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It’s not just me!

Great post from one of my fave running blogs about something I’ve been bemoaning for months now!

http://rulesforrunning.com/2013/09/11/kick-up-your-heels/

I didn’t run the race

Yesterday was America’s Finest City Half Marathon.

There were two medals there waiting for me and a packet with my name on it- all that went unclaimed.

Even though I accepted a couple weeks ago that I would not be running this race, it’s still sad to come to terms with. The race is over. I can’t change my mind now. There’s no going back.

I know this was the right decision. I know in my heart, soul, and gut that there are a number of factors that I would have had to push way too hard- and likely hurt myself- to make that race reality. I’m really happy with what I chose to do this past weekend instead of doing the race. I know in the end, it’s the right decision. But I had a lot of time and training invested in that race. I had already visualized the volunteers at the end putting both medals on my exhausted but happy body. I had looked at the race course and thought about how each mile would feel and how I’d pose for the pictures this time. I’d even picked out my outfit.

Like I said, I had a lot invested in this race.

I’m only human, so I didn’t know the best way to go about not running this. Do I try and sell my ticket online at a discount so I can recover some of the costs? Do I call them ahead and talk about my injury and how I wouldn’t be able to run? Do I go anyway and pick up my packet so I can at least get the t-shirt?

I don’t know. I don’t know how to do these things. I don’t know the best way. I don’t know if I did the best thing. I just distracted myself in other work and -though I accepted I wouldn’t be running- I didn’t give up my registration because I think I held out a sliver of hope that maybe my foot would magically heal and all my issues would go away and I could do it after all.

But that didn’t happen. And it can’t happen now. It’s passed. Things change. There’s no going back. I will not get that T-shirt or those medals or pose for those race pics in the perfect outfit I chose.

And that’s ok. But may take a bit to accept.

And I think I’m still taking about the race…right?

I Gave Up…

….But I like to think of it as “liberated myself.”

I won’t be able to run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon race on August 18. I already bought the ticket. I was already visualizing myself at the finish line getting my extra medal for completing all three races I’d been training for all year. Even officially typing these words is making me sad again. I thought I’d come to terms with it, but I guess I hadn’t fully accepted it yet.

Point is, there are a lot of factors that have dramatically changed up my life making that race much more difficult than it’s worth.

Without getting into the nitty gritty details, the biggest factor is the fact that I don’t quite trust my foot to not give out. It’s a few months away from total recovery- I’m afraid- and I don’t want to lose the headway I’ve made so far by annihilating it during this race.

I have a number of financial and personal commitments that have completely changed since I originally signed up several months ago. Instead of being able to have the weekend to myself to relax and enjoy the race, I’ll be spending the 17th and 18th working all day. Which is just fine, because I’ve got to get in some extra hours before I head home to Indianapolis on the 20th for the first time in almost 2 years.

It was going to be a stretch to be able to do this race as it is. I knew that. I was willing to do it. But now that I will not be running it, I’m trying to see the positives. I can save my foot. I can maybe resell the entry to recover some costs. Instead of getting an extra medal at the end of the finish line for completing the Triple Crown, I get to spend every day now in a brand new shiny pretty car. And in order to be able to afford that car, I need to spend the 17th and 18th working.

Everything happens for a reason. Even plantar fasciitis. I need to remind myself of that.

Sometimes, when we plan months in advance, we can’t follow through. Things change. Situations change. Bodies change. Relationships change. People change.

And that’s ok.

I won’t run the America’s Finest City Half Marathon. I am sad about it. I am disappointed. But I’m embracing the fact that all this change around me means there are great things around the corner.

You can’t plant a garden without tilling the soil. Right now, the universe swooped in and decided to till my soil. Maybe the timing is inconvenient, but hey- I’ve been asking for a garden for years so…HERE WE GO.

I’m “liberating myself” from a lot of previous structures I had in place. One of those structures included being able to run this race. Now that I won’t be running it, I can open up the space for new, exciting, inspiring energies.

