Sunday was a big day. Not only did the Seahawks pull out an amazing overtime Super Bowl–rematch win against the Broncos (Go Hawks!), Sunday marked three weeks until the Chicago Marathon.
This reality is causing a roller-coaster of emotions and thoughts. The prevailing questions that continue to occupy my mind are “Have I done enough?” and “Can I even do this!?”
I started running about 3 ½ weeks ago, and if I am completely honest with myself, I probably started too soon. My anxiety about the race and not running seemed to ramp up considerably at the end of August and I tried very hard to be patient. The challenge of navigating the “what’s normal “and “what’s too much” when coming back from an injury becomes a very muddy-grey area when you have a marathon to race in 6 weeks.
When I started running again, and my foot was feeling less than stellar, I thought it might be wise to try a new pair of shoes just in case my other shoes had contributed to the injury. A few months back, Sam the owner of Klicks Running and Walking, told me I should try the Hoka shoes when I return to running again. He said they have been great for people recovering from injury. At the time, I thought he was crazy. I actually thought the shoes were called “Honka” considering how big they were.
In a moment of desperation (or maybe clarity) I decided to try out a pair. After about 45 minutes of sitting at Klicks and laboring over the decision, I decided to bite the bullet and I purchased the Hoka One Stinson ATR.
It took me a while to get used to the size, and I still feel a little clumsy when I run in them, but I am so glad I decided to get a pair. All vanity and pride aside… I can run. I have found that running with the Honka’s (yes… I still call them that 😉 )and a metatarsal pad works best for my foot. Needless to say, my foot is still not feeling 100%, but thankfully it is doing much better. I have been seeing Brad Jones (Rolfing practitioner extraordinaire) regularly who also discovered I had a dropped metatarsal head. After some manipulation and work on my foot, he was able to help it get back into place which has taken significant pressure off that 4th metatarsal.
Training for the Chicago Marathon while injured has been a challenging and rewarding experience. Of course I have had feelings of self pity, of being behind as my friends are hitting their training goals, but this has forced me to create my own cross training goals and redefine what a successful training week looks like for me. I really do not know what my ability is or isn’t for this race. It’s uncharted territory for me, so it’s silly to be disappointed or disheartened when the outcome is not yet determined. I am mostly thankful to have amazing (and inspiring) teammates who provide a voice of reason when it’s needed most. For example, last week in a moment of freak out and self-doubt, Amber ever so delicately reminded me that I have been cross training like a maniac and I will be fine just for the race. She advised to trust the work put in and it will pay out (easier said than done ;)). With three weeks until the race, all I can do is trust at this point! Time to let go and let God.
Last week I was finally able to get a solid 20 mile cut down run on the Alter-G treadmill at Seattle Hill Physical Therapy. I needed to hit that workout both mentally and physically, and I felt pretty good about it in the end. The last three miles of my workout were tough, but my motivation came from thinking about my teammates and how hard they have pushed themselves in this final week of our ‘death weeks’ before taper. At the end of the week, we all hit our workouts and exceeded our expectations.
After countless hours in the pool, cross training, driving and rehabbing, I have done the best that I can and I am incredibly excited to run in Chicago. I have learned so much from the challenges and triumphs these last 8 weeks and I am grateful for all the experiences. I have also discovered that all the planning and coordination that accompanies cross training is rather exhausting. I am looking forward to getting back to a normal running and training schedule….and catching up with friends! Until then… I am keeping the Chicago dream alive.
“I truly believe in positive synergy, that your positive mindset gives you a more hopeful outlook, and belief that you can do something great means you will do something great.” – Russell Wilson