So for the last month I have been on a big Maroon 5 kick. It's pretty much all I have been listening to in the car. Do you know the song "Misery"? Well right now it's my theme song. Well not really the whole song, just part of the chorus.
I am in misery
There ain't nobody who can comfort me (Oh yeah)
I know my body needs to recover from the marathon, but my calf is driving me crazy. It's still tight. I stretch and I stretch. I know it's working because it makes my muscles sore. My arch is just a big owwie right now. I want to get out there and get my cardio in, but it makes it worse. And so I have to rest it. I am still working upper body and core, but grr it is so stinking frustrating. I hate being sidelined.
This past weekend I had a 5K. We had been looking forward to it for a while. It was a night race with a finisher medal that's a bottle opener. I had found out about it when I was working the packet pick up for the Girls on the Run 5K. I mentioned it to some of my clients and they signed up for it.
One had a goal of running the whole thing. One had a goal of finishing strong. We worked on that. I wanted to be there running with them, but alas it was not meant to be.
Due to outside influences two of my clients weren't able to be there. It was just me and Ms. Megan. She had worked really hard to meet her goal of running the whole race. I was going to try to do it, but I knew that it wasn't going to happen. I had walked about 4 blocks with some kids that I was babysitting the day before and my foot hurt, so running a full 5K was most likely out of the question.
We went early because they warned us about parking. There was limited parking at the start/finish and the different parking areas they listed were .5-1 miles away. We needed to get our bibs and shirts then walk the shirts back to the car.
Our walk down the hill was interesting. It was a very busy road and all I kept thinking was that "here I am walking down N. Tryon street in spandex" and then I got offended that we were getting honked at. We did get one eventually. YEAH!
The walk felt like forever, but in reality it wasn't so bad. We got our shirts, which were pretty cool tank tops, and headed back to the car to drop them and our bags off. The walk back was up hill. My foot started to hurt at that point. That extra pull on the calf is murder for me.
I should mention that I could feel pit stains on the walk down to the start line, so I was nice and sweaty on the way back to the car. And we still had over an hour before the race started. Luckily we found a short cut to the car and saved ourselves a block. We got our stuff squared away and headed back down the hill.
The walk was mostly in the shade. When we had time to kill at the start line there was mostly sun. We grabbed a cup of water, ICE WATER (they get big bonus points for that), and headed to the one area of shade. There was a random tall structure in the middle of the lot and the shade it was giving off was packed full of racers.
With a few minutes to go before the start we headed over and grabbed more water on the way. The area quickly filled up, but we kept waiting. They needed to block off a section of the road and I think that was taking a little while.
The next thing we know it was go time. We started running we thought we were just crossing the street. We didn't realize that we were running down it a few blocks before turning off. I started running, but not super fast. I had a mile and a half warm up, but that was also time for my calf to tighten. I kept up with Ms. Megan for about a block and then I dropped back. I wanted to finish standing so I needed to listen to my body.
When we made the first left off of the main road we had about a block before we hit the first hill. CRAP. I have 3 rules about where I don't run: Hills, Concrete, and water stops. It wasn't a horrible hill, but it was enough that I dropped to a walk. I figured I would run a the top. And then I saw it was a concrete bridge. COME ON!
Finally we got off of the bridge and I was able to run again. I can't even tell you how much I wanted to cry when the leader came running back towards us when I was 9 minutes in. That hurt.
I was struggling a bit with my breathing. The humidity was awful and my breathing was shallow. My inhaler was in the car. That was another reason to slow down. But, even slowing down I was holding a pretty good pace. I was proud.
We had a water stop just after the first mile marker. Again, it was ice cold. KUDOS! I should have taken 2. My water bottle was a little warm by that point.
I started running again after the water stop and then we saw a sprinkler. It could have been a mirage at that point. So we hopped up onto the sidewalk (concrete) and took our time walking under. I did declare my love to the gentleman holding it.
We turned on the next block and I saw something that I had never seen before. It was a dog friendly race and one of the runners had to stop to pick up her dog's poo. te he.
The heat was pretty crappy and I fell in with a pretty large group that ran down hill and walked the rest. I was still keeping a pretty good pace up through mile too. I was still running on flat surfaces, but it hurt. The only time it didn't hurt running was down hill.
Right before the 2 mile mark a little girl handed me flowers from her garden. They were pretty periwinkle blue hydrangea. I held them and ran down the hill. But most down hills on this course turned right back into an up hill. Mile 3 started with a hill. It was the end of me. My foot couldn't recover. I kept up with walking, but I was not running again until the final down hill.
I will push myself when needed. I push a little harder during longer distances, but this was not worth injuring myself even more.
I was limping. I was in pain. I was having a hard time breathing in the humidity (how the hell did I finish the marathon in Clevelend????) I was trying hard not to cry. Mentally I was feeling like crap. My flowers were dying. It was awful. Then I hit that down hill. I ran down. I got sore and walked a block after and then I decided to run it in. I wanted to finish strong.
My time wasn't horrible all things considered and I should be happy with that. It just sucks that I couldn't go faster. But, I knew when I signed up that even though it was 3 weeks after the marathon that I could be nursing an injury.
I was happy to get my medal and hug Ms. Megan at the finish. She finished in her goal time and I'm so super proud of her. She ran an awesome race.
So you're probably asking yourself why I keep putting myself through the pain. Well that's easy, there is no feeling like the feeling of crossing that finish line. I am at a point where a 5K is a warm up for me. I had every reason in the world to back out and say "No, that's okay. I'm too injured." But, my body is stronger than I ever gave it credit for.
The heat never got better during the race and the rain held off until after, but we still wanted our refreshments. We got some water and a banana then got in line for the beer. I don't drink it normally, but I do like it after a race. It's a great carb load.
While we were in line I looked over and thought I saw Ms. Susan from Girls on the Run. She had run a Half Marathon that morning a couple of hours away, but it really looked like her. It was. haha. Nothing stops us Girls on the Run. So we moved up and hung with her in line.
We got our beer and cooled off a little, but we still had a half mile walk up hill to get to the car and the storm was looming. It didn't look good at all. It was a little cooler though. I also grabbed a mini bag of mini oreos before we left. I was holding off eating them though because they don't quite go with beer.
So the walk back was pure torture. My foot hurt so bad I was fighting back tears. We talked about the course and that helped keep my mind off it, but I was limping and hurting. And then sky opened up right before we got to the car. That took my mind off of it for a little bit. Five miles later we were ready to head home.
My shower felt so good when I got home and I immediately elevated my legs, but the arch just got tighter and tighter. I had a really hard time falling asleep.
I did put my flowers in water before I went to bed. I didn't want to give up on them.
Once I slept I was okay until my calf seized at 3am. That wasn't fun. It took me a little while to work it out (eat a banana too).
I felt happy when I woke up that I had finished. I was also happy that my flowers came back to life :-) I'm still in misery that I can't do more and that I have to rest it. But, I take solace in the fact that I am hurt because I have pushed myself beyond my wildest dreams and that's pretty damn sweet. Just like those flowers I will come back to life soon enough.
Have a Blessed Evening
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you! Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week. The journey is so much easier if you have support.