Plus, I’ll have to just lift extra hard to make up for all the calories I can’t run off anymore. Watch out weight room fellas. It’s about to smell like Bath and Body Works all up in there.

I will run this race…I think

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m attempting to run a race August 18. My third in the “Triple Crown” series in Southern California. When I finish, I get an extra medal for doing all three races. That’s three races, four medals. That’s awesome.

Assuming, of course, I can run the race.

This nasty plantar fasciitis has set me back in my training big time. I haven’t run in a month. I can’t. I’ll run a mile and my foot will start giving out. It’s obnoxious and annoying.

And with this particular injury, you just have to stretch and massage and wait for it to get better. It’s broken and needs to heal. And as long as you push it, it won’t heal.

And it’s driving me nuts.

I’m now less than a month away from this race and I am completely out of cardio shape because cardio requires functioning feet.

I’ve tried other options like biking, which I grossly dislike (see my previous blog post). I can’t handle being on the bike for that long. Plus, it makes my butt and hip flexors feel weird. I don’t like it.

I’ve tried elliptical but my foot flares up a little and it doesn’t seem worth it to cause damage to the part I’m trying to heal just to get a mediocre cardio workout in. Plus, I look like a doofus on that thing.

Sure, I could swim. Theoretically. But you try finding a lane open in a pool near a retirement community. Good luck.

I’ve got a d-day set in my mind. August 1. I’m going to go out for a run on August 1. That’s Thursday.

When I do, I’m gonna try and see if I can get 3 miles in. If I can…I’m gonna attempt to run this race after all.

If I can’t… well, I’ll deal with that when we get there.

D-day comes upon us quickly. Wish me luck.

If you havin’ FOOT problems, I feel bad for you son…

…I got 99 problems and my foot IS one!

Alert! Alert! Alert! You guyyyyys!

On Monday, I went for the first long run I’ve done in a very long time. It’s been almost two months since my last long run for the La Jolla Half Marathon in April. I was supposed to run 90 minutes. I ran 72. I felt okay, but was really pushing it physically so I gave myself a break for the last little bit. I’m not proud of that, but it happened.

I was proud of the fact that I could plow out a 72 minute run at a pretty decent pace without ANY training for two months. There may be hope for this upcoming race in August.

But here’s what happened!

My foot… started giving out! My FOOT, you guys! Not a hamstring (which happens when I don’t stretch), not my knee (which has happened before from over-exertion without enough training), not my sides (which can get nasty stitches if I don’t eat the proper pre-run nutrition), not my stomach (which doesn’t take well to long-runs in general)…my FOOT!

My right foot starting hurting. Like major. Right in the arch area. Which is scary for me because I have feet like my mothers and she has arch problems. She’s warned me for years to take care of my feet and arches because they’ve caused her some serious pain and suffering throughout the years.

I’m worried that my shoes aren’t doing much for support since they’ve seen a lot of miles at this point. I very likely need to get new running shoes, but they can be EXPENSIVE and I’ve gotta watch my cash right now… so it just ain’t gonna happen.

My foot hurt a little the rest of the day and was really sore the next morning but I thought it would be no big deal. I’d recover, retrain my feet to take the beating that is a long run, and then be on my merry way back to racing.

But today, I went to the gym to do intervals, and my foot starting hurting AGAIN. Four days later. The same type of pain. I could only get about 1.5 miles in on the treadmill before I called uncle.

I don’t know much about injuries, but I do know that it’s really dumb to try and run through some pains. Side stitches- toughen up. Knee/joint/feet….rest it out. After I gave up the run, I went and did a minor amount of lifting and some ab work. I was going to lift legs since that’s a pretty decent replacement for a small run if you can’t run- but my foot was really angry at me.

I have tennis balls, which I hear are good to rub on the bottoms of your feet for plantar fasciitis, which this might be the start of.

I don’t know what it is. But I know to go with my gut on what to do with this thing, and the best idea is to let it rest. Don’t push it. Take it easy on the training runs this week to make it better, then see how it feels during next week’s long run.

