and now? the bad news

Here it is.

I’m injured.

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?



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43 Responses to and now? the bad news

  1. Judy says:

    I feel your pain, because I’ve sorta been there, done that.

    Last year training for my spring HM, my training was going fabulously. Right up until the taper, when the knee pain started. I cut back on my runs, knowing i’d trained well, but that was all I did.

    2 weeks later I “ran” my race. By mile 6 the pain started. By mile 10 I had to walk – and while I take walk breaks, I’ve never had to walk those last few miles.

    When I got home, my USAFit group had already started. I missed a few runs, but not many. I couldn’t even walk the dogs without pain. It slowly got better, but I almost didn’t sign up for a fall HM because I was so discouraged. But then I did a 7 mile run that went well (I had started wearing a knee brace).

    I went on to PR that HM, by half a second, LOL.

    And so far I am running braceless.

    It wasn’t easy, but you’ve got to give your body what it needs so you can come back stronger.

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thank you for sharing. This gives me hope because I was actually thinking about NOT signing up for the full marathon (registration is in April. event in January). I will keep on resting (while pouting) and taking care of myself. So frustrating.

  2. I hope you get healthy, soon 🙁 I am so bummed for you! I hope that your boys have been spoiling you to keep your morale up! I’m so sorry to hear you’re in pain, though 🙁
    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom recently posted…Spread the Word to End the WordMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It makes me so incredible jealous with Mr PugRunner goes out to run. I hate admitting that, but it does. However, he’s been good at reminding me to take it easy (although there is no way that will happen this weekend). I’m lucky to have him to keep me reasonable.
      runswithpugs recently posted…and now? the bad newsMy Profile

  3. Sorry about it. Hope you recover soon. Rest is really the best medicine!

    I’ve run plenty of races on half assed prep – whether it be injury or illness or laziness. I hate doing to, but I also found out that if I don’t run a race, then I start thinking that DNS is ok too. So unless I am dogsick/injured on race day, I make it a point to get to the start line and make an attempt to cross the finish. I’m usually dead last, but that’s ok too.
    Smitha @ FauxRunner recently posted…Fruit Kebabs – Quick and Colorful TreatsMy Profile

  4. The best thing I can suggest is to walk it out and keep it up with the rolling and stretching. I have been having IT band issues and cross training helps me dramatically. Spinning gives me a slightly similar buzz like running. Have you tried that?
    I know it’s gonna be tough to take it easy for Gate River.
    Prayers for a speedy recovery.
    Haley @ Running with Diapers recently posted…Exciting NewsMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I don’t really have a gym that’s close enough (or with a decent schedule) for it to make sense. Which is why I still haven’t established a good cross-fit or kickboxing routine. I’m sorry about your IT band – that stinks. 🙁
      runswithpugs recently posted…and now? the bad newsMy Profile

  5. Angie says:

    Sorry to hear about your injury. My husband is in the same boat. He is injured, but does not want to give up the Gate River so he is going to run what he can while walking the rest. He injured himself two weeks before his first marathon. He finished the marathon, but it was ugly.
    Angie recently posted…Should it stay or should it go?My Profile

  6. Boo to injuries!! I hope you’re feeling better soon!!
    Kristin @ A Mom on the Run recently posted…Worn Out, What I’m Up To, GiveawayMy Profile

  7. Darlene says:

    Injuries suck. No better way to put it. I’ve never had PF (yet) but many runners do. It seems that rest is the only thing to cure it. I have been injured and there is no way to feel better about not running except doing other things (biking, swimming) and stay active. You will heal and run again. If you still are not 100%, run/walk the big race. Your time will not be great but racing will cheer you up.

    Darlene recently posted…My RacationMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I think being there will cheer me up. I wish it was warm enough to swim. 🙁 The good news is that this weekend is so crazy busy that maybe I won’t even notice that I am missing running. The bad news is that I am eating my feelings. A lot. 🙁
      runswithpugs recently posted…and now? the bad newsMy Profile

  8. Jessie says:

    Just found your blog today…

    But want to say, do not run Color Me Rad, WALK WALK WALK IT!

