Remember when you were  a kid and you were following your older brother and his friends around and you ran and ran and ran? Maybe that was just me, but I remember running a lot as a little kid. And by little, I mean less than 10 years old. And it never seemed like work. It didn’t hurt. It was just how you got from here to there.

When I was 11, I participated in something called the Halo Race. It was a 2km road race around Mount Royal in Montreal, and my grade 6 class trained for it by running loops of the road behind our school after the end of the normal school day. I wasn’t good at running like that. I wasn’t going anywhere. There was no point to the run. It was hard and I didn’t really like it.  But I did it, and I actually got a pretty good time.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve signed up for the learn to run clinic at the Running Room at least 4 times. I’ve never made it past the 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking week. Why? My feet go numb. Specifically, my left shin hurts and my left foot goes completely dead. It’s really hard to run when you can’t control your foot. There’s tripping involved.

I mentioned it briefly to my physio last year and he suggested a gait analysis. I mentioned it to the trainer at BMI a few weeks ago and she suggested bringing it up with my doctor, as there’s something called compartment syndrome that could be causing the issue. Unfortunately, there’s no way to treat compartment syndrome, so I’m hoping it’s a gait issue. Also, there’s a possibility I need a longer warm up than most people.

So last night, I started on the treadmill. My triathlon is three months away and I need to learn how to run 2.5 kms (after doing a swim and a bike) without dying. Kelly from BMI gave me a run program that is really slow, slower than the Running Room, and I’m pretty good with following it.

What did it look like? Well, last night I spent 34 minutes on the treadmill. The first 15 minutes I spent getting to 3.3mph without numbness in my left foot. At 3.3 mph I start to get a bit numb, so I monkeyed around to figure out where my foot recovers, and it seems to be a 2.9mph.

So, 15 minutes of warmup (yeah, that’s 3 times longer than I would have thought it should take), and then I started with 30 seconds of running at 5.0mph and 2 minutes of recovery at 2.9mph. I did that 6 times. I’ll do that twice more this week, and then next week move up to walk 1 minute of running, 2 minutes of walking.

You know what? It wasn’t that bad. Yeah, I sweated bullets, but it was hotter than stink in the gym to begin with. And yeah, it hurt a little, mostly afterwards. I have to remember to stretch immediately after i’m done when it’s running, and not before I go to bed. But I did it, and I’m pretty proud of myself.

I think it’ll be easier doing this alone, on the treadmill, than it is in a group because I’m not that great at running and trying to run with a group pushes me more than I’m really comfortable with. So I’m going to do my own thing, my own way, and see how it goes this time.

Wish me luck! I’m gonna need it!

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