Last weekend I was supposed to run my 20 miler, the first of three, but my foot was hurting, so I thought I’d just give it a rest, and hope it got better. It didn’t really get worse, and somewhere along the line I figured the more I focused on it the more it hurt, so just ignoring it was the way to go. So I ran 6 miles on Tuesday and 5 on Friday, did a cross-train day in there and was ready to hit another cross-train day yesterday with a bike ride and set myself all up for a 20 miler today. I was feeling great. I had mopped up the foot issues, the hip was feeling strong. I was ready to go and Sunday the weather was going to be a bit cooler, so Sunday was definitely going to be the 20 mile day.
Then Saturday morning I had the brilliant idea to shave my legs while in the shower. If I’m going to sport running shorts, I like to be considerate to others. So I thought I would
clear-cut the forest clean up. This would all have been fine if somewhere around 3/4 of the way through the job my back hadn’t had some sort of spasm, which I could hear, and twanged. Like a guitar string breaking. I could barely straighten up. But I did, and managed to finish shaving. I had to hike my leg up and prop it up on the wall, but at least I’m not a Neanderthal. I did, however, do a mental version of whistling as you walk through the forest at night. It goes something like this “Nothing serious has happened, this is fine, just a little twang, right as rain, nothing to see here, move on.”
It was some A plus wishful thinking, but I decided to just go ahead with the errands I needed to run (aside from running my 20-miler, I’m baking a wedding cake for next weekend, so I had some things to pick up). Even before the first errand to the cake supply store was over, I knew I was in serious trouble. Mr. Bump tried to shore up my spirits with some frozen yogurt, but when I sat down in the REI without buying anything we both knew I was seriously hurting. I spent some portion of Saturday sitting, leaning over, or lying down. Standing is pretty painful, and after about a block or so of walking, my posture is odd and painful, trying to protect my lower back. Mr. Bump suggested I take a Benadryl as a mild muscle relaxer, and gave me a little back massage and put the heating pad on my back. Which was horrid because it was 97 degrees and here I was with a heating pad on my back. But the Benadryl did the trick in terms of letting me get some sleep. I sort of passed out around 8:30 and slept for about 10 hours.
Today I’ve been popping ibuprofen and hobbling around baking cakes, but it wasn’t the way I wanted to spend my Sunday. I keep wondering if I’m playing mind games with myself, a little self-sabotage. But nobody trains for a marathon against their will. And I really want this. I’m scared. I’m scared that I’m not going to be able to run Portland. I’m scared I won’t be able to just shrug this off and run my normal mileage this week. I think this was just a freak thing, not related to my running. It happened to me once years ago when I was bending down to pick a book of the bookshelf. But for whatever reason it happened, it did. And it’s hard to think about running when you can’t even stand up straight or go for a walk to the mailbox without stopping to lean on the rock wall a half a block from home.
This training cycle has been fraught with injuries, none of which have been terribly significant in itself, but the hip, the foot, now the back? It’s
beginning to making me doubt my training plan. I know I’m able to do this, so why has it been so hard this time? Too much? Too long? Too fast? Maybe all of those things. The last few weeks I’ve been trying to hold back and get myself feeling good, but it’s made me miss a few runs. And I just keep thinking that I just want to run again. I don’t care how fast it is, and how long it is, I just want to run. It’s frustrating to not feel like I should.
I keep thinking that maybe I should try and go for an experimental trot. That maybe if I just don’t focus on this it won’t prevent me from continuing my training. I can’t even freak out about it, because it feels like if I freak out about it, I’ll be admitting that it’s something serious. And it can’t be something serious. It just can’t. it doesn’t feel broken, just stiff and sore, so I think it will get better. Any second now.