I’ll let you know how it goes. And in the meantime, I guess I have to continue doing that new thing I discovered I absolutely love… lifting.

Me Time

I understand people have gym buddies. It can be really good motivation for the right type of person. A few weeks ago, my girlfriend asked me if she could tag along when I was going to the gym as motivation for her. I was totally fine with this once in a while.

I get it. Everyone’s different.

I happen to be a personality, though, that prefers to workout alone. Unless I’m doing specifically training for some team sport or playing an active activity with friends, my workout time is my me time.

I’m out and about a lot amongst people. My day job requires that I talk to people and be pleasant throughout the day. My career is filled with working with different personalities and getting to know people from all over. And I love it. But it requires a lot of energy.

So when I workout, that’s my meditation time. It’s my reminder to breathe in my nose and out my mouth. It’s when I quietly check in with my body to see how it’s feeling and what it wants. It’s my time to listen to ridiculous, fun music or great podcasts and just relax.

In a world where I’m always (happily) giving myself to others in some capacity, my workout is my time to give back to my own mind, body, and spirit.

There’s a reason I gravitate towards running and don’t like spinning. Running you’re quietly by yourself taking in the sights and sounds and going at your own pace. Aside from the anonymous people in traffic, nobody notices you. You can zone out. You can relax. You can be invisible and invincible all at once. It’s magical.

Even lifting is as rejuvenating for me. I like being by myself and focusing on getting just the right form for the lift. I like to push my body hard but also listen and know when enough is enough. I like to take breaks between sets and just bop my head to the music I’m listening to and let my body recover. I like to scan around the room and let my mind wander to the personalities around me without investing in any one or anything too much. These people don’t know me. They don’t know the first thing about me. And they don’t care. And I love it.

So now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go run to the ocean for a training run and some me time.

Breaks over, back to running

It’s time again.

I took my wonderful little hiatus from running to focus more on lifting and loved every minute of it. But reality called. And I have a race on August 18th. Of this year. A half marathon. And I haven’t run distance since the last one.

I should give myself 12 weeks to train, but I didn’t. I liked lifting so I wanted to wait to hop back on the running wagon. And I have now officially waited until the last possible moment.

It’s go time. So we go back to running.

I have my little training program up on the wall ready to be highlighted with every successful day finished. If I do all the runs properly, I’ll be totally confident and ready for this race in August. If I don’t, I will have a shit time during this race in August.

I want to do well at the race for three reasons:

1. It will be the first race I run as a 28-year-old (my birthday is 3 days before… you may begin wishing me happy birthday now).

2. It is the third in a series I’ve been running called the Triple Crown, so I will get an extra medal at the end of it and that will be awesome.

3. I’m competitive with myself. I always want to do better. So I want to beat my PR. The race is relatively easy compared to La Jolla. Then again, pretty much anything is easy compared to La Jolla. The elevation chart, though, shows that the majority of the race is downhill or flat, though the last miles is uphill. Not great, but manageable.  So the only thing I’ll be fighting is the “hotter” weather (which is the main complaint on yelp for this race). It’s hard to tell what “hot” weather is, though, because Southern Californians are pretty sensitive when it comes to weather changes so I don’t know if this will actually be “hot” or if it’s just Southern Californians being pansies. Having said that, I’m kind of a weather pansy so maybe I should listen to their complaints…

Anyway, I ran my first training run yesterday- three miles on a treadmill. I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it ended up being. My body missed running. It likes it. My mind likes the relaxation. I know what I’m doing when I’m going for a distance. I’ve done it before- it’s like I just fell right back into it.

And because I’ve loved lifting, I’m going to try and incorporate both. Yesterday, I ran my three miles and then I went upstairs and did my normal lifting. I didn’t get it all in because of a time crunch, but it felt really good to do both.

So I’m gonna be setting aside a serious chunk of time to get all this done at the gym every day. Which means I’ve got to be more protective of my mornings and my workout time. Which means I have to get better about waking up when I need to.

Which means I should probably go to bed.

Nighty night, pumpkins. Happy training.