Saturday, October 13, 2018

The "U" Words

Upset, unhappy, unwell, unsettled, uncomfortable, uncertain, unsure.

There are many words that begin with U that describe how I feel about my current injury.  In general, I don't think runners deal well with not running (I sure don't!), and forced time off is far worse than a planned recovery period.  I struggle with not having a definitive timeline for my return to running.  I will start back when my peroneal muscle is healed, however soon or later that occurs.
My mom has an app that finds photos that go with
specific verses, & it is on point!
Initially, at Indy I was sure the injury was season ending.  However, in the 3-4 days right after race, I had dramatic improvements each day, progressing from being unable to walk without holding onto something/someone to being able to walk normally with only slight tightness.  Prior to Indy, my calf bothered me just as much while walking as it did while running, so once I could walk normally I was quite hopeful.  I also had it looked at twice that week, along with Graston and ART treatments, and my chiropractor (who is also my coach) said it was much better on Thursday 10/4 than it had been on Monday 10/1.

I made an appointment to run on the AlterG treadmill on Monday 10/8, sure that I would be able to run on it at a reduced percentage of body weight.  I thought I'd possibly run on it all week, or maybe even alternate runs outside with runs on the AlterG.  I calculated how far I could run during my appointment and even took an hour of vacation from work so I could go in late, since the AlterG isn't open until 6:30 a.m.  I knew I was hard up when I was super excited to run on a treadmill!

When I began running on the AlterG, I had a very abrupt rude awakening.  It was extremely painful.  I adjusted the body weight down farther and farther, hoping for relief, but it hurt just as much at 10% as it had at 80%.  I thought maybe it would loosen up so tried to run for a bit, but pulled the plug at 1 mile.

That was when I truly knew my season was over.

I know I still have time before CIM, and I could probably still run it; but I was never going just to finish another marathon.  I can't miss as much training as I'm going to need to and have a chance to PR, so it is better for me to take all of the time I need to heal and to then select a different marathon based on when I'm able to resume training.  That is also probably smarter long-term, marathon time goals aside, because I'll truly be able to get this muscle back to 100% without rushing back into training.  I want to run a 2:45 badly, but I want to run for the rest of my life a million times more.

There have certainly been tears and stages of grief, and I sure don't deal with work and life stress as well when I'm not running!  But I've learned lessons from this already, and I don't regret the training that I put in one bit.  I loved the day-to-day process, and I would train even if I never raced.  I did things in training I never thought I could do.

I did most things right.  I followed my training schedule well, I ran consistent mileage week after week - you're more likely to get injured when you're inconsistent with your mileage or increasing mileage, and I didn't do either - I mostly sat at similar mileage week after week.  I stretched and foam rolled daily, often twice.  I strength trained twice a week.  I ate nutrient-dense foods and took care of my body the best I could.

My best wasn't enough, and I realize that I made some mistakes (more about that here).  In particular, I need to be more careful about running when I'm sick, and I need to listen to my gut instinct about taking days off.  If I truly don't want to run for a few days in a row or get nervous about runs that should be insignificant, that is a major indicator that I need to back off before an injury occurs or worsens.  I also need to work on sleeping more, but I have a very difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep, which oddly enough gets worse the more active I am (I also don't want to take sleep meds, although I use Melatonin a few times a month).

Perhaps I should not have run the mileage I was running, but I don't regret taking that risk either.  I'm not going to OTQ without running higher mileage than I've done before.  I felt so strong during my build, and I felt like I was handling the mileage extremely well, until suddenly one muscle wasn't.  I am still proud I ran what I did; for 8 weeks (July 30 to September 3) I averaged 78.3 miles per week.  This paid off with a big 10K PR and will help me in my next marathon build.

I'm not sure what's next, but I'll select another marathon once I'm back on the road.  I am sad that CIM 2018 isn't in the cards, because I truly thought it was my best chance for the 2:45, but I suppose CIM will be there in 2019 too!

"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." - 1 Thessalonians 5:24

I am trying to think of positive U words, which is a little harder...  Uplift,  unconditional, ultimate, unstoppable... (although maybe unfit - as in, lost fitness - too!).


  1. Replies
    1. You made it through your injury, and so will I! Right?!

  2. That run on the AlterG must have been sooooo disappointing! I'm sorry!!! It sucks how when you look back you can pick out exactly where you went wrong but with a just one thing going differently it would have been a totally different outcome.

    1. It was such a let-down! I recently read a quote that said something like, "You never realize the end while you're in it" and thought that was a pretty accurate description of my situation.

  3. Oh my gosh, yes! That’s true in so many situations!!!