I’ve been dreading writing this post (which is why it’s a couple days late). Week 13 sucked, no way around it. I got a pretty serious injury and felt like I had everything taken away from me; it was tough and very, very emotional.
I started the week off on a high note by attending one of the B.A.A. Marathon Clinics at the adidas RunBase store. I recapped the event in my last blog, but for a quick recap, it was a rundown of the second half of the course. We talked about the four Newton hills, elevation of the course, the excitement of the crowd throughout, and how to finish the race strong both physically and mentally. I was planning to do my last long run on the course that weekend so this clinic got me really excited.
For the next couple days I focused on some cross-training and then did a speed workout on the treadmill in my apartment gym. Went to my physical therapist on Thursday morning and had him try to help my tight left calf. This started bothering me on my 18-miler the previous weekend and kept acting up every time I picked up the pace. He rubbed it out, hurt like HELL, but it started to feel a little better after. That night I went to a MyStryde class and Kelli (the teacher) WORKED US. It was the typical hill sprint intervals and speed training, but for some reason it was extra exhausting that night. My calf kept cramping up throughout the workout and my left foot was killing me. I tried to push through the pain since class was almost over, but by the end I was limping on my walk home.
That night I took it easy and just stretched and rolled out. I tried walking around in my apartment, but even standing to put pressure on it made we wince in pain. Friday morning was more of the same and I tried to stay off of it as much as I could at work. When I got home I iced, elevated and tried to stay hydrated with both water & some gatorade to replenish my electrolytes. The next morning was my big run with the Heartbreakers and was hoping that it would feel better by then. I tried to stay positive so I laid my outfit and started scrolling through Instagram to see everyone else’s prep. I went to bed hopeful that I would wake up with no pain and be ready to conquer my 20-miler.
I woke up on Saturday morning and immediately started flexing my foot as I was laying in bed. I was surprised that it actually felt pretty good! But that good feeling was gone as soon as I swung my legs over to the side and stepped down. Holy shit, the pain was worse than the night before! I hobbled over to my shoes to try them on in case they would feel better with some support. No such luck. I tried my old sneakers, I tried with and without my orthotic inserts, and I tried different lacing patterns – they were all painful. I decided there was no way I would be able to run that day. I was so overwhelmed in the moment and the depression started to sink in.
I immediately called my brother-in-law to tell him what was happening, he said my training was probably over and I would just have to trust the work I put in so far and focus on getting healthy again before the race. It was good advice, but sooo devastating to hear. I tried to stay positive, but no matter how I spun at the situation, it was just shitty all around.
I cried and cried and cried, pretty much all morning. I even went back to Marathon Sports to see if they thought the issue was from my shoes and I started tearing up in the store when they couldn’t really give me any answers. (I know, I’m a baby!) I googled my symptoms and kept finding articles on stress fractures and plantar fasciitis. One was treatable and one meant I was done for good, no Marathon for me. I was hesitant to go get it checked out by a doctor right away in case it would get better with another day of rest, but on the other hand I just wanted to know what I was dealing with. I took it easy the rest of the day and watched a lot of Netflix – finished the whole second season of Santa Clarita Diet 🙂
Sunday morning was better. It seemed like all the TLC from the day before was paying off. I could walk with little to no pain and I wasn’t limping anymore. At first it felt pretty good in my shoe, but the longer I was on my foot, the faster the pain started to come back. I decided to get it checked out to make sure everything was okay and booked an appointment for Urgent Care.
They took examined my foot, took some x-rays, and the results came back normal – no fracture! YAY! The doctor gave me some stretches to do and just told me to keep resting it until it started to feel good again. I’m going to try and get a reco on my training schedule from my therapist this week, but for now I’m playing it safe and just focusing on treating the injury.
This week really showed me how much this race means to me. And I think my family realized it too after the dozens of calls of me just crying into the phone for days. (Sorry, Mom!) I always knew that it was super important to me, but the way I reacted to the possibility of not being able to run kind of took me by surprise. I was completely broken that morning. And I felt like everything I looked at was about the race – turned on the TV and there was a news segment about one of the running groups doing their last long run, went on social media and everyone was posting their morning run recap, and all the stuff I have laying around the apartment – it was all making me feel defeated.
I felt like a complete failure, like I was letting myself down. I felt like I didn’t accomplish anything – I’m supposed to be able to finish training, I’m supposed to be able to get to a 20-mile run, and I was supposed to do it on Saturday. It was heartbreaking.
I hate when people tell me I can’t do something or doubt my ability to do something; this was no different. In fact, it was almost worse because this time it was my own body that was telling me I can’t do something. Whatta bitch, right?
But, here we are about three weeks out until race day and I’m staying positive. My only focus now is getting to the starting line in Hopkinton healthy and ready to run. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t be getting that 20-miler in before the race and just have to trust my endurance and the miles I’ve put in so far. Most importantly, I have to keep telling myself that I will be able to finish.
I can’t let one little thing stop me, just like ALS patients don’t let the disease stop them from living their lives. I will bounce back. I will run this race. And I will finish stronger than before.
Check out my Crowdrise page to donate to my campaign & support the ALS Association: http://bit.ly/BostonBeginnings262