Here it is.
Things have been touchy since I ran ZOOMA in January. I’m not sure what went wrong, exactly, but something happened on my left side, that, when the dust settled, led to some foot pain. It came and went. There were days and weeks where it really didn’t bother me at all. Sometimes, it was just a little nagging twinge.
I rested. I kept my miles down. Even though I am technically in training for a 15K in about ten days, I focused on my 5Ks, planning to build up slowly and safely. I stretched, I rolled with a frozen water bottle.
After the runDONNA 5K, I was limping. And that weekend, I swallowed my pride and marched myself into the running store to ask if there was anything I could do for the plantar fasciitis that was plaguing me and screwing up my schedule.
The gentleman who worked there offered me a seat and had me put the offending leg up on a block. He felt around my calf a little bit and then started talking about trigger point massages. He worked my calf with a roller and a ball for a little while, instructing me to rotate my foot at some points and flex it at others.
He said, and I quote “it’s not the worst case I’ve seen.”
I like to think he sees a lot of cases.
After he scolded me for wearing flip flops (Sorry. This is Florida.), he directed me to continue with my ice bottle rolling, and to add some foam rolling to the mix, focusing on my calf. He said that if with those techniques and some rest I didn’t see much difference, I should probably come back in and get fitted for inserts. I have really high arches and sometimes, the arch support in running shoes just isn’t up to the job.
Where does this leave me?
Not happy, for one.
I realize I am not a fan of coming to terms with my limitations. And I am also signed up for five events in the next month: the Neon Vibe on Saturday night (with my friend, in support of her twin sons, Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network), March To Get Screened 5K on Sunday morning (for colon cancer), the Gate River Run 15K on March 15, Color Me Rad on March 29 and The Flavor Run on April 5. And then, before the heat of the summer came roaring back, I wanted to sign up for another 5K or a 10K in the weeks after that.
Of course, like most runners, I labor under the delusion that I can do all the things, all the time, and a pesky little foot injury isn’t going to get in my way. I figured I would just focus on the 5K and the 15K and deal with the rest on a case-by-case basis.
And then I went out for a seven mile training run with my girlfriend last Friday.
It was humbling. Because there is just no way that I can actually run all five of these events. I cried on the way home. I’m so frustrated and there is nothing I can do about it.
However, I’m all about finding solutions, so I took a deep breath and looked at the schedule. Three of these events are untimed “fun” runs. I will not be the only one walking, although I was hoping to run Color Me Rad, since I will be with a team and two of the team members are using this as their first 5K. However, I’m just as good posing and taking pictures and having fun, so that’s what it will come down to.
March To Get Screened was a little harder to let go. It’s for such a wonderful cause and I was really hoping to turn in a good performance. However, I asked my mom if she would participate me, and she said yes, if we could walk. So, walking it is.
Any other races were decidedly off the table.
Which leaves the Gate River Run. This race is a big deal. It’s the biggest 15K in the country, and it’s supposed to be so incredibly challenging and fun, full of great participants and spectators. I obviously didn’t run it last year, as I had just started Couch 2 5K and had no business attempting to run 9.3 miles, so this time around? I wanted to shine. I didn’t realize how much until the tears started flowing.
But, it is what it is.
The friend with whom I ran on Friday offered me a silver lining. She and her friend will be starting in the same corral. She told me that they are planning to really soak up the experience - running, but also stopping to walk, eat and drink and take pictures along the way. I am welcome to join them, and I am going to take them up on that offer. If I’m out there alone, I’m going to tell myself to take it easy, and then I’m going to be stupid and stubborn and push too hard, which could result in more injury. With a group, I think I can relax and just be happy in the moment.
Either way, it’s my first 15K, so it will be a PR. And I’m keeping my eye on a redemption race in 2015.
It’s a big disappointment all the same.
I’ve been resting. And rolling. And icing. And rolling. And resting. I may go out for a little run this week, just to get my legs moving. It’s been five days and I’m getting edgy. There has been a lot going on, and I miss the stress relief that running brings.
Patience has never been my strong suit.
It’s feeling a little better. Not enough to risk a run right now, but a little. I just have to bide my time and take it easy. I am reminding myself that it is temporary and that it could be worse.
How do you keep yourself mentally in the game when you’re physically out?
Have you ever been unable to run a race (or give the performance you wanted) because of injury or illness? How did you keep yourself positive?