I didn’t want to have to write this post, but here I am. I’ve had my pity party and gotten out most of my frustrations (sorry mom and dad), so you’re reading the edited, clean-cut version. Here it goes…I’m no longer running the Fort Myers Marathon. In reality, this is not a big deal at all and I have many great things going for me. Does it suck? Yes. Am I disappointed that I put in 10 weeks of physical and mental training? Of course. But, as I discuss below, it could be much worse.
A little back story if you’re just tuning in…
Right around Oct. 1 I noticed some random pain on the bottom of my left foot. Right on the ball of the foot. It really appeared suddenly and I’m still not sure of the cause. I cut my 20 miler down to a 10 miler because of the pain and proceeded to take a full week off from all weight-bearing activities. I got a sub for my spin class and wore comfortable shoes when I had to walk.
When I was home for break I went to a PT. From earlier research I thought I had metatarsalgia and/or plantar fasciitis and that is what the PT suspected too. He did some scraping and laser therapy and gave me some exercises to do at home. He said if it still hurts in 3-5 days to see a doctor. Well, I’m past the 5 day mark and still in pain. Walking with metatarsal pads helps, and generally walking is fine, but as soon as I put pressure on the forefoot like I was running, I feel the pain.
I’m going to see a sports podiatrist next week for an official diagnosis and possibly an MRI if he thinks it’s a stress fracture. But at this point I’ve missed 10+ weekly runs including a 20 miler, 16 miler and I’ll miss my 22 miler this weekend (no way that’s happening after 2 weeks of no exercise even if I felt OK ). I respect the marathon too much to run it untrained and unprepared. A marathon will (most likely) never be something I just “wing.”
Here’s why this situation isn’t the worst thing ever:
-I paid $75 for the race entry fee. I paid almost 4x that for NYC last year, not including 4 round-trip airplane tickets for my family and a long weekend of expenses in the city.
-It’s a very, very small race and doesn’t get all the hype like NYC, Boston or Chicago. The course doesn’t mean much to me, in fact it is a 2 loop course. I’m not heartbroken about running through the streets of Ft. Myers like I would have been with NYC.
-It’s NOT a once in a lifetime type race like NYC was (I seriously would have thrown a fit if this happened last year).
-I live in Florida and finally that fact has come in handy this training season. November is just the beginning of race season in Florida. There are tons more through March and April even. The weather will be even COOLER and better for running. If I thought ahead I wouldn’t have picked a November race anyway because it meant training through the summer.
-If for some reason my foot feels better by then (depending on the MRI results), I can drop down to the half.
-Even if I theoretically did everything “right,” injuries can happen for no real reason. Plus, every training cycle teaches us something different. This one was reminder that sometimes, things don’t go as planned.
-It’s not my first or even second marathon, so the disappointment isn’t too high.
Lots of valid reasons, right?!
I mentioned this a few weeks ago but Janae (Hungry Runner Girl) wrote a really positive post about having to pull out of her goal marathon due to illness. Like she said, running is just one small part of life. Yes it makes me happy, but so do many other things. Overall health is more important. In fact, there are other things going on with me right now that would have interfered with training even if my foot wasn’t injured. Slowing down is what I need to do right now, even if it seems like the whole world is running 24/7. What better time than now to get into regular strength training and yoga? I’ve only been saying that for months.
Running will always be there, hopefully sooner than later :)