Two weeks from right now, I’ll have crossed the finish line of my third half marathon. My third. Hard to believe it will be just three years after my first 5K.
I’m running the US Half Marathon in San Francisco with friends. San Fran. I get to run across the Golden Gate bridge and back. It’s going to be an epic race weekend.
I had plans for this race. I had a goal: speed. I was going to push and push and push, and make 2:10 or less. That would require 13.1 miles of sub-10:00 miles, up and down the hills. I was going to do it. I was running intervals, and tempo, and sprints.
And then, one Wednesday morning, three weeks ago, I woke up and could barely walk. I limped down the steps. My foot was sore and my ankle was raging. My ankle, knee, and hip had been sore for a couple weeks, but I didn’t expect this. I decided to listen to my body and not run that morning. I called my chiropractor and asked for an appointment; I was able to get in that day.
Diagnosis: my arch fell. Too much high-impact work. He told me, “No running.” I said, “No.” He said, “Yes. If you want to run this race, no running.”
Heart. Broken. I was angry for a few days, and lost. I really didn’t know what to do without running. I tried walking, but that wasn’t enough. I tried cycling, but don’t like riding the bike early in the morning, in the dark. I went to the chiropractor every 3 days, and he pushed on my foot (I cried a couple times), twisted my ankle, yanked my hip, and and adjusted my back. Every time I would ask, “Can I run now?” Every time he would say, “Not yet.”
I couldn’t handle a lack of exercise. I decided to get over my dislike of gyms and go to the YMCA for a spin class. I loved the Y and the class. I went a couple more times on day passes, and finally joined. This will be good for me, I know it will. I’ve already met more runners. I can cycle, run, swim, yoga, and climb on the rock wall.
Listening to the doctor paid off. I woke up Thursday with no pain. NO PAIN. I almost thought something was wrong. I went to spin class. On Friday, there was still no pain. I went to the chiropractor, and this time, when I asked if I could run, he said, “Yes, but keep it light. 3-5 miles.”
I didn’t do a happy dance right then and there. I waited until I was in my car.
This morning, I headed out for an easy 3-mile run. It was beautiful. My shins and calves were a bit sore, and the ball of my foot was a little tender, but I did it.
So I have two weeks to prep for running 13 miles, and the last time I ran double-digit miles was July. Oi.
I’m not going to be mad at myself or the doctor if I don’t PR. I will be happy that my body can take me 13.1 miles. I will enjoy a fun run in a new city with spectacular views. I will love that I can still run.