    It was my first 5k ever, and even though it wasn’t timed I REALLLLLLYY wanted to run it. But the friends I was with had some walkers and we chose to all stay together. I am so glad we did. We were all “drenched” with color, got great photos and had such a fun time. We even stopped for a water/snack break . And, if I am being honest, most of the course was too crowded to run anyways.

    • runswithpugs says:

      I’m so glad you found me!

      I did Color Me Rad last year and I loved it. I did run most of it, but I’m going to focus on great pictures this time around. It was honestly one of the most fun runs I’ve done, and I can’t wait for this year.

  9. I know how disappointed you are! Coming off a pretty minor injury, I was really worried going into the Glass Slipper Challenge, especially when my foot began to hurt pretty badly during the 5K! Thankfully I taped it up pretty good and made it through the 10K and the half and then I took a few more days off afterwards before I started back. I went almost 3 weeks prior without any running and I was going insane – hang in there girl!!!
    Kristen @ The Smith Summary recently posted…Enchanted 10K RecapMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I have been thinking about trying tape, but I don’t know that it will do much. I’m hanging on for dear life. I just desperately want this to be a good experience.

  10. I’m so sorry you’re having issues. Have you seen a doctor for it? Maybe I need to read back more. I had PF when I first started running but thankfully it eventually went away with some various techniques (such as making sure my feet were flexed when I slept or something, it’s been a LONG time!).

    As for being out of the game, I had an 8-week ban on exercise after major surgery in December, so that was hard. I read and obsessed over running and triathlon in that time, and planned my race calendar, and that helped!
    Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! recently posted…Getting My Post-Glass-Slipper Mojo BackMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      No doctor yet. I’m hoping to avoid it. Because I’m a big ol’ baby with White Coat Syndrome. I shall have to try flexing my foot while I sleep.

      I was out after my tonsillectomy – I want to say it was 6 weeks. But I was prepared for that. I had planned for it. I knew that I would be taking a break and was sure to have a clear calendar, so that made it easier. This is completely out of my control, and I have a hard time with that.

  11. PF is not something to play around with, so it’s good you’re making the smart decision. Mine has been flaring up, and I just realized how much of it is due to calf tightness. So, I’m focused on rolling, massaging, stretching, and strengthening my calves, ankles and feet!

    You will get back to it, but while you’re “out” enjoy the fun part of races

    • runswithpugs says:

      I was chatting with a friend earlier about her husband’s experience, and I am really lucky that I am not experiencing a lot of calf tightness. The trigger points in the calf are helping a lot and I know it’s going to get better. I just have to be kind to it and take it easy.

      This race promises to have lots of fun parts. I’m trying to be excited for them.

  12. Megan says:

    I’ve been there with having a running injury and it sucks. I developed peroneal tendonitis while training for my first half marathon this past fall. I didn’t know what it was, so I continued to train and run through it until I couldn’t take the pain any longer. After seeing my doctor, he sent me to a poditrist who put me on a strict PT schedule and NO running. It was really hard to take 2 months off, but I am not in pain any longer and now have a ton of exercises that I do to keep my healthy.

    I’ve never suffered through PF, but can you see a PT to see what you can do to strengthen the muscles/tendons, etc in order to help?

    • runswithpugs says:

      Ugh. That must have been awful.

      I CAN see a PT, I think. I have a lot of running friends, so I imagine it wouldn’t be hard to find one. I’m a complete lunatic about doctors and medical professionals, though. I have to get over it.

  13. Boo. So sorry, I try to find something else I can do to stay active, maybe spin?
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Interviews with Running Coach ClientsMy Profile

  14. theresa says:

    Your health and safety is always the number one priority. Do what you can, and don’t push yourself. You can only make things worse and hurt your chances of running long distances in the future. Sounds like you have a solid plan, just do what you can and enjoy every moment walking and taking it all in. Big hugs

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thanks, T. I know you’re right, but it’s just so hard to back down when I’ve worked so hard. I try to remind myself that you can’t have the good without the bad, but in this moment, it stinks. 🙁 Thanks for the love. I need as much as I can get.

  15. I am so sorry to hear that you are injured! PF has always sounded terribly painful to me (and I’m sure it is). It sounds like you and I are in a similar boat with different injuries. It’s so difficult to slow down when your mind/heart say “keep running!”.
    Sending you positive thoughts for a speedy recovery! Hugs…we’ll be back out there again soon 🙂
    Karen @karenlovestorun
    Karen@karenlovestorun recently posted…ConfessionsMy Profile

  16. Kristy says:

    I’m sorry you’re injured! I had PF for a YEAR! I was able to run through mine, it would just be super painful in the morning when I got out of bed, and when I’d sit for while, and get up to walk.

    I froze golf balls and would rub my foot over it. For me, I went on vacation in Mexico, and ran on the beach barefoot while I was there, and when I came home, it was gone. I have no clue why or how, but it worked. Maybe it’s time to go to Mexico???

  17. Briana says:

    Injuries suck. But you are listening to your body and the pros, and those are both good things. And having a support system at the race sounds great. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep your spirits up, and focus on getting better. Look forward to reading your race recap!
    Briana recently posted…Is it in your head or your genes?My Profile

  18. Awwwwwww girl, I am so, so, so sorry for your injury!

    Your friend is right though, the greatest part of Gate is the insanely infectious atmosphere. From the expo to the after-party, that is the best part, and you still get to experience that!
    Hey, running will be there loooonggggg after your foot is 100% healed 🙂
    Anne @ recently posted…What Can I Say….My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      You’re right. Andplusalso? My parents are going to keep little man an extra night, so we really don’t have to rush anywhere and can enjoy the after-party to its fullest!

  19. jan says:

    Oh no, I am so sorry. 🙁 Take care of yourself! Running isn’t going anywhere. It will be there waiting when you recover.
    jan recently posted…Sore vs. Injured?My Profile

  20. Diana says:

    Oh, hon, I’m so sorry. =( I hope that your foot is feeling better soon. I know it’s frustrating, but try to remember that running is a life-long endeavor, and you WILL get past this and have plenty of other races. *hugs*
    Diana recently posted…Still HibernatingMy Profile

  21. Andrea says:

    I completely and totally understand your pain. I shouldn’t have run the marathon since my injury was before then and I was extremely lucky to not have any pain during. Went to the doctor and got instructions of no high impact exercise for 8 weeks. BUT I had the Glass Slipper Challenge two weeks later and I did it. I knew it wasn’t smart but it was too much money and too much fun to sit out. It was my worse race ever, just because I hadn’t run in 6 weeks at all, but luckily no pain until after. Then there was a lot of pain. I had the Best Damn Race Half last weekend and it’s the first race I’ve missed due to injury (missed a 5k due to an extreme stomach bug) but since I was an ambassador for BDR I volunteered during the race. That was extremely hard and sucky. It’s one thing to happily volunteer, another to volunteer only because you can’t run and watching everyone else do it sucked. Now I have Gate next weekend and I really don’t know what to do. Pain wise, I think it’ll hold off until right after the race. But that will set me back several weeks (starting my 8 weeks over). But I just don’t want to sit out a race again. I know it’s stupid but I think I’ll probably do it. If I’m hurting really badly, I might just have to sit on a curb until I find you guys!
    Andrea recently posted…Princess Half Marathon Weekend–Fit for a Princess Expo (and other fun race weekend activities)My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      So many hugs. I am so sorry you’re going through this. 🙁 I was kind of tossing around the idea of emailing and asking if I could volunteer somewhere just to be a part of it, but I just don’t want to. I don’t know if it’s worse to sit out or to turn in a subpar performance. So many hard choices. Selfishly, I hope we get to see you on Saturday, but I know you have to take care of yourself. <3

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