So I’m running this Half Marathon in about 2.5 weeks. I’ve been really excited about it – I started researching everything that has to do with running, picking the brains of anyone who has ever run anything. I started reading all these running blogs written by women who are going after marathons, triathlons, Half Iron Men, full Iron Men, Iron Crosses, the works…(gotcha). I was happy and focused on this race and the training.
Aaaannndd then I wasn’t. As I said to a friend, “I have hit my ‘happy runner’ wall”. All of a sudden it wasn’t fun. I was exhausted, I was hurting, and I resented all the time I had spent the previous 2+ months training and was already resenting the next month I would have to spend doing these stupid long runs and getting up at the ass-crack of dawn.
I was mad about hurting. Bad knees run in our family, so when they are a little sore, I don’t really worry about it; it passes. Ankle pain was new. It also wasn’t going away. I googled stuff about it six-ways to Sunday, I asked anyone and everyone what they thought it might be. What I didn’t do was see a doctor – the one thing that I should have done right away. Nope. I didn’t want to hear that I couldn’t run the race, not after putting so much into it already. So, like a dummy, I kept running, with every run adding another layer of physical hurt and resentment about the whole damn thing.
I was also really, really tired. Please feel free to laugh at me after I share this next bit:
When I started this whole 13.1 experience, I didn’t really think it would affect my day-to-day life much. I honestly thought:
“Once I just get a few longer runs of maybe, I dunno, 7 miles or so under my belt, it’ll be easy. I’ll just keep going…I mean, that’s over halfway.”
I didn’t think it would be that hard, I didn’t think that I would be very tired from upping my weekly mileage significantly, and I certainly didn’t think I would have to alter my diet/drinking habits. (Let me tell you, I learned that lesson the hard way – fast.)
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: I have never claimed to be a genius.
In this situation I was just really, really, really naïve. I was not expecting half of the crap that came my way during this process. For the most part I was pretty positive about all of it, and if I got a little down I would buy a new running t-shirt as a pick me up.
Then I hit the wall. The exhaustion, the pain, the sustained effort coupled with a few really crappy runs – it got to me. I decided I was just going to be cranky and push through to the race and deal with the ankle after…but then I read a blog post by a runner who had just had major surgery after ignoring an injury for too long.
I did NOT want to end up with some horrendous injury because I was an idiot/coward, so I went to the doctor. (I would be the idiot/coward – not talking trash about another person)
After an exam she ruled out tendonitis, and an x-ray ruled out a stress fracture. It was basic overuse, and I needed to take it easy, and maybe look into something that supported/aligned my ankle more.
So I did – I went easy for the rest of the week, and when I did go out again – guess what? It was fun. I think my brain and (try not to roll your eyes here) my spirit needed the break just as much as my body did.
Then I got a super big boost today in the mail:
I was thrilled, then terrified, then thrilled again, then slightly nauseous. I’m back to feeling excited again. I’ve got a couple of more weeks to train, but I’m going to listen to my body more this time, and most importantly I am going to remember to HAVE FUN!!!
(Side note about buying a new shirt – I have been pretty happy with the running shorts, t-shirts, and sports bras from Old Navy, but I like the pants from Target’s Champion line better. I cannot justify nor afford the crazy running gear that is out there, so these are my main shopping stops.
Umm…I have no idea if this is protocol, but I see other people doing this: I haven’t been given anything from either ON or Target, these are just my thoughts. If they WANTED to give me some running stuff, though, that would be totally cool. And if Garmin wanted to, say, throw in a Forerunner 10, that would also be totally, totally cool.)