Running is a (*can be a) heart breaker. Sometimes you give it everything you have and you spend time supporting it with appropriate rest and recovery. And sometimes it bites you in the ass.
I am going to give you some real talk about how I have felt about running this past week. Because it is not all sunshine, mileage and PBs.
In this build I have run more than ever, I have rested and recovered harder than ever, I have ate more than ever, I have been consistent with strength training and with getting good supportive care. And this past Sunday my foot started to hurt in my long run.
No big deal, I was easily able to finish my long run and actually ran a PB through the half marathon of it (*i know this does not count as a real pb— but I have to respect the fact that I ran the fastest half marathon I ever have in a 35k long run).
Well my foot continued to hurt through the week. I have been getting it treated and needless to say there has been a huge improvement but it is not gone. We suspect it will be fine (*deep breaths) but it is still frustrating that it totally threw off my week. Luckily it was meant to be a down week— but this was an aggressive down week (*taper anyone?).
In talking to my coach over the week I noted it is so easy to be a good athlete when things are going well… but what truly makes you a great athlete is what you do when a curve ball gets thrown at you. I am really great at following a plan; I love the satisfaction of checking things off the list and pushing myself that little bit further than I ever have. So when I cannot folllow the plan I start to lose hope and my sense of self.
So in hopes of still being able to finish this season I took 3 days off and supplemented with cross training (pool running and cycling). This brought back so much nostalgia from last winter, when I was off running for a significant amount of time. And not in a good way. Who likes pool running… no one! But I lived to see another day even with people passing me on the NRC leader board. Training is individualized and should reflect your own unique needs, so try not to compare yourself to others. Especially if you find yourself in a situation like this.
It is amazing how this happens. I had literally the week before been just starting to hit my stride again and had my (*what felt like) strong marathon legs under me again. I did a workout (3x 3k) I was nervous about because I had done the exact same one leading in to Chicago. And it had gone really well and I was nervous for it to not go as well— but it went great and I was able to run faster which surprised and excited me. I was just starting to believe that breaking 2:40 may be attainable this year. I had also just listened to a podcast that inspired me to be grateful for running and curious of my potential (*more to come on this in another blog). According to my Whoop I was recovering better last week than I had been previously. I truly was feeling great!
And then crash, burn, boom!!! I had to be smart and not push through as to not ruin the season.
The biggest kicker is I am literally on a flight to Arizona to train with some amazing women. Needless to say I have been stressed about the trip since this happened. Something I was/am so excited about (what could be better quality time with amazing women, running and resting in the sun) is suddenly terrifying. The last place I want to be is at a training camp if my foot is not going to hold up.
But all I can do now is listen to my body, allow it to recover and hope it will hold up for the next 6+ weeks. This will truly be the ultimate test of how good of an athlete I really am.
We all have our limits and sometimes when testing them out we cross them. As stated by my coach at the end of the day we can only train within our bodies tolerance— I crossed mine but believe I can bounce back.
I write this not to complain about my situation but to talk about the realities of training. It is great when it is going well but F*&!ing sucks when it does not go your way. I also do this to reflect on my own situation and post it in hopes that it may help someone else. And do not mistake me I LOVE running but even the things you love can frustrate you sometimes.
So anyone out there also dealing with an injury, I get it. None of us are invincible even me with the chiro/coach combo. And Mother Nature has thrown some pretty damn hard conditions at us this year, which has made it hard to stay healthy.
Here is to staying positive and hoping the sunshine in Arizona works wonders!!!
All the best in your training adventures and be sure to listen to your body!!
I do want to leave you with one last thought. How lucky are we to have found something in life that brings us such joy!!?? Be grateful no matter where you are at, at this moment. I know I am! 🙂