Sometimes the Mind Wants What the Body Can’t Do


It was a sparkling clear day yesterday in Istanbul. Thanks to the rain overnight, the air was clean and devoid of any smog. From our rooftop terrace, you could see beyond the city and all the way across the Sea of Marmara. By far the clearest day we’ve had since we moved here.

I supposed it was fitting then that I made the clear-eyed decision to stop running for awhile.

I was excited about training and attempting to run a half-marathon. Most especially because it would have been my first and it would have been here in Istanbul.

But my body will not cooperate. During one of my long runs the bottom half of my right calf muscle tightened up as if it had been clasped in a vise, and wouldn’t loosen up for several miles. Then, when it did finally loosen up, my right knee started to hurt, runner’s knee style. I finished the run by walking at several points.

Two days later I went out for a run and ran with pain and tightness in that same lower half of my calf. I took a week off. Then I ran three miles. Still the same pain, though with the addition of an inflamed inner ankle tendon afterwards. Three days of icing brought the ankle back.

Then I waited a full week between runs before going out again. Yesterday morning I ran and it was just like it was the week before. The calf feels tight right now.

Looking at the calendar, it’s clear that with the pain I’m experiencing on my runs there’s no way I can train properly for the half-marathon. I have April 27th circled. It’s a date I’m not going to be able to make.


Did I mention that every morning before I stand from the bed I have to stretch my feet? Yeah, that’s the plantar fasciitis. It hasn’t really gone away. I have to stretch them in order to walk without stiffness and soreness. And even after stretching them, they’re always a bit stiff for the first 15 or 20 minutes of walking around. Sometimes they stiffen up after sitting for too long. Though it doesn’t happen from sitting if I remember to use a tennis ball to massage my feet.

I’m tired of trying to run and “manage” the plantar fasciitis. I’m not going to run until I wake up in the morning and I don’t have to stretch my feet in order to walk without pain. Because my unscientific guess is that the problems with my feet are contributing to the problem with my calf and the resulting tendonitis. I’m sure it contributed to my problems in the Fall before and after the 15K race. [link] Running mechanics seem to be a delicate balance between many different joints, muscles in tendons, from the toes up to the abs.

You know the phrase, “Listen to your body.” So that’s what I’m doing. I just don’t like what my body is saying. I want to run.

I’ll leave you all with another picture from our rooftop yesterday. This time a bit before dusk.



6 thoughts on “Sometimes the Mind Wants What the Body Can’t Do

  1. Do take care….
    Love your photo!

  2. Richard! Sad to hear the bad news. As a runner myself I understand both the desire to run the marathon and the “listen to your body” philosophy. I had to give up running for a while until I finish my architecture thesis, so I understand. Just hope you wake up without any pain soon so you can get back to training again. Are there any other marathons soon?

    • I can’t imagine that you had a whole lot o “free” time when trying to finish your thesis. No half-marathons soon. I was really looking forward to this one though, being my first. In the Fall, when I’m back in the States, there’s a half marathon in Detroit, and also one in Chicago. So we’ll see.

      • Yeah, I have no time. My free time=WordPress haha. But hopefully in a couple of months I’ll be done and free and I’ll return to Chicago.
        I haven’t heard about the one in Detroit but I was thinking in Chicago’s fall marathon. I never made it but plan to some day 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s