And here I am, waiting – again – to see if the dull, twinge-y, aching where my right big toe meets the rest of my foot is an injury or just discomfort that will feel better with a little rest.
Tim and I did a very hard 15-mile run on Friday after work. My cousin Greg got married on Saturday, so we decided to get our long run out of the way on Friday night. This was the pinnacle of two weeks of escalating training and occurred at the end of what had been a pretty busy and stressful week at work. But nevertheless, I felt good going into it.
The wheels started to come off around mile 11, though. Pretty much everything from my lower back down started to hurt – just a little bit at first, and then more intensely. And with about two miles to go, I was partially aware that I was altering my stride a bit to accommodate for my left knee which had become uncomfortably sore.
But still, we finished the run, and after having some pizza and a beer and a shower, I felt much better. When we got up on Saturday morning to get ready for the wedding, I felt fine. I could definitely tell I had run the day before, but it was totally normal post-long run stiffness; nothing alarming at all.
Maybe wearing high heels the day after an intense run like that wasn’t a good idea. Or maybe altering my stride on Friday to take pressure off my left knee put way too much on my right foot. I’m still learning when it’s okay to push through fatigue and discomfort and when it’s best to stop.
On Sunday, I went for a very short (2.5 miles), slow recovery run and felt absolutely wonderful. But an hour or two later, Tim and I took a walk to pick up a few things at the store, and while making the short trek in flip flops, I noticed the discomfort creeping in. It got progressively worse as we walked home, through that night, and into yesterday morning.
Needless to say, I was pretty distraught yesterday. I kept thinking, what’s wrong with me? Why do my feet always break down? Am I going to have to give up another marathon? Sometimes it is really, really hard to accept that there’s nothing I can do right now, to stop obsessing, to let it go, and to trust that things will work out as they should. The “maybe injury” was like a dark cloud hanging over my head all day, making even little inconveniences or stresses seem like huge obstacles.
But, I religiously iced my foot and took anti-inflammatories throughout the day. And this morning, when my feet hit the floor, I didn’t feel perfect but I felt a lot better. I skipped my planned four mile run today and will probably take a rest day tomorrow too. But, I’m feeling more hopeful about getting back on track on Thursday.
Marathon training is such a fascinating process because every day is a learning experience – when to push yourself, when to back off; when to be disciplined with your plan and when to take an unscheduled rest day. You can plan and plan and do everything “right” and still sometimes things don’t work out the way you thought they would. Kind of like life, I guess. But I know even though my life has taken some unexpected turns, I’ve ended up somewhere kind of wonderful. Here’s hoping the marathon training works out the same way.
Miles run since last post: 0; total miles for the year: 498.4.