Warning: this post will be very unlike me. Probably not funny or sarcastic at all. So if that is the only reason you tune in, you might want to tune out.
The half marathon yesterday sucked the big one. It didn't start until 9am and it was already pretty hot and windy. The course is very exposed, right up against the Boulder foothills. That means no shade and intense wind. From the first step my foot hurt. Yes, I ran about 10,000 steps and each time my right foot hit, it hurt and was intensifying as the race went on. Throw in an uphill first half, 30 mph headwind and 80 degree temps and I wasn't having any fun.
A little side note about pain. Some people may think it was foolish of me to keep running with the pain. Pain is a weird thing. Sometimes you can run through it. Sometimes it comes and goes. Sometimes it is not indicative of anything more serious. As runners, we all have pain at some points, especially while racing. I knew I was uncomfortable, but did not think I was doing any further damage to my foot (possible foreshadow here for you English majors).
The course is an out and back. Have you ever run a race where you kind of hated every minute of it? This was a first for me. At the turn around I thought things would improve because it would be a slight downhill to the finish. I was banking on the headwind that I had on the way out turning into a tailwind (as the wind should do when it behaves). For me, the way back was no better, mostly because it was hotter and my foot hurt even more.
I am the type of runner who always gets liquids at the aid stations, but never stops. Yesterday I found myself not only stopping, but walking some at the stations (gasp!!). At one point I grabbed to cups of water, one to drink, one do throw on my head. I was holding both of them when a runner came by and took one out of my hand. Guess the running dress made him think I was a volunteer. I screamed at him, "WTF??? Who do you think you are?" Well, not really but that would have been fun.
Speaking of the dress: that was the best part of my run. LOVED running in the dress. Even if the rest of me felt like crap, the dress speaks for itself! (and no, I did not wear the slippers during the run). And for those inquiring minds: no I did not crap in my new sweet dress.
So as I neared the end of the race I was dying. Nauseous, in pain, mentally disturbed and psyched out. At some point early on I knew I would never beat my 1:47 PR. So my goal became a sub two hour run. I crossed the finish at 1:58. All things said, this wasn't SO bad, but when you are so far off your PR you feel like a loser.
I will say the power of the mind is amazing. The minute I crossed the finish I sat down and found I could not walk on my foot at all. I mean at all. Any pressure was excruciating. How I ran the whole race is beyond me.
I know you are thinking what I'm thinking. Two of the worst words a runner can hear (after leg amputation): stress fracture. Today I am still in a lot of pain and can't put pressure on the foot. I am seeing a sport's medicine doc this afternoon. If the x-ray confirms a fracture it is 6-8 weeks of no running. My marathon that I have been training my ass off for, my possible BQ, is in 8 weeks. I am trying not to start the pity party yet, until I know the nature of the injury.
Last night I woke up at 2:00 a.m, in pain. I took Motrin and Ken got me some ice. I lay there, like you do at 2:00 a.m., my mind racing. Running has become such a big part of my life, that not being able to do it for eight weeks would leave a major void. Not only do I love to run, but it is so much more for me. It keeps me balanced. It makes me feel successful. It is meditative. It makes me a better wife, mother, daughter, friend. It makes me feel strong physicaly and mentally. Am I a different person if I can't run? Is there any substituion that would work for me?
Tune back in later for an update on the foot. I hope I have good news.