It’s crunch time. It’s countdown time. Ironman Arizona is a mere 9 weeks away. I should be excited. I should be in the crux of my preparations, but I find myself in a quandary of sorts. It’s been somewhat quiet on the blogging front for the last couple of months not because I haven’t had much to say. Or because I haven’t had much time (which I really don’t but I always have found blogging time in the past). It’s because of my injury. I don’t like talking about it but it is constantly on my mind. I have a heel spur on my left foot that causes discomfort at varying times. Basically, it’s plantar fasciatis. An injury I had years ago (like 11) and I remember having to give up running at that time for 6 months for it to go away. When I hear that someone has PF, I shudder in sympathy and fear.....because I know what they are going through and because I didn’t want to ever go through that again.
It came on suddenly although when I look back I know I had some early warning signs a couple of weeks before the pain set in. But I raced Loveland Lake to Lake pain-free. I raced Boulder Peak pain-free. And then 4 days after the Peak I was unable to complete a run because my foot hurt so much. If you’ve had PF, you know what I’m talkin’ about. But I didn’t think it was PF since I didn’t have the “usual” symptoms.....the stiff and painful foot in the morning. I wasn’t experiencing that. My symptoms were more like a phantom “pain” that shifted from the side of the foot, to the bottom, to the other side, and to the back all in the course of a day, hour, minute. I took 2 weeks off running (thanks to the other sprained foot that was easy!). But I couldn’t wait to start running again.
Under the careful watch of my coach and my care givers (huge shout-out to Ken at Active Care, Josh at Tri-Massage, and Steph at Whole Health) I started with 15 minutes. Then 20 minutes. I think I went to 35-40 minutes once. The pain was now discomfort and sometimes it was there and sometimes it wasn’t. Since it was mid-August I wasn’t worried. Much. Yet. I decided not to race Rattlesnake but I had Chicago coming up. I rolled, I sticked, I stretched, I dug into my foot, I iced. Repeatedly. I was diligent in treating myself and listening to my coach and caregivers. Was there improvement? Yes! But the discomfort was still present. I raced Chicago and had no idea how I’d do.....I had not run 6 miles (or any sort of speed work) since Boulder Peak!! But it went fairly well but I did “pay” for the effort later that day. My discomfort was high. It went away quickly but it rears its ugly head at sometimes odd times. I have had discomfort free runs! But more times than not, there is some level of knowing it’s there.
It is exhausting thinking about this all the time! I wake up in the morning wondering how it will feel when I get out of bed. I stretch, I stick, I roll, I ice daily. When will I feel it today? Will it leave me alone today? It has been fairly good lately so coach and I decided to test it out last week. 2 easy runs on Monday, 2 easy runs on Tuesday, 1 super secret session on Wednesday, 1 run Friday, 1 run Saturday, and another super secret workout Sunday. All told, about 30 miles. How did I hold up? If you asked me Saturday, you would have found out that I was looking into Ironman refund policy. If you asked me last night, I would have said not bad! This morning? I hesitate to say.....good. The up and downs of this may actually drive me mad. I am trying to keep my frustration at bay and keep my head up and be positive. But it is becoming more and more difficult.
I miss running. Fall is here and it that great time of year to be hitting the trails, breathing in the crisp air, looking at the amazing blue sky, and watching the leaves turn. I ran on Highline for 30 minutes the other day.....and I just didn’t want to turn around. No!!! Not yet!!! But I did. I even miss the track (did I just type that?). I miss running with PIC. I just want to....run.
Funny thing is, I am racing this weekend. Ken pointed that out today. I am so caught up in being healthy for IMAZ that I pretty much put Nationals out of my head. Oops. Yeah, let’s get through that first. And then tackle Arizona. Sounds like a good plan. One day at a time right??