I saw the doctor for my bimonthly checkup today, and he brought me good news. He told me that the aches and pains that I’ve been experiencing are most likely due to a lack of conditioning and not Lupus as I had feared. He gave me the go-ahead to work out in essentially the same manner as a normal person after a period of inactivity. And, lo and behold, I magically gained some insight as to why I keep having problems with my lower legs: I’m not allowing myself to pronate. This puts an incredible amount of torque on my feet and probably caused my problems. The word “pronation” carries hecka negative connotations to runners. As the barefoot running guru Ken Bob Saxton put it, “Pronating seems to be normal, OVER-pronation is too much pronation (that doesn’t mean that pronation is bad, just too much is bad).” So, I ran a half-mile today with way less pain. However, I can had some moments where I slipped back into my old bad habits. So, I’ve decided that, despite plugging this leak in my form, I’m not going to up my distance until I can run the current distance three days in a row with no pain or bad form whatsoever. This is much safer, I think.
As an aside, here’s an interesting article about pronation and over-supportive running shoes. When Nike’s head biomedical scientist says something is wrong, it’s time to listen. http://www.chrismcdougall.com/blog/2010/07/breaking-news-from-nike-weve-been-talking-a-lot-of-crap-and-selling-it/