The road to recovery and reaching 700 miles
This has not been an easy road for me. I started off my year strong with a goal of running 500 miles by December. Well, that happened back in June. With that being said, I decided just to keep going…see what all I could manage beyond that. Tentative goal…perhaps 1000 miles this year.
And then…the great plantar fascia tear happened and I had the three week set-back that included no form of running at all. When I should have been increasing my distance and miles for an upcoming half marathon (at that point…only 4 weeks away), I was sitting on the couch, doing foot exercises given to me by my podiatrist and physician, praying with all my might that the pain would go away and that I would make the Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon.
I got fitted for orthodics…which I hate. I hate them like death. I have only run in them once, but I am going to put some more mileage in on them this coming week. Why? Because that is what my podiatrist wants. My feet are adjusting to them when I walk around in them, so it is time to see what I can do in them on my runs. But not the longer ones yet. I’m not prepared for that. I can tell you…my feet aren’t either.
Slowly…I got back out to the roads. Barely at first. A couple miles here. A couple miles there. I was afraid to run. Here I am doing one thing that has always brought me joy…and I have this almost paralyzing fear to do it. And when I would go out, I would run painfully slow…afraid that if I pushed more or harder, I’d hurt myself again.
This went on for weeks…and then, just before the Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon…I decided to just face my fear…and go out for a run. Just find a good pace. Stick with it. The problem was…the summer has been brutal so pushing would expend way too much of my energy and by the end of my run, I would be ready to collapse. But, I pressed on, even if it wasn’t the level I had hoped for. And my speed, very slowly, began to return.
And then, with the permission of my podiatrist, an amazing tape job on my feet, and a promise to take it easy…I made it to the start of the Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon. The weather was, as it had been, brutal. More so with Hurricane Isaac on the brink of making it to Indianapolis. The humidity was at 90% and the race started out under a red flag. This half marathon almost did me in. It took me days to recover from it. I was dehydrated, despite having water with me and keeping a slower half marathon pace. I wilted more and more as the race went on and just prayed to reach the finish line. Which I did…sooner than I even anticipated. No new PR…but I wasn’t there to set one. I was there to return to running and face my fears.
And with all that done, my next half marathon was only a month and a half away. So, I jumped immediately back into training (again). I know that recovery time is important, and due to the strain of that half marathon on my body, I really did listen and slow down until I felt back up to par. In addition, I started doing circuit training workouts to help build up some core strength, and perhaps strengthen some muscles. I’ve almost done it for a full week now and I’m already feeling stronger. My runs…are feeling better.
Or maybe that’s the break in the hot weather.
This morning, I’m heading out for my long run. I don’t know how far I’ll go, but I’m going to run over at Seneca Park in Louisville, Kentucky for the first time. Why? It’s a chilly 57 degrees out this morning…and I just need a change of scenery. I’ve run everywhere in New Albany. I know where the hills are, where the flat areas are, where it’s difficult to run due to traffic lights, etc. I need to just go out there…to run. No worries. Just focus on starting slow, and then building into it. That’s the only way to properly prepare for a half marathon…and I want to work on that.
With the Hershey Half Marathon only weeks away, I’m already looking forward to it. September has arrived and the weather is starting to cool down. Humidity…going down. And I find myself more eager than ever to go out for my runs.
Here’s to staying strong, to staying injury-free, and to the next 100 miles…