I saw this picture tonight on Pinterest: a site that I do not frequent, but do so every few weeks. Tonight I needed something to get going with this post. In exactly four weeks from today I will embark on my SECOND half marathon! I'm running the Rock and Roll National Half in Washington DC alongside a couple of my dear friends! I'm beyond pumped! I had a BIG goal in mind, and was working very hard for about a month in preparation to beat my sub 2:00hr goal, which would be shaving off 8 minutes from my first half in Philly last September. On Tuesday, January 31st when I woke up with an immense amount of foot pain....
Back story: on Thanksgiving day I woke up and set out to run 3-4 miles before indulging in some turkey for my favorite holiday! I felt a slight pain in the arch of my foot but decided it was probably nothing. I went and met a friend at the park, and within minutes my pain continued. I knew something was 'off'. I took the next few days off from running and came back to NYC still in slight pain. After many reviews and advice from running friends I figured I might have a minor case of plantar fasciitis and one of the first pieces of advice was to REST. So that's what I did. I did not hit the pavement or a treadmill for FOUR entire weeks. On Tuesday, December 26th I started my training for the half and all was well. I was hitting way under 10 minute miles for all my training runs, and felt strong for four solid weeks.
I ran a long run on Sunday, January 29th of 8 miles and kept a really good pace. On Tuesday, I woke up and could barely walk. Each step I took was BRUTAL. I took some meds, stretched a lot, and used a small tennis size ball at the bottom of my foot in hopes it would get better. I did some cross training and by Saturday I had decided I was 'much better' and went out and ran SUPER stupid fast for me for 10 miles. Within minutes of finishing that run I was almost at the point of not being able to walk again. The week of February 5th was awful. I was ready to throw in the towel. I was hurting. I felt defeated. I remember on Wednesday finally letting it all out and I literally cried a lot of tears because of pain, but more because I was SO SO frustrated with myself for not being fully healed the previous Saturday and pushing myself beyond my limits. I made my injury worse. Thursday was better, and I knew I needed to do a long run on Friday because I would be busy the rest of the weekend. I set out and did 9 slower pace miles, and finished virtually pain free. I couldn't believe it. I listened to my body (and my fabulous running coach) and it really did work. Was I running sub 10 minute miles? Nope, but I wasn't hurting anymore. This week I was back in the game and my foot has continued to heal. I successfully ran 12 miles on Friday AM with two new friends basically PAIN FREE! PRAISE GOD! :) Aside from some minor soreness around my toes, my foot feels so so so much better. I'm not saying this injury is completely over and never coming back, but for now I'm doing better. I could not be happier.
Through all of this it made me step back and think about why I'm running at all. I came to the conclusion that running is for ME. It's not for anyone else. I don't need to impress anyone with my times, my goals, or my dreams. I've learned to stop comparing my achievements to everyone else's because it minimizes all that I've accomplished. The bottom line is that I'm probably never going to be as fast as some of my 'running role models', and you know what? That's totally ok. If I dont ever run a sub 2:00 half marathon, that's ok too. Why? Because I now have a body that can even think about running 13.1 miles. I now have a body that does things I never could have dreamed of would be possible. I'm not quitting. I've just had to refocus on why I'm doing this. There's no doubt that I was made to do this. I believe that with all of my heart. God has given me this crazy passion for running and I know He knows the desires of my heart to keep me strong! I'm never giving up. EVER.
MY DREAMS. MY GOALS. MY RUNNING JOURNEY.