This is my story about how over this training cycle I have transformed in to what I have coined a ‘fragile butterfly’.
Dear marathon training… you are really, really tough… but I think that is why I love you.
I have definitely pushed my limits in regards to training this time around. And I think in some instances we have briefly crossed the limit but by backing off and allowing myself to recover I have been able to continue to push forward. It is amazing to see how each cycle there always seems to be something I can do to further my commitment to running my best.
BUT along this journey of pushing the limits I have some how transformed in to what I have termed a fragile butterfly.
So here are my fragile butterfly incidents:
Incident #1: foot fiasco
If you have read my previous blogs you know that leading up to my training camp I was forced to take 3 days off due to a painful foot. Luckily because I did (*with encouragement from others) take the time off, it allowed me to accomplish everything I wanted during training camp with limited aggravation from my foot. But it came with an 80km previous week that was supposed to be 130km (*50km!!!— and I lived to speak of it *I did cross train)
In training it is important to be able to take a step back when things go off plan. In order to make decisions based on what will be most beneficial to your training. Trust me this is something I am still learning.
Incident #2: ankle invasion
So after training camp my feet were of course pretty beat up, as expected. This is especially true because due to my foot pain I ended up running in the same shoes pretty much the whole time vs typically I would change it up. So I ended up with a little cut just under my lateral ankle bone. When I came back and went for a run in a different pair of shoes it reopened the cut. And I just want to put this in to context… this cut was TINY like the size of the tip of my pinkie finger. It was sore when I went to bed Wednesday night but I did not think anything of it… Until I woke up Thursday to a HUGE ankle— like cankle on steroids and painful!!! I had no idea what was going on so headed to work… putting on boots was not fun.
I had my colleague look at it… due to the symptoms— pain, red, giving off heat, swollen diagnosis = infection…. WTF!??! I do not remember ever getting an infection let alone from a tiny cut.
This led me to go speak to two pharmacist who both suggested going to see an MD to get antibiotics. As I was headed to the MD I remember my husband had LOST my health card. So before seeing an MD I had to go to Service ON (*fingers crossed no line) luckily there was no line and as it turns out it is super simple (*and free— thanks taxes??) to get a new health card. So from there I headed to a walk in clinic (*again fingers crossed no line) I was able to walk right in. Thank goodness! The MD thought polysporin would treat it but I strongly requested an antibiotic because this needed to be gone yesterday. He agreed and I got a 7 day antibiotic. After talking with some nursing friends I took the whole 7 days. The infection cleared up but it did take some time for the swelling to go down and I have been putting a bandage on it ever since– since running was the culprit.
So the other part of this was me feeling like ‘okay running God’s I won’t run today!’ Has it really come to a point that my ankle needs to swell to 3x the size in order for me to not run??! Jeez! It definitely made me question the trust I have in my body. It is also amazing to see how strong we can feel on one hand (*when running) but how we can still be fragile on the other hand (*getting a random infection). Best to take care of yourself on all levels (*and I will from now on be covering any cut in polysporin immediately).
It is Amazing how fast when one thing goes off plan I think the world is ending and I will never run again, let alone run a marathon. It has taught me that I need to be not so hung up on ‘the plan’. The plan needs to be dynamic and work with what my body will allow. And guess what no one is at the start or finish line of the marathon to ask you how much you ran in training. So it really is irrelevant to hit those magic numbers. Especially if overall they are not benefiting you. And again something I am still working on (*i love hitting >160k/wk).
I have a lot of trust in my body and I typically feel very strong. So to have these things throw me off my plan definitely threw me for a loop. I think it is vital to have a huge amount of trust in your body when training for a marathon. I have regained my trust in my body since these incidents and am trying to learn to be able to be a bit more willing to roll with punches through my training cycle.
Fingers crossed that there is nothing else that is thrown my way. But if there is I am ready for it. And the big mileage is done so key now is to rest anyways. I have put the work in and now it is time to ‘fill up the tank’ as my coach likes to say.
So here is to lessons in listening to my body. I hope you can use this to help you with your training. Have fun and be smart out there!