Back in August I was feeling like I was making a serious breakthrough. Unfortunately, I feel like those are the times when I need to back off the most, because my body is usually not far behind with a reality check.
Following Moose on the Loose I developed a bit of a lower ab, groin issue which wouldn't allow me to run across the parking lot, let alone extended miles on the trails. Quickly races came and went, and I ended up eating the race fees for Beverly Commons, which should have been NSTS race number three for me, as well as NSTS race four - ECTA 10 miler in Hamilton. I was also not able to run a really important marathon training run/race - The Nahant 30k.
Amid all of this I was able to get a few decent long runs with significant time on my feet. First a 23 mile excursion through Willowdale, and second a 20 mile road run which did me in entirely.
The 23 miler was incredibly inspiring, gave me hope I could overcome the injuries, but then on the road 20 miler I developed a pain in my ankle at 6 miles, and like a dufus I ran through it. When I got home it progressively got worse with more pain, tightness, and swelling. It could have been shin splints, it could have been a stress fracture, it could have been compartment syndrome.
Most times I would avoid the doctor, but I was in to see my GP, who sent me to get some happy radiation to take a couple glamour shots of my lower leg. No stress fracture, YAY, but strict instructions to not run for two weeks. Hard to news to take when one is 7 weeks out from a marathon! Of course, since I use running as my way of treating depression and anxiety, it was painful to be sedentary.
So there I was, sitting with my sad sack self, thinking about how I would now be burning money for race fees, plane fares, and hotel rooms that were locked in for the Marine Corps Marathon in DC. I was bummed out about having a third straight Fall season where I was sitting on my butt, eating race entry fees - as well as ice cream, and lamenting at how injuries seem to love me this time of the year.
Finally I made my way out of the darkness and am back to running, back to the marathon goals, and the fun trail runs with the guys from the club. Back to dreaming big. I am a little bummed out that I probably won't be running any fantastic times in DC and at Stone Cat, but the Fall goal of running two marathons in a week is still on, and I have decided I am going to try to run the Fells Ultra in December.
The Fells will be an epic challenge. It has always tested me mentally while running the short 8 mile edition of the race, now I need to reckon what it'll be like running that same 8 mile loop another 3 or 4 times! It is a course where my lack of eyesight becomes an incredible disadvantage, but I am not going to not try because of those limitations.
Oddly enough, I am sitting here with a reply of the 2008 Ironman in Kona going on in the background... that is surely a harsh reminder that every step is a blessing, and it is all about the journey to the finish line.
I am still out here living the journey trail friends...
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