Talking with Amy the therapist yesterday, she suggested that since I'm wearing the custom orthotics full-time in my regular shoes now, I could start running in them as well. Start small, she said. So I took today's run to try it out. Being as I was in the neighborhood of the reservoir in Central Park, I decided to take a risk and run the reservoir.
Why was this a risk? Simply put: I'm afraid of dirt. Or, rather, afraid of what running on the cinder track did to me the last (and only) time I tried it. I was in pain for days afterwards. Of course, that was almost a year ago and I've changed a lot since then. So it was two laps of the reservoir today.
And what a good run it was! Sure, I started out with the same little pains I've had for a long time now, but after stretching again after the first lap and getting about 1/3 of the way 'round the second, all the pains just melted away and I finished the run (actually did most of the run) at a speedy pace. I also finished pain-free for the first time in a while. For that reason, I may do my long run this weekend around the reservoir, though I can imagine the potential tedium of 8 laps.
I was, yes, afraid I'd be bored. Not so; I found the opportunity to concentrate on my running form a welcome change from the kind of concentration on external obstacles most runs entail.
I find running to be an elegant form of exercise; if not in execution, then in style at least. It requires very little in the way of specialty equipment, requires no membership dues, no clubs, no coaches or trainers, no insurance, no agents, no contracts, no team members, no competitors, no machines; nothing but shoes and shorts - and some people run without those even! The reservoir is an extension of that simplicity of form - on the cinder track, most concerns need not be heeded. No cars to dodge, few other runners or pedestrians, no potholes, no cracked sidewalks, no hills, no sharp turns; just forward motion.
This running thing is beginning to appeal to me. It might - just might - not suck as much as I used to think.
Staten Island coming up, hoping this next week is a good week of taper.