When Things Don't Go As Planned...
I've always been a planner. I love to make lists and set goals. I've even made it my career as a meeting planner. However, things don't always go as planned...
If you’ve been following me, you know I’ve been working hard this summer and fall, training for the Tucson Marathon, my 11th full marathon. There have been many long runs in the Arizona summer heat, but after several months, I felt like I was on track, and ready. I had gone as far as a 19 miler and felt good.
And then, as I was running my final leg in a Ragnar Trail race a few weeks ago (recap here), I took a fall where I sprained my ankle (then had to walk 4 miles on it to the finish line). The fall was just 4 weeks before my marathon.
When it first happened, I knew I would have to take it easy for awhile, but assumed that as long as I started back slowly, I could still run my marathon. I’m a positive person. I took an entire week off. I gave up my Runstreak – I made it 164 days in a row!!! Taking a week off was a big deal for me, but I knew it would be for the greater good of my recovery.
After a week, I started back super slow. I ran just .5 mile on my first time out, and it didn’t hurt! So the next day I went 1 mile. My ankle was still a little swollen and sore. I skipped my scheduled last 20 miler for the marathon. I waited 2 days and went for 1.5 miles. Then 2 more days and 2 miles. Slowly inching up. I was scheduled to run a 10k race at the end of that week.
All of a sudden my foot started showing more bruising and feeling stiffer. So I gave in and made an appointment with a physical therapist. During the time of feeling worse, I started to resign myself to the idea of not running the full. I dropped down from the 10k to the 5k of the race, thinking if I tried to run 10k I would end up walking part of it and it might not be a great idea. I’m so glad I did. The ankle felt good and I ended up with a surprise age group win without pushing myself too hard (it was an admittedly small field for the 5k so it’s not like I did anything super awesome)
Today was my 1st appointment with the PT. He wants to work on stretching my calf and ankle to increase my range of motion. He says that I have a very stiff joint. We did some deep tissue massage which felt good and hurt like crazy all at the same time. I did not specifically ask him if he thought that I could/should run a marathon in 10 days. However, once I told him that I could drop down to the half, he jotted some notes and seemed to make that our short term goal.
As of today, I’m feeling like I will need to drop down to the half marathon, but will make a final call closer in. I’m disappointed, but I guess in the grand scheme of things, I should just be grateful that I can run at all. There will be another full marathon somewhere in my future.
Thank you to everyone who has sent all their well-wishes with my injury and recovery. Somehow I managed to go 17 years as a distance runner without serious injury. It’s my time. This too shall pass.
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Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!