a blog about running fast with style
Part 1: The Event
Somehow I’ve managed to dodge the big “I” word in twenty plus years of running. I think the most time I’ve taken off since 1999 was 3 months right after college. So the last few months have been, well, rather challenging. Now before you get too annoyed at me and skip this blog all together, I have been rather good at hitting the other “I” word (illness). But at least with that I word you can run through much of it (though not always pretty). But when you hurt your foot, every moment of every day reminds you can’t do the one thing you love most. But as usual I am clearly getting ahead of myself.
March 2011, feels like years ago but alas it really is just a few months. To be quite honest the training really wasn’t going that great (or so I thought). I had started training for Boston about two weeks after CIM. As happy as I was with that race I felt like I had a lot more in me. My work schedule did not make training easy. I missed a few Wednesday workouts and settled for fartlek runs on the road (which were rather painful). The first was in DC and it was so cold. Everyone I saw while running looked at me like I was crazy (note none of them were runners). Did I mention there was ice as well? Not the best idea for a hard workout… then there was the bathroom break at Regan International Airport (clearly my judgment was lacking).
After the DC trip there was North Carolina, where I did 4 loops around the city for a 17 mile long run and then another early morning farlek on my own… um can you say crazy? The week I got back I decided to jump into a 5k with Thury. It was just for fun (Love em or Leave em) and we ended-up winning and I ended up running my second fastest 5k since college. The time really surprised me and I was glad to see I was in better shape than I thought.
My next test was a crazy 15 mile race. Again not sure what I was thinking but surprised myself with the effort. It was my first race where I actually felt fantastic and I was hooked. I’m sure you can see where this is all going, but just in case you can’t here’s how the mind of a crazed runner works. “Hmm… if I am running this fast without training that hard… imagine how fast I’d run if I really pushed myself?” A normal person would have seen that I was racing well because I wasn’t over training but alas… distance runners are very seldom normal.
And so the push began. Not long after that (right around finals time at UW) I came down with a horrible flu. Was down for days and missed Mercer Island half. Well I was convinced I need a half marathon so I willed myself to some sort of health and entered a 20k. It felt like death, I ran a PR, decided I needed a long run the next day and then the day after rested with yoga and it was this fateful day that the injury that haunts me now happened. Really just a bad chain reaction… err really bad.
I was happy for a day off. Somewhere in my heart of hearts I knew the long run after the race was a horrible idea, but I’d been doing long runs after races for the past year and it didn’t seem to hurt. I picked my yoga workout and settled in for some flow. The routine I picked wasn’t one of my normal ones but figured it was a good change. I was about 15 minutes into it on my way to the “Bombay Bus Stop” when it happened. I don’t usually go all the way up on the balls of my feet but this move had me there and then it had me squat down. The odd sensation in my foot really didn’t hurt. It felt like two muscles or tendons in my foot pulling away from each other, like they were parting. I stopped for a moment and it didn’t seem that sore so I finished the workout.
After my workout I made dinner and was off to bed with no idea how the next few months would unfold. I thought I knew, four more weeks of training, then Boston and then back at it for summer road races. But that was not in the cards for me as I would soon find out.