Today was the day.
After resting for a solid two weeks (and then for 10 days prior to running the Gate), I really couldn’t wait anymore.
I can admit that taking off a few days, even a week, can be a healthy and refreshing change, but I was getting edgy and antsy. Fortunately, I had a few things working in my favor to keep me from heading back early to the pavement. We were on vacation and our schedule was way too packed for me to think about getting out, and when were home, the weather was pretty miserable with cold temperatures and nasty downpours.
My foot had been feeling better. I’ve been pretty good about stretching my calves and rolling my arch and heel over a variety of spherical and cylindrical items, and it’s been ok. Uncomfortable, but not necessarily painful. When I had talked to the people at the running store, they advised to come back for inserts if things didn’t dramatically improve, and so I did.
I spent about 30 minutes in the store last week, discussing what inserts would do to help (provide much needed arch support) and trying on several different pairs. I could feel a difference immediately, and decided on the Superfeet High-Impact Performance & Comfort insert. I liked the additional cushioning in the toes that the other inserts seemed to be lacking. (Also of note, this product is, according to the website, “vegan and free of latex, nickel sulfate, formaldehyde and preservatives”). I headed out with my purchase, and instructions to start out slow, be aware that things would feel a little unusual for a while and to bring them back in 30 days if nothing was getting better.
Yesterday was the moment of truth. Depsite that fact that I was nervous and really quite happy lounging on the couch and watching Iron Man 2, I pulled on my running clothes, laced up, and headed out. I figured I would give myself a very easy three miles and see how it went.
The truth is, it was discouraging. I think, had it just been some discomfort in my foot (which, inserts or no, would have still been there), I would have been ok. But my legs felt dead, my stamina was shot, and I had made the mistake of putting on a long-sleeved shirt, which ended up being a little too warm.
Of course, all of these irritations opened the door for a flood of negative thoughts. I felt like I was starting from scratch again, and I hated it. It’s disheartening to feel like all the hard work I’ve done to this point has to begin all over again.
What’s worse is that I’m supposed to sign up for my first marathon in two weeks. I had been hoping to register with strength on my side, nailing my long runs and feeling great. Instead, I’m back down at sluggish 5K distances, and having to rebuild from there.
It’s frustrating, and I wonder if I’m doing the right thing by committing to this race. I want to do it, but… Well, there are so many “buts”.
All I can do is press onward. I’m not the first person to struggle with an injury or setback and I won’t be the last. And this isn’t the first time I’ve been sidelined, and I came back from before (although I had much less of a base last year than I do right now, so less was lost). A lot is going to depend on my attitude and positivity and I just have to focus on the big picture: the marathon.
So, here’s a big post-run smile.
Each time out will get better, just as it has done before. My plan is to sign up for a local 5K towards the end of May and then use the summer to start my training and participate in some fun events if I feel like it. My fall and winter is pretty full and I am excited to get to that point on my calendar.
In the meantime, spring seems pretty much here.
If you signed up for a marathon, were you full of doubts leading up to registration? And/or up to the very day of the race?
Are there any signs of spring where you are?