(3 Marathons + 1 Bike) x 5 TV ShowsOctober 10, 2012
Meanwhile, my legs are a wreck.
I’ve had plantar-fascia-induced heel pain since the beginning of September, and while I can still sort of pretty much run through it, the pain is getting worse and I’m starting to pay for it elsewhere in my body. Don’t think that my spontaneous 20-miler didn’t have severe consequences (but it was totally worth it). Sometimes listening to your body can pay off with a great run, and sometimes that great run means you pay later. This is the runner’s condition. The more passionate and driven the runner, the more likely she is to find herself courting injury. This is the runner’s curse.
Last week, I went to the rail trail to run an 18-miler. I decided to run a 5-miler on the road before doing some faster miles on the path, so I headed down a pastoral street in Groton. I turned right at a T-junction and then I turned left, turning around at 2.5 miles. So simple, but I got lost on my way back, adding 3.6 miles of idiotic wrong turns. It started to rain while I was busy getting lost and by my third wrong turn, my brain started rattling.
I finally found the trail again, but I knew by that point that faster miles were not likely as the tightness in my foot became more like a bruise in my heel, which became more like the pain of stepping barefoot on a rock under every footstrike by mile 12. My right heel pain spread to left calf pain by mile 14. It was pouring, and I didn’t have it in me to walk the 4 miles back, so I jog-limped the rest of the way to my car. It was pure blecgh.
Later in the week, I tested my heel while coaching at the track, running four miles of mild 600s, but both heel and calf were still a problem. Since then, I’ve spent more time on my bike trainer than on the road. I tried another long workout on Sunday, an hour on the arc trainer and an hour on the road. The hour on the road hurt, with no improvement since that 18 miler.
I’m back to the bike trainer, catching up on old Netflixed sitcoms. I’ve cycled through (no pun intended) the Office, Weeds, and Frasier. I’ve learned how to balance an iPad on my handlebars while I grind out repeats in my clips. I’ve learned that I can drip sweat through a big-gear interval workout at the same time that I drip tears while watching Jim and Pam get married. Sap. I’ve learned that relative to Nancy Botwin, I am the world’s best mother, and thus, there’s no shame in biking for 90 minutes in my basement while my son tries on my jewelry, plays with stink bugs, and eats snacks. I’ve learned that Frasier isn’t as funny as I remembered.
I’ve also learned to that after establishing my base at 60 miles per week by the end of August, my body now isn’t doing justice to a marathon training cycle. For a runner, I’m spending more time in my bike clips than in my trainers, let alone my speed shoes. For a lady who likes sassy fall boots with a bit of a heel, I’m spending more time in my brown Dansko ortho-clogs than I am in sexy boots.
While I lament my sad and shlubby footwear, my increasingly soft and smooshy body is registered for three marathons. This is a first for me. As a poster girl for Murphy’s Law, I have a thing about not registering for marathons while I’m still training for one. But Boston looked to be another registration slugfest so I jumped in the ring and signed up for that. And because it might be my last chance to run Boston as a qualifier, I impulsively went for the Boston-to-Big Sur add-on.
This leaves me signed up for CIM, Boston, and Big Sur while I am not actually running. I’ve debated my CIM plans for the past week or so, and I haven’t officially called it off, but I’m close to giving up on it. Flying to California to run 26.2 miles is worth it for Big Sur as part of the B2BS challenge, but I’d planned to race CIM, and I won’t be able to do what I want to do there. It’s a whole lot of money and travel just to put 26 miles on the Garmin.
We’ll see. It’s a disappointment, but no one ever said running is a walk in the park. In fact, by definition, it’s not. As it turns out, running appears to be a bike in the basement, at least for a few more days. Hello, Arested Development and Scrubs.
I never thought I’d say this, but:
I can’t wait to get on my treadmill.