So, now...what is going on?
Well, let me say that this year I had goals that I had set out at the very start of the year. I had made it very clear last year and throughout this year so far that I had the goal to get fit after the pregnancy, to run Dumbo again and to train and complete my first marathon in January 2015.
However, it seems that with every attempt I make to try and accomplish these goals I get more and more road blocks and encounter even more pitfalls.
It started not long after I had been cleared to start running after giving birth. Not only trying to juggle the time in which to get my runs in, but working on getting my mechanics back in line. Okay, no problem, I worked through it and finished my first 10k after baby in May and felt pretty good about my accomplishment.
Then shortly afterwards I started experiencing heel pain. Thinking it was due to aging/worn shoes I changed them up and things felt better and I was back in business. Then my hips started to give me trouble again, no worries I knew how to fix this, so off to the chiro I went for a series of appointments to get me adjusted back in line and I'll be good to go.
But then something strange happened. It wasn't working. I would have to go back to the chiro every other week to get adjusted because my hips ached and I was in pain all the time. Then mysteriously the heel pain came back. Strange, considering in all the time I have ever been running I have NEVER had foot pain, so this was really throwing me for a loop and keeping me from running.
During all of this happening I had won a race entry to the Snoqualmie Valley 1/2 marathon and was really looking forward to getting out there and seeing if I could get a good time to submit for Dumbo Double Dare corral placement. As the race time got closer I realized that I was not able to run the half like I had hoped, so I contacted the race directors and downgraded my 1/2 bib to a 10k bib. No problem, I knew I could do a 10k, I had done it just the month before. Granted I was bummed I couldn't do the half, but I would be running nonetheless.
Then during the week prior to the race my hips hurt so much that I could barely get in and out of a chair without wincing in pain. Fear set in, how could I run if simple things like getting out of a chair was painful? I knew it deep down and it hurt to do it, but on that Friday of packet pick-up, I did not go. I did not pick up the bib and the shirt, I just couldn't do it. I knew I wasn't going to run and I logged my first ever DNS.
I was so heavy hearted and feeling so defeated, I started to consider other options to combat my ailments. I decided to go see a physical therapist. I thought maybe they can help me in some way, I mean I'm nursing injuries, isn't that what physical therapy is for? To help restore you after sustaining an injury? So I took the leap and went in. It was the best decision I could have ever made. My hip problem seemed to clear up within a couple of weeks. My heel pain was changing and I had mobility that I hadn't had in months! I was definitely feeling more confident about the big race weekend in August.
As the Disneyland race weekend approached I was still being plagued with heel issues, this plantar fasciitis just was not wanting to go away and it had a strong hold on me. So I worked with my PT on my plan of attack for the long distance training runs and ultimately, how to run the races without injuring myself further. What I hadn't factored into this plan was all the additional walking that I would be doing while in Disneyland. Oye! I averaged between 16-29 miles A DAY between the races and just walking around in general. And for someone with PF, it was torture!
I came back from the race weekend wiped out physically and ready to give my feet a break. I met with my PT and resumed working on strengthening my core and helping to alleviate my heel pain. I also reviewed my training plan for the marathon with my PT to get her feeling on it and if there were any tweaks she would suggest doing to it.
She looked at me and asked, "Is there any possibility to downgrade your race distance to a half from a full?" My heart stopped for a second, did she really just say that? I said, "no, that race is sold out and there is no way to transfer to the other distance, why do you ask?" She said, "Although we have made great progress so far, I am concerned about the amount of mileage that you would need to log to properly train and ultimately complete the marathon." My heart sank. She went on to say that tweaks can be made to the schedule and that it is possible for me to run the marathon, but not without the possibility of causing further damage to my current injury areas.
That word hung in the air like a storm cloud ready to open up and pour down rain on me, but was also so heavy that I felt like I was collapsing under the weight of it.
She did suggest tweaks for me to take back to my coach to review and discuss, but the exchange weighed heavily on my mind all night and the next morning. My coach agreed that tweaks could be made and we talked about how to modify the schedule to help account for my current restrictions and that we could monitor and continue to make tweaks as we went along.
Then the next day, something changed. You can call it irony, serendipity, or whatever term you want to use, but this happened the very. next. day.
runDisney decided to take a number of their Goofy registrations and separate them to create independent half and full marathon registrations so that people who wanted to run during this race weekend, and had missed the opportunity to register earlier this year, could sign up to participate. Was runDisney spying on me? How did they know that it was a possibility that I needed a half marathon spot?
When this showed up I thought it was too much of a coincidence to just ignore. I called my PT and discussed the option, then I messaged back and forth with my hubby about it. Then that was it. A decision had been made. Again, in another heavy hearted decision, I would transfer my registration from the full to the half marathon. My hopes and dreams of a full marathon completion would be put on the shelf now. It's just not going to happen, not this time.
I will be honest, I was devastated. As I filled out the Active forms to register for the half marathon I cried silently. I was being defeated, again, by this body of mine that isn't letting me do the thing I was able to do just a year ago. RUN!!!! All I want to do is run and not be in pain before, during or after, like I had before.
So frustrated that this is where I am. Why is this journey so. damn. hard? Why am I having to deal with all this bullshit? Why is my body rebelling against me? Why? Why? Why?
As brokenhearted as I am that I will not be able to run this race with my friends that have all banded together to encourage each other through it all, I know deep down in my heart that this is the right decision. As bull headed as I am and as focused as I've been on this goal, I know that my long term goals are much more important than the short term gain I would have of being able to complete this marathon in January. I want to run for many years to come and I need to come to terms with the fact that, yes, this is another road block, but my journey is far from over. I need to set my sights further into the horizon and try not to be so shortsighted. I need to repair myself and get stronger before I can conquer my ultimate goal of completing a marathon.
This year is about 3/4 through, and I am eating my fair share of humble pie when it comes to my running and my goals. If life is trying to teach me patience then I say, thanks friend, but I got the message already, you don't need to keep reminding me!! Call it life lessons, call it humility, call it what you want, but right now I feel like I'm failing.