I know I've been pretty silent over here, but my running and my consistencies hadn't been particularly great. I think I was a little disappointed with myself, so I ESPECIALLY didn't want to tell my three readers that I was struggling with marathon training.
I'm not going to pretend that a good part of my struggle wasn't mental: those hours and hours and hours of running were really taking their toll and it was getting harder to get out and run. But, there were other things going on - my lower left leg was consistently feeling sore and off and the calf cramping that I experienced at the Lake Sammamish Half was happening more often and leaving me with some pretty acute pain.
I finally went to see the doctor (there's a pretty long waiting period) and was diagnosed with a gastroc strain in my calf and, far more importantly, with posterior tibial tendonitis in my left leg. When I saw the doctor on Monday, he advised that I take a week off running and start PT. I thought that a week off would heal everything right up and that I'd be good to go. I'm pretty sure that's not the case now, as I sit here on day five of my week off from running.
The good news is that I'll be back to running at some point and that I'll probably be a BETTER runner for figuring out more efficient ways to run and correcting muscle imbalances that I have. The bad news is that it's looking a great deal like I'm not running the Eugene Marathon. I might be able to do the half and that would be cool.
But, the bottom line is that I have to keep an eye on the bigger goal and I do - it's the reason I'm not crushed by all of this. I want to be running when I'm an old lady, to keep me strong, healthy, and active. I've got a family history of death by heart attack and running has ALWAYS been a way for me to try and avoid that same fate. Sure, I'd love to run a PR at Eugene this year, but, ultimately, if it has to go so that I run around my retirement community some day, then I'm quite happy to take that hit.
I also feel like I've gotten a lot out of marathon training, regardless of whether I run the marathon or not. I feel strong, I've lost weight, and I've pushed myself to do things that seemed kind of nuts. I definitely learned this last year, too: marathons aren't about the marathon, they're about the things you learn and do while you train for them. I don't need a medal to show me how much I've gained by going through this cycle of training.
The best news is that I'm only supposed to avoid high-impact things. So I can use the elliptical, bike (in theory - I don't bike), skate (no jumping), and use the gym to my heart's content. Thank goodness. Now, speaking of skating...gotta fly!