THREE WEEKS? Is that REALLY all I have left before I have to run 13.1 miles…in a row? That sounds like a sick joke if I ever heard one.
I started training for the Shamrock’n half marathon back in January with a running group through fleet feet. The training time seemed extremely short in my mind but I figured, if a whole group of people can do it and the experts claim it’s enough time, then I can definitely do it. I trained for my last half in about 12 weeks and according to this schedule I only have about 9. My training was coming along pretty well until the giant trampoline incident… Yes, you read that right. My niece and nephew have a big trampoline in their backyard and when they asked me to play with them I jumped right in and forgot that I’m not 12 years old anymore. So I jumped and jumped until my legs were so tired that I landed sideways on my left ankle. It hurt, so I took a few minutes off from jumping and then got right back up again, still forgetting I am not 12 years old.
The next day I met with my training group for a 7 mile run. This was the longest run since my last half in October and it felt great. I hadn’t felt that good on my feet in a long time. I had energy and felt like I could continue for miles. During the run I felt a little pain each time I stepped down on my left foot, but I told myself, “Mind over matter. It’s just a little foot pain, you’re fine.”
Well, I wasn’t fine. When I got home and took off my shoes I almost fell over in pain when I tried to step down on my left foot and then the pain continued to get worse and worse. The following week I was limping at work and trying to ice it and stay off of it as much as possible, which meant I was going to be a week behind in my training schedule. I used the RICE method as much I could and hoped for the best. Over the weekend I was in San Diego working at a major event, which I attempted to wear heels to. The heels lasted about 20 minutes until I switched into my flat boots because I could barely move my foot. Running around for the night made for even worse foot/ankle pain on Monday. I then had to take another week off of training which put me even further behind the group.
I was starting to feel depressed, angry, disappointed. I was so looking forward to this race and my body was getting stronger and stronger and all of a sudden, it was all gone. I started to understand (on a very very small scale of course) what professional athletes must feel when they get injured. All I wanted to do was run, and that is the one thing I absolutely couldn’t do. I was getting so stressed about the race. I spent a lot of money on the training and the race and I was even working on getting special shirts made for our team. I’d told all of my friends and family about this race and was not looking forward to telling them I had to back out. But most important, I wanted to do the race for myself. I was going to be disappointed that I worked so hard and then had to just give up.
So, I told myself that as soon as my foot started to feel a little better, I’d get back out there no matter how behind I was. Last Sunday was my first attempt at working out since the “deadly trampoline” (exaggeration? Nah…). I put on a foot brace and went out for a jog. It was awful. The foot brace was so tight that it hurt even more than before and I could only make it 3 miles. I was supposed to run 9 that weekend. Discouraged, I went home and iced my foot. The next morning I woke up and it felt much better, so I decided…I’m going to run this 9 miles if it kills me. Of course if my foot hurt as bad as it did the day before I would stop, but it helped to tell myself that I was going to complete it no matter what. So, I left the brace at home and went out for the run with my friend Lindsey. We ran slow and steady and took a break after every 3 miles for a little water, stretching, Cliff Bloks, and an evaluation of my ankle pain. Each time I felt okay so we kept going until eventually we finished 9 miles. That may have been the hardest run I’ve ever done…but we did it. This weekend our group will be running 11 miles and after completing 9, as hard as it was, I feel much more confident that I can do it. After this weekend we taper off with shorter runs until the big day. IN. 3. WEEKS. That time frame still scares the crap out of me but I try to tell myself, if I did it once before, I can do it again. Right?
Right. I CAN do it and I WILL do it. See you at the finish line.
Have you ever had an injury that derailed your training? Or have you been behind in your training and still made it through on race day?