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April 14, 2006

Sore Feet

My son and I couldn’t have asked for a better day yesterday to do our 5K training together. It was sunny, warm, and beautiful – in other words, exactly what Carmel Valley is supposed to be like in the spring.

I know we’re not completely in the clear yet, as there’s supposed to be rain again today and then a bit over the weekend. And I’m certainly not a meterologist, but there was just something definitive about yesterday’s weather. It was like spring had finally barged through the door, planted itself on the couch, grabbed the clicker, unbuckled its belt, and decided to settle in for a while.

It seemed like an opportune time for a good workout. I felt even more optimistic when my son stated that he wanted to cover at least 4K. He did 3800m last week, and wanted to progress onward from there - a good trait in a runner, I’d say. The conditions were ripe for a breakthrough day.

We did the following workout: 1600m jog, 400m walk, 1200m jog (fast last 100m), 200m walk, 800m jog (fast 100m each lap), 200m walk. Total distance 4400m.

Without telling him the distance, I asked how he felt, and he said he was doing OK. So we added one more flourish: 400m jog (fast), 100m walk, 100m jog.

Total distance…5000 meters!

After I told him the distance, he had about half a second to make an astonished face before I grabbed him in a bear hug and congratulated him like crazy. It was, as Simon Cowell or Paula Abdul would say, a moment.

He walked back to the car with a big grin on his face. I asked him again how he felt, and he said “tired, but happy.” Which was exactly the answer I had hoped for. Then he surprised me and took off ahead, racing me to the car. Clearly, the day went as well as I could have expected.

Or so I thought.

After my wife and I fell asleep last night, our son came down to our bedroom complaining that his feet hurt. Both of them, on the tops of the arches. We gave him some motrin, a massage, and a heating pad, and eventually resettled him in bed.

So, um,…maybe we overdid it a little bit yesterday. Luckily his feet felt OK when he woke up this morning, but I’m taking last night as a red flag that I need to be a little more cautious in progressing our workouts.

It also occurred to me that he might benefit from an actual pair of running shoes. When he’s running with me he wears his school shoes, which are also his everyday walking around shoes, and his working outdoors shoes, and his pretty much doing anything except going to church shoes. (Obviously the kid doesn’t have quite the same shoe stipend as his father.)

And of course as I typed that last paragraph, I felt stupid for not recognizing that this could potentially be a problem. You know, a good dad would have figured things like this out ahead of time. Preferably before his son became injured.

Hopefully we can resolve the issue before it gets any worse. I’ll spend some time today or tomorrow looking for a basic pair of running shoes to get him through the race without hurting.

Because my primary goal is that he enjoys himself on race day. After all the training he's done so far, he certainly deserves it.


stronger 4/14/06, 11:02 AM  

Yeah, you're not a very good dad. You're a GREAT dad- easy to tell the difference.

Wil 4/14/06, 2:51 PM  

He's totally going to remember how you took care of the problem, don't think another sec about wishing you'd have prevented it somehow -- you are a great dad!!!

backofpack 4/14/06, 2:57 PM  

Donald, we did the exact same thing when our sons were young! Had them run a race with us, then later when their feet hurt - duh! What were we thinking? Now-a-days, when I head off to the Running store with our younger son, to buy shoes for his size 12.5 feet, I'm almost sorry we started him running...almost, but only for the sake of the old wallet!

robtherunner 4/14/06, 3:24 PM  

At least you are taking the time to train the kid. We are running a 5k as a family next weekend and my girls have not even gone out running. Although they do run at school. It will mostly be walking, but I will try to get them to run a bit as well.

Downhillnut 4/14/06, 7:18 PM  

Training time with a busy dad,
Motrin, massage, a heating pad,
Oh no Donald, you're not bad!
With new shoes he'll be so glad.

He-e-e-elp! I've been possessed by Dr. Seuss!

olga 4/16/06, 7:30 AM  

To me it all sounds just perfect - the workout, the time spent together, even the pain and taking care of it. Hey, I wish I had parents even quoter that great as you are! Best of luck to your son, he'll do awesome, because he has you by his side, and he'll have fun, because that's what important!

Darrell 4/19/06, 12:58 PM  

What a great time you had, together. I hope his feet recuperate quickly and that he gets hooked on that "tired, but happy" feeling.

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