My training during September and October was going really well. I was following the plan and doing all my core work. And while I was slower than I had been during my longer runs two years ago, I was finishing feeling stronger. I made it through the weekend where I was to run 8.5 miles followed by 20 miles the next day. It was hard. But I did it. And I was confident.
The following week, I did a training run at Disneyland. I participated in the Thor 10K as part of the final Disneyland RunDisney race in the near future. As I’m not really an Avengers fan (sorry, Marvel, I’m more of the princess and fairy and classic Disney girl than comic book – not to say I don’t appreciate the films), I didn’t have a huge desire to stop for photos. I was running solo using 1:00/:30 intervals as I wanted to improve my lung capacity. I ran and took selfies the entire way. I was on my way to a personal best 10K when I felt my heel aching at mile 4.5. By mile 5 it was apparent something wasn’t right, but it didn’t hurt while walking so I shortened my intervals to :30/:30 and kept going. By mile 6 I was in tears. It hurt to run even one step. I finished and headed straight for medical where I would be wrapped in saran wrap and iced. I was told I needed to see my doctor on Monday. I felt so dumb being so upset. But I had 48.6 miles on the line. I am grateful for my running buddies who were there and came to sit with me. And my running buddy’s mom who shoved her way into the runner area to make sure I was ok.
By the time I left medical I couldn’t even walk. The blood flow had returned to normal and the pain was setting in. I needed to stick around to host the meet-up with my #Firsties but could barely walk. I couldn’t wait to get into my car and go home. But first, I made a stop back at Jeff Galloway’s booth. He talked me through a new plan – icing at night immediately before bed, and letting myself heal. He told me that I needed only to walk the last Dopey simulation and could take breaks up to 30 minutes on the 26 mile day. As long as I did that, I’d be ready given where I was. I would also have to adjust my running down and use my half marathon strategy for the full marathon. A lot slower than I wanted, but…..better than nothing?
First thing Monday, I called the orthopedist who confirmed I had Achilles tendonitis. And peroneal tendonitis. Tuesday afternoon I went to my appointment. My ankle was swollen despite the icing and the anti-inflammatories I was taking. I was given a brace, told to walk minimally and start physical therapy. There was no “We’ll get you fixed up for the race” or anything like that. I was in a panic. I called the PT office Wednesday morning and was in by Friday morning. I was told “I can’t promise you anything.” Almost a week later and still swollen and in pain.
I started doing all my exercises as instructed two times per day. I was foam rolling like crazy. And luckily, I was spending Thanksgiving week with my parents and they were all too willing to keep me off my feet. Other than the airport walking days, I had less than 800 steps per day during that week.
Once I was able to walk a bit better the PT looked at my gait. The shoes. I had switched shoes in July to avoid some of the callouses and blisters I get on the sides of my big toe. I loved my new shoes. In October I committed to them by buying a second pair for rotation. The issue? They had an 8mm drop versus my old 13mm shoes. The other thing was that these new shoes were higher stability than my previous ones which were light stability. It took 4 months and many miles before any issues came up. So now I’m back to my orthotics and old model shoe.
This past week I was cleared to run – walk 0.1 miles and run 0.1 miles and repeat 10 times – 2 miles. I was sore after but the run felt great. Tomorrow I get to try my second run where I will interval 2 miles and walk 5 immediately after to get back on the training track. I missed the run two weeks ago that was the mini Dopey simulation, but will walk next week’s in full (or do what my PT will let me). Sometimes people make fun of me for being overly sensitive and aware of little pains and nuances while working out and such. But that sensitivity and awareness and diligence has helped my PT to identify other issues and give me other exercises to keep me going. I am healing much faster than they expected and I am going to do this. I hope. I am not a quitter.