Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Revised Training Schedule

Imagine this - you are out on a run.  The first two miles are a little rough but then you settle into a groove.  The time is flying by.  The miles are flying by so much so you are surprised when you hit your mileage.  The run was so good you want to keep going - so you do.  This was the run you were waiting for - the one to seal the deal and allow you to declare you are officially healed.

Later that week you head out for run number two still fired up from the beginning of the week.  About halfway in you feel that familiar twinge.  Instantly you know what is happening and there is no turning back now - once it starts it doesn't stop.  Only time and the physical therapist can fix the mess that you just made.  The injury has returned.  

I am not going to dwell on the fact that the pain returned to my back because what I can say is each time it returns it is less severe than the time before so there is progress being made.  However, it sure does a good job of making its presence felt.  It is frustrating but the small tastes of pain free running I have gotten tell me that my back is capable of healing and will someday be better.  I am happy to take glimpses of that day when I can.

This all happened last Thursday.  I immediately called the PT who had me come in and told me to take a week off running.  Umm, I failed to mention I was training for a half ironman as I am pretty sure that is not in the treatment plan so I just said ok.  At my second appointment today she gave me the go ahead to try and run tomorrow.  They are now speculating that it could have something to do with an old injury to my left foot that never healed properly (this is why I will NEVER play volleyball again) that is throwing my hips off.  I have been fascinated to watch this whole injury unfold.  Sometimes they would be working on an area and I would be thinking "umm, this doesn't hurt please focus on my back" but since everything in the body is connected one thing can affect another and I would be amazed at how whatever they were doing provided relief.

My left foot is now taped up and she is hoping that by supporting the foot it will help keep everything in line up the leg.  I have always been a neutral runner and she believes I still am, however, that I may just need to but a support piece in my shoes.  I am very familiar with this from my short stint at Fleet Feet but I fought against having to wear supports myself.  I immediately came home and fit my superfeet back in my running shoes - you win Fleet Feet, you win.

This little set back made me realistically think about the rest of this years goals.  Feeling good about my pain free running I had actually registered for the Morgan Hill Marathon on October 23.  Thus, my Big Kahuna running schedule was about to transition to reflect a running schedule for someone who would be training for a marathon.  Despite the fact I can run again my pace is ridiculously slow (for me) but being someone who is always looking for the next big challenge I wanted to go for it and redeem myself after last years let down at CIM.  However, the fact that I am still dealing with sporadic pain makes me think that what would be best would be just to get back to basics and focus on running - running without walking and getting my pace back down to where it should be.  I have Big Kahuna, I don't need a marathon too.  Next year.  I will still do the Morgan Hill Half as well as a few other halves I have planned but no marathons.  See, I am learning, slowly but surely, not to take on more than I can handle.

I have revised my Big Kahuna training plan to reflect this change.  Where my longest run before was going to be 18 miles, it will now be 12.


I can't believe it is only 7 weeks away!!

While we are talking about injuries another thing this pesky injury has cost me is my ability to wear heels.  I am a shoe freak and my closet is filled to the brim with beautiful heels.  I used to wear heels to work everyday, on the weekend, out on errands - my motto was I could do ANYTHING in heels.  Since my back has started hurting I can't handle the instability of anything over 2 inches and even then I can't wear them for too long.  Today I found myself in the shoe department longingly trying on heels reminiscing about the good old days.  I don't care what anyone says, there is something about a great pair of heels that just makes you feel like you can take on the world.  Not to mention, they do wonders for your legs, something no pair of flats can do.

*sigh* They were so beautiful too!  I guess, in the meantime, for the sake of my health I will stick to my granny shoes, but I don't have to like it!

Do you love heels or do you prefer flats? 
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  1. I love heels in theory, but have a bunch of pