Foot injury and traveling

*edit: I wrote this on Monday, hit publish, and walked away from my computer. I didn’t realize until today that it didn’t actually publish!*

*edit edit: maybe it did publish. I dunno. Too much stress!*

I’ve been a terrible blogger during this training season. I know there are several people who care about me and still read this, though, so let me try to catch you up.

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It’s been a rough one, to be honest. I have another half marathon, the Longview half, in a little under two weeks. Around late August or early September, I increased my mileage, replacing my 3.5-mile runs with 5 mile runs, in preparation for the race. At the time it made sense. I was pleased to see the spike in my weekly mileage.

Of course, it came back to bite me. My left foot began to ache, mildly at first, then much worse. Finally I realized this was not a normal tired-foot feeling, but an injury. 🙁 The pain was concentrated in the ball of my foot, where my big toe joins to the foot. With the help of Dr. Google, I think I have/had metatarsalgia. Thankfully, the treatment is simple – RICE (rest-ice-compression-elevation).

There are no words to describe how discouraged I was.

Instead of increasing my mileage, I had to cut wayyyy back. My runs became short and few. I would end my runs in tears, frustrated by the pain in my foot.

On top of that, I wound up traveling for most of the month of October. I drove to Boston to visit my sister, who lives there. It is very hard to maintain any kind of training schedule while traveling. I ran on a treadmill at every single hotel, every chance I got, but a two or three mile treadmill run just isn’t the same as an outdoor run!!

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Ironically, though, traveling and treadmill-ing was probably the best thing possible for me. That gave my foot a good chance to heal. It’s feeling much better, and I’m hoping the problem won’t flare up during the race.

Between injury and traveling, I haven’t had any really long runs – it’s been a few weeks since I’ve run more than three miles! I still feel strong, and barring a mid-race injury, I’m pretty confident that I will finish this upcoming half-marathon. Without the long runs, though, I will have to keep myself in a good place mentally throughout the run. I won’t have a recent memory of a solid long run to fall back on.

I’ve had to make some huge adjustments in my expectations, too. Finishing the race will be the easy part! I have to let go of my expectations of finishing within a certain time/pace, and that’s hard. I know it will be especially hard at the starting line, when I’m surrounded by runners. Experience has taught me that this is when I tend to push myself too hard – but I also know that this will be when it is most important for me to control my pace!

Less than two weeks, and I’m playing a very mental game. I’ll try to keep you updated!

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