Thursday, as per my training schedule I went for an 8k tempo run....which basically was 1.5k slow run to warm up, 5km at my half marathon race pace (5min 30 per kilometre) then a 1.5 km slow jog to cool down. I started off on a well worn route along the river, beautiful day, feeling GREAT.
Then I felt like a little bruise on my heel about 3km in. No biggie, I registered it and continued planning the next long run in my head.
It didn't go away.
I finished the 5km run and slowed down to jog and the pain became intense all down the side of my left foot. I ended up hobbling my way home.
And all my castles crumbled.
I made it home, stretched and iced, stretched and iced.....and iced some more. I took an anti inflammatory pill and kept the foot elevated all day.
And it worked. I felt better. I went to work and all was good. But when I tried to run with my friends on Friday night around the footy oval, I hobbled after 1 measly kilometre.
I sat in the car and tried my best to not cry. How ridiculous, me crying because I couldn't run, afraid I had a serious running injury, when even a year ago, I could live without running. I went to bed when we got home and had a quiet sob to myself. The dramatic self talk happened....I will never be able to run again.
You see, I was lost. Lost without running. I hadn't realised how much running had come to be part of my definition of myself...I am a runner. Without that, what was I? What could I achieve without my running? How would I relax and sort myself out without running? I literally, mentally, fell apart at this.
A weekend of misery followed. I was fitted for new shoes, thinking that would help. It will, although not immediately. The staff at Running Fit were amazing and I have now got the best damn pair of shoes IN THE WORLD. They tested me on a treadmill and now I know I have a neutral foot strike and a great take off and landing.
But that didn't tell me if I could run again.
I came up with a plan.
1. Make an appointment to see a physio and stop diagnosing myself on google doctor.
2. Keep cardio up with swimmming, elliptical trainer or my arch nemesis, the rower.
3. Check what weights I can do and continue with weight sessions if cardio is out.
Plans make me happy.
So armed with my to do list, I made the first step and scored myself an immediate appointment with a physio. And I wish I'd been able to see her before I dissolved into a self pitying mess!
It seems to be a type of tendonitis in my foot, from overstrain. A plan was formulated with her, to cut runs down but I can still run with the taping she placed on my foot. The marathon is still possible....at this point. But if not now, I will heal and be able to run in the future. I am diligent with my exercises and icing and today, was the first trial of running with the taped foot.
Instead of 8kms as on the plan, I had 5 to do....if the pain didn't return. I stepped on that treadmill with almost as much trepidation as I did the first time I EVER stood on a treadmill. And I started, a nice slow even run, about 9km a hour. Comfortable to keep talking to my mate Mel who ran alongside me.
And I could run. There was a slight ache, but not a pain. I could walk afterwards. I could see ahead a little way again.
This has been a huge lesson for me. It's not what I achieve or can do in life that counts. It's how I react to life when things go against me. It's about how resilient I am to the unexpected. I found out I am not as resilient as I thought, certainly not the most patient person but I already knew that, as do most people who know me I expect.
And just think what I could have missed.