When our plane landed in Houston, my foot was bothering me again. I was trying so hard to stay positive- just that morning I thought I was healed and ready to run. Despite compression and ice, the changes in pressure from taking two planes caught up with me and I limped off the plane.
Then my bag was missing. “No big deal” I told myself; I had my racing outfit and flats and that was all I really needed.
The shuttle took forever, my breakfast was missed in the order, and Macy’s (the only store in downtown Houston) quite literally did not have my size- not in denim, not in yoga pants- and had only a few long sleeved things. When I called the airline to check on my bags, they listed them as “untraceable”. I was miserable in my now coffee stained and stinky shirt that I’d been wearing for more than a day. I tried so hard to stay positive, but all the little things were starting to add up. I cried. A lot. I just wanted to go for a run and I didn’t have the clothes or the ankle to allow me to do so.
Things started to look better after stopping by Brooks’ hospitality suite. They hooked me up (seriously, HOOKED UP) with some running gear- everything from shoes to warm layers to gloves and a headband. I finally felt like me again. (thanks again guys!). For the first time, I was sincerely smiling inside and out.
“Yeah yeah yeah, but what happened in the race?”, you’re asking. Well, I ran on Thursday, the ankle felt stiff on Friday, but felt great during the warm up on Saturday. I couldn’t do a real stride but I did pick it up a few times. I toed the line not sure what to expect.
The first mile was fine. During the second mile I was feeling the ankle, but I still felt like it was going to warm up, loosen up, find the groove. Around three I knew it wasn’t really warming up but the downhill felt kind of good. Then I ran up a slight rise and the pain began to spread. From just one sharp point to three sharp points of pain and an overall flaring up of pain, I knew this was bad. I ran about 1/4 of a mile on the flats and the pain remained- it was time to throw in the towel. The race officials made a big deal about only dropping out at medical tents so I jogged to mile 4 and then officially stepped off the course. It stunk.
I knew this was a distinct possibility but it was really hard to face. All the work of the last two years and particularly of the last 6 months, all of the days I chose training over fun, the new coach, the focus on well-rounded health (including sleep, eating and cross training)- all were essentially washed away with whatever tweak happened in my foot on Dec 28. I put all of my eggs in one basket and they shattered just short of the market. This reality is the hardest part of injury to face. I cannot say what I would have done differently... it was random and it happened at the worst time.
Since Houston, I have been swimming (a mile a day, most days), lifting, and seeing doctors. I had an MRI last week and get the results tomorrow. Fingers crossed that the injured tendon/muscle/joint/bone is rehab-able in the next 6 weeks and I can get back to running. I really want to run. I have energy to burn and an intense desire to test myself.
But let me say again, THANK YOU to everyone for your support and words of encouragement all autumn and post race. I really appreciate all of the positivity you bring my way! :)