Five weeks ago I ran my all time furthest. I thought at the time that I was golden, and that adding on a little more mileage would be easier than first anticipated, because I was so far ahead in my training. Just keep the long runs at a +5% / -5% of my previous long run, and increase accordingly.
It seemed like a good plan at the time, but as in life sometimes plans change at the very last moment, and mine seems to have done that.
After taking two weeks off, I got back out to do a long run. I was shooting for 22 miles. I had it all mapped out, and figured that my run would go all the way from Oak Cliff, through downtown Dallas, up the Katy Trail, and into the SMU campus; at that point I would turn back and run home.
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
I knew in the beginning that I wasn’t “feeling it”, but I figured that it was just that early-into-the-run voice that I get a lot that say’s, “Psst hey. You don’t wanna really do this. Go back to sleep; it’s early. There is still time to turn back and go back to bed, ya know?” The frequency of this little irritating POS voice comes and goes, but as of lately for some reason, it is more apparent. I still managed to ignore it, and keep going; treating my run as a new adventure. As a weapon, I arm myself with a camera so I can take photos of things I see, so as to keep that touristy feel for where I am running.
My best laid plan went awry at about mile 5 1/2. My energy all of a sudden started to drop. My legs felt heavy, and my feet shuffled more than ran. I didn’t miss any doses of Goo or any sips of fluid, so that couldn’t be the reason. I started to get anxious.
“Let’s just push through this.”, I said to myself.
It did no good. At mile 6 1/2 I knew that continuing up my route would be a very bad idea. At that point, I surrendered to my demon and ran/walked back home. I walked more than I ran to be honest. It was the worst performance I have had in a long time.
I ended it at 12 1/2 miles. At least I tried right?
Days after that run, I noticed a strange pain in the ball of my left foot. Some days it would hurt to walk, and some days it would be fine. I purchased a couple of gel pads to place on my orthotic, to take the pressure off of that area of my foot. A couple of smaller test runs showed that it seemed to help. I almost shelled out cash for a new orthotic on the way home from work on Friday night, because the on-again/ off-again pain was starting to rattle my nerves. I was just 24 hours away from trying to redeem myself and still not 100% confident in my body’s will to withstand the pain.
When I stopped into Dougherty’s Pharmacy, a lady in the medical equipment department took a look at my foot, and noticed a small bump under the skin, right on the edge of the ball of my foot. Yeah a stone bruise. I nixed the orthotic idea and bought a metatarsal pad for my existing orthotic, as well as a package of Dr Sholl’s Callous Cushions, to get the pressure off of that one point of pain. When walking around wearing this, it seemed promising.
The next morning I headed out on my run. I felt a little better about things, and didn’t really notice a “turn around” voice. I was a little slow getting out the door, but at least I did not turn immediately back.
I had a new pair of Yurbuds piping music into my ears, and I was following the mantra of taking small bites out of a big-ass run; run to the 7-11, cross the Houston Street Bridge, get to this intersection, see if the bathroom is decent at McDonalds, etc.
The run went really well. I was taking my time, and not trying to run a race. As I started up the Katy Trail things started to peel apart. The metatarsal pad that I attached to my orthotic was causing more of an uncomfortable pressure point on my foot, so I stopped to sit down and remove it. A couple more miles up, I started to feel like I was running barefoot on concrete. I know that folks tend to like that whole barefoot running craze; not me. Give me some uber pillow-top cushioning for my feet. I’m not liking feeling the road this much!
I managed to run to Luke’s Locker, I went in and immediately started looking at the orthotics. I needed some relief. I had an idea what I needed, and I was hoping that they had the same orthotics that I saw the night before. Instead, I had someone help me there, and was sold a set of Superfeet. How in the world these can be remotely considered as being cushioned, is beyond me.
I put them in, and continued running. Halfway back down the Katy Trail, I was barely able to even walk. I was in such pain. My foot was a brick. I called Luke’s and asked them to save that box that the orthotics came in, because I would be back later to return these. They actually made my situation worse!
I still had my old orthotic in my hydration backpack, so I sat down, and swapped them back out. My foot felt a little better, but the damage was done. I doubted very heavily that I could go another nine miles.
I called Christie, to get a little moral support, and to bitch about what was going on. I needed to vent. She suggested to not push it, and cause further injury. I told her that if needed I would take DART home. Of course she hates me taking the bus and rail line, so she offered to pick me up instead.
I walked and lightly jogged another four miles, and threw in the towel. I could go no further. Disappointed and defeated, I got into the car and went home.
I guess if there were a silver lining to this foot injury cloud, it was that I finished 17 miles, and that was 4 1/2 miles more than last Saturday.
I am thinking that I need to re-watch Running the Sahara, Spirit of the Marathon, Marathon Challenge, and then rent Running America, and My Run. I need to work on getting my motivation up and going in the right direction. My energy is going south, and this is not the time to run out of running fuel.