Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Trepidation and a Trip to my PT

So this week is coming along nicely so far.  Monday I had a really successful walk with both dogs.  Louie had a NEAR-PERFECT 1.2 miles, even ran with me a bit and stayed right by my side.  One of the dogs in the neighborhood that normally sends him into a nuclear meltdown was out, even barked at us a few times like he was trying to bait him, but Louie stayed calm and focused.  MAJOR success for my little monster! 

Monday was also, of course, the Unofficial Runners' Holiday, otherwise known as the runninng of the Boston Marathon.  This year's publicity was, of course, extraordinary.  All the focus on the story of last year's bombing ...  I don't even want to go there.  Me, I just really get off watching all those amazing athletes.  I found myself trying to explain to a coworker why Boston is so incredible... and it has NOTHING to do with last year's events.  I've learned a lot this year about why the course is so notorious and what makes it difficult, and anyone who can finish it just Blows. My. Mind. 

There were a number of people from my local running group who qualified and got in this year, two whom I knew well enough to follow and get text updates on how they were doing.  They all finished - Tim and Stacie ran the whole thing together and even crossed the finish line holding hands!  How freaking awesome is that?!?  Dan did an amazing job and posted on Facebook throughout his trip to Boston and before and after pics.  I'm hoping to share more about his experience sometime soon.

Yesterday, Tuesday, I had an early meeting at work - needed to be there by 7:30am for a meeting with all the managers in our office, with the guy whom I'm still referring to as "my new boss."  I tried not to grumble too much about the time.  I am NOT a morning person, but I must admit, it was nice having the meeting out of the way and getting on with our day.  Don't tell my new boss I said that.  :-)

I've been working this week on some transition projects - getting files from our old system into the systems we use with the new firm.  It's tedious work and can be frustrating at times, but I enjoy tedious work and I feel quite a sense of accomplishment when I get each of these done.  There's also a time factor - this project really needs to be completed before we get into our busy season, which is only a month away!  Sand is flowing very quickly through that hour-glass...  I still have high hopes that all this preparation will create a situation where this year's busy season won't be anywhere near as difficult, or as long, as last year's.  I do NOT want to repeat the 4-month frenzy that was last fall and winter.  All this to say, I've been enjoying my job this week.

But the point is, Tuesday night was Catch the Wave group night!  We were out at the lake and for many of our group members, it was their first time there, and / or their first time running the Lake Run Loop Route.  This is the route they will run for the race they've spent the last 9 weeks training for, through some SERIOUSLY bad weather.  They have been real troopers, and I'm so proud of our group!  We ran the route using our planned 8/1 run/walk interval and they did fantastically.  I, on the other hand, was having some trouble during the last mile of our 4.37-mile run.  Damn feet started up again.  More on that later.

Today I have to miss my Ride the Wave group.  I have a board meeting to attend this evening out of town, so I'll be working late and driving home... probably won't be home until after 9pm.  Ew, I hate that.  I am considering leaving work and taking a long lunch break to go for a run.  It will be my last run before Saturday's half marathon.  I'm going to let my feet rest until then, other than a possible dog walk on Friday.

I did finally make it into my physical therapist yesterday.  He checked out my neck pain and recommended I come in for a few visits to work on correcting that.  It's a posture thing - my posture while working at my computer. 

I expected him to tell me the foot pain was caused my the same problems I had last year - my calves are too tight, I need to stretch and foam roll more, I need to stop wearing heels.  I was prepared for a lecture about the exercises he showed me last year and that he can tell I haven't kept up with them.  Instead, he said he was surprised how loose my calves were - they're tight, but nowhere near as bad as last time, and he could tell I've been working on it.  That was very nice to hear... but here's the thing:  he basically said he doesn't have a good idea about what might be the cause of my foot pain. 

He wants me to come in and run on the treadmill and take another look at my form - we did this last year and he had suggestions about my cadence, but said my form was good.  Maybe something about that has changed.  So further investigation is the plan on that.  If we don't know what's wrong, we don't know how to FIX it.  Basically, I took that as terrible news.  But not the kind of terrible news that sends me to the nearest junk-food bar, so you know... there's that.

He did spend some time torturing me - my neck (upper trapezius), calves, and even the bottom of my feet, calluses and all... and I'm pretty sore today. My shoulder / neck area especially - it actually feels bruised there!  And I talked with him about whether I should attempt the Christie Clinic Illinois event this weekend.  He didn't want to tell me one way or the other whether to do it or not, but gave me some good input on what to consider.  And I've been talking with my Catch the Wave co-leaders and my Ride the Wave group members and leaders about it for weeks.  It's time to make a decision.

Found in this mornings email in-box:  Today's Daily Kick in tbe Butt:
"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort."
Jesse Owens

Determination.  Dedication.  Discipline.  Effort.
I think I have my mantra for this weekend's 13.1.  I've decided to go, even through I'm not properly trained for it and I'm still having ongoing issues with foot pain.  I'll do a 5/1 or 4/1 run/walk interval and take it slow, and if it gets to the point where I can't do the run interval anymore, I'll keep walking. 

If I CAN finish, I WILL finish. 

If I can't finish because the pain in my feet is too great, that is going to be okay.

Oh, and as for the title to this post?  The Trepidation part?  Yeah, this half marathon has me scared.  The foot pain, when it's bad, it's BAD and the fear of that pain has been a big part of why I haven't been training more and better since the weather improved.  This weekend is about facing fear, not about running through pain.  I'll stop if I need to, but showing up requires that I face the fear of that pain.

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