This weekend I will be running in the 3rd installment of the Beach Cities Challenge, the OC Half Marathon. I've already completed the other two races in the series, the Long Beach Half Marathon and the Surf City Half Marathon; by finishing OC I will get an extra medal, which is a composite of all three medals. I'm really looking forward to adding both new medals to my new medal rack! I've heard so many wonderful things about this race; it's supposed to be all (or almost all) coastal. And both the Long Beach AND the Surf City races were exceptionally well-organized, so I am expecting the same for this one. Already they have been very informative on their website and emails, and quickly responsive to questions on their Facebook page.
However, even though I'm excited to do this race, I have some trepidation. I've been injured---again--and have downgraded this race in my mind from a "B" race to a "C" race (the only "A" race I have this year is my 70.3 triathlon in September). By "C" race, I mean I am running this solely for the enjoyment of running the race and enjoying the course and camaraderie of the other races. I have no time goal in mind (I am not even THINKING about trying to break 2:30, even though I was just a few seconds shy of this goal last month at the Hollywood Half Marathon.)
So yes, I'm injured. Again. This seems to be a theme with me....looking back at many of my race recaps, I spent the week before with a plantar fasciitis (PF) flare-up, or something else happened. Maybe it's psychosomatic? Regardless, it's more than just my PF that's bothering me. A week and a half ago, I went for a 10 mile run. The first 9 miles were wonderful. At mile 9.1, I took a step and had immediate shooting pain in my foot, along the outer edge. I wasn't sure what happened; I didn't seem to step on anything, but it was an awful pain. Luckily, I was close to home, and ran/hobbled the rest of the way home. All day I was in agonizing pain; I couldn't really bear weight on it and had to walk on tiptoe, which seemed to cause the least pain. The next day I canceled my scheduled long bike ride and went to Urgent Care; I was sure I had a stress fracture. Luckily, the x-ray showed no fracture, and the doctor said I must have hurt (strained? torn?) a ligament or something in my foot.
I decided to take off of running completely until the OC Half Marathon, which would be two weeks later. I really wanted to do OC, even if it meant walking it, as I wanted to complete what I started with the Beach Cities Challenge. But I didn't want to be stupid; no race is worth really hurting myself, especially when I'm training for a half-Ironman distance triathlon in 5 months! I promised myself that if I were still in a lot of pain on race day, I wouldn't do it. I knew taking two weeks off of running wouldn't really hurt me. For long runs, I did 13.1 miles on April 7 at the Hollywood Half; the weekend after that I ran 8 miles; and the weekend after that I ran 10 (ok, 9 and then hobbled 1). Up until my injury I've kept up my twice-a-week 3 mile runs. So really, I would only be missing 5 runs total (4 3-mile runs in the two weeks, and one long run over that weekend, which was scheduled to be 6.6 miles).
And I really haven't run at all since then! In fact, I haven't done much walking at all. I usually take our dog, Padfoot, on a daily 1-mile walk (and he usually runs my short 3-4 mile runs with me too). I have only walked him once in the last week and a half, wanting to stay as non-impact as possible (my husband has been walking him as usual every night, so he IS getting out). I have managed to work out every day, except for the one day I canceled that long bike ride. I've swam, biked (even logging my longest bike ride ever, 40 hilly miles, last weekend!), done the elliptical, done yoga, and started pool running (I did pool running on Saturday for an hour and 15 minutes, the amount of time it would have taken me to run the scheduled 6.6 miles). So even though I haven't been running, I'm still in good cardiovascular shape, and both the pool running and the elliptical mimics running. And, of course, the biking makes my legs stronger.
What's great is that the pain I felt on my outer foot from that run went away in just a few days. I don't have any pain there anymore at all. What's not great is that I've been feeling the familiar pull on my heel from my PF, and also I've been having some glute pain, which has happened on-and-off ever since I ran the Silver Strand Half Marathon in November. So I'm glad I'm resting my foot. My plan for Sunday is to wear compression shorts for my glute pain (it helped me during the my last three half marathons) and tape my foot with KT Tape, run slow, and hope for the best. I truly don't mind walking more than I would like to. As long as I make the course cut-off of 3 1/2 hours, I'll be happy.
Hopefully my next post, which will be my race recap, will be a happy one, and not a (too) painful one!