I have to say right now that I’m a rubbish runner. Always was, always will be (I usually say that it’s because my legs are too long and I’m not coordinated enough*). But it’s a cheap way of trying to get fit, and, as a bonus, there’s no bulky equipment to clog up your home. All you really need is a half decent pair of shoes and somewhere out of doors to run.
And a reason to run.
I’ve got one of those. I feel more inclined to run now than I ever have before (I’ve tried ‘running’ as an activity at least twice in the past, but it never lasted long). But I feel very disinclined to ‘go for a run’ when I could be doing something more interesting or more useful instead. So I’m trying to fit it in to my day by letting the kids use their scooters and running after them (only works when it’s not wet; no scooters on wet pavements), and by running home after dropping the kids off (only works when it’s not icy, but we’re having mild weather at the moment, so I don’t have that excuse now) – and, of course, back again. It’s not far – a brisk five minute walk – but I’m not up to running all the way yet. More practice, I suppose.
The point is that, while I can run (inefficiently, inelegantly, and quite slowly, but that’s how I’ve always run) with Parkinson’s at present, there are a couple of things that I have noticed.
One of them is positive: when I’m running, my arms do that pumping thing – not the swing that happens when you walk (and which I have lost in my left arm), but a more vigorous action. And it works with both arms. Apparently this is because running is a different mode to walking and is governed differently by the brain.
The other is a bit more worrying. Last week, while running home from school in my ‘normal’ boots (a pair of lightweight walking boots – yes, I do have running shoes, but they are not waterproof and it was wet and I probably forgot about them anyhow), the toes on the outside of my left foot encountered a strange popping sensation. It felt a bit like standing on bubblewrap. It was puzzling, distracting, and decidedly uncomfortable. I thought it might be the boots – they’re relatively new, and a bit more generous in the toe region than some shoes I own – and resolved to try a different pair of shoes. As it happens, the problem only seemed to occur with the new boots. Blame the boots, I thought, trying very hard not to write off £40 worth of footwear. Maybe I need a thicker insole? Maybe I shouldn’t run in them?
Maybe both. But I think I know what the problem is, and it’s nothing to do with the boots. It’s my toes, curling up inside the boots, making the impact jolly uncomfortable. I’m worried that I could break my toes.
*Alternatively, it has been suggested to me that my poor running may be due to a slight tendency towards being knock-kneed. I don’t think that this is anything to do with Parkinson’s. It also doesn’t cause me any trouble. However, I suspect that the true reason for my poor running is that I’m not very interested in running!