I have to say, this marathon is sneaking up on me much quicker than the last one. Maybe it's because of the stress fracture that got me off my training schedule for a couple of weeks. Maybe it's because I'm training in the winter this time. I'm not really sure, but there are only 3 months to go before I lace them up and try again, and that just seems like it's happening awfully soon.
What is different this time? Well, I'm definitely eating better, but because I've been sidelined, I'm not sure how it's working from a fueling standpoint. I hope to learn more about the effects of a better diet as I once again ramp up the mileage.
Another difference is that I know what to expect, and the fear of the race isn't really there anymore. Of course, with the injury I suffered, I'm a little scared that it not healing might keep me from completing the marathon. But I don't have the fear of the unknown this time, and in fact, I'm the one alleviating the fears of my new marathon teammates. Letting them know how it feels when you hit the wall, when you get that second surge, the mental games you play at mile 19 and when the tears hit.
The one thing that hasn't changed this time, though, is the camaraderie I'm experiencing with my fellow marathoners. This, by far, is the best part of committing to this endeavor once again just as it was the best part of preparing for the first one. There is nothing like the bond that forms when you are running on a trail out near North Bend in the pouring rain on an early Sunday morning when everyone else you know is inside and warm. And you know there is nowhere else you'd rather be. Nothing better than checking in on how many miles everyone did this week, how the bodies are holding up, what is the best plan to be following, and when we can all get together for another long run.
So even though time is growing short, I will enjoy every minute of every training run, every marathon dinner, every mega e-mail exchanged where we plan the rest of our Napa adventure. And I will be forever grateful for the teammates, both the new ones this time around and those that I shared that first experience with. You have made these experiences so rewarding, and it's because of you (and the future teammates that I convince next time around) that keep me agreeing to do these crazy things at my age.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
It happened when I started running on the treadmill. People are always surprised when I tell them that because the treadmill is supposed to be easier on the body. At least that's what they say. But for me, the treadmill apparently changed my stride and foot placement just a little, just enough to put extra strain on my shin. Combine a few times on the treadmill with a pounding downhill run at the end of the Magnolia 12K, and voila! 3 weeks in a boot.
So what does this mean for my training? That's easy. Week one - total rest. Week two - I can start activity, but nothing weight bearing. End of week three - boot hopefully comes off.
Beginning week two, my friend was nice enough to loan me a bike trainer and set up my bike in my living room so that I can ride while watching everything that's been sitting on my DVR. I've also incorporated kinesis back into the routine, but since it's typically a whole body workout, the trainers at Vera Fitness have been great at modifying the monthly routine for me so I can do at least the upper body stuff sitting on the exercise ball.
I'm currently at the end of week two and counting the days until my doctor appointment next Friday and hopefully resuming my training.
What's been most eye-opening for me is that this experience has shown me how much my mind and spirit have changed, and I am truly a couch potato no more. First thing was, unlike my hip injury last year, which really discouraged me, I approached this with a pretty positive outlook from the day I left the doctor. No activity just meant more of an opportunity to eat well and cook good meals and, it got me refocused on the importance of incorporating healthy eating into my training regimen. I've actually lost 5 lbs since the injury.
Second, though, was the coolest thing to discover about myself, and it's that I'm truly an athlete. Back in the 1990's and early 2000's when I was a true couch potato, I could go weeks without working out. I was that person who joined a gym in January and went pretty regularly for 4-6 weeks until I got bored with it or made excuses to do other things, and before I knew it, I'm paying for a gym membership I don't use. An injury back then would have just given me an extra excuse to sit on the couch.
Now, I don't want to make excuses to not be active. Week one of the boot where I was allowed no activity killed me. I couldn't wait until that bike trainer was set up so I could jump on and get a little cardio in. It was like my body craved it. And with the kinesis, I also did two things I never do, which is work around an obstacle to get in activity and ask for help. This is a true breakthrough for me.
With any luck, I've got one more week in the boot. Three weeks in the big scheme of things is a blip in the training and I will hopefully be on the road again logging miles soon. But this injury has been a great opportunity to test drive many of the things I've been working on in my wellness coaching - viewing obstacles as opportunities, not being a victim, appreciating the present moment, and treating myself well.
Maybe the boot's not so bad after all.