tuesday, 14, all the running intervals at about an 11 minute pace. I dusted off my Garmin, looked at my splits, and determined that I could "run" a 5K if I did about 18 1:00/1:30 run/walk intervals. And so I Turkey-Trotted.
I set the Garmin for run/walk alerts and ruthlessly followed my plan. Did it in 17 intervals, not 18. This particular race was my very last one, three years ago, before I got injured, so it was rough being there and being unable to really run, but I focused on the positive. I was there, my time was "only" ten minutes longer than three years ago, I was actually a bit quicker than my Tuesday trial run, it was my first run back on pavement. My toe was only slightly annoyed with me by the end, and I wore the evil orthotics the rest of the day to give it a break. Seemed to work.
I have ordered an extra pair of the Hokas - thank goodness for the Running Warehouse pikermi discount! The new model hits stores December 1st so the old ones are almost unavailable now in the wide width. I may like the new model, but you know how it is - there's that fear they'll mess up a great shoe by redesigning it. I've never had a new model that was an actual improvement on the old.
I still have issues - the surgical ankle still swells a bit, even though surgery was two years ago. And running in the rocker soles is very different. I was a forefoot striker before, but now that is the thing that I am supposed to avoid. Running this way tightens up my calves, and I also find it to be very noisy. Or maybe that's just the shoes, or the extra weight I have acquired from not running.
Regardless, I still hope to prove wrong the many, and I mean many, people who've told me I should just give up the idea of running. I know you all understand! No dancing banana yet...but maybe a toe-tapping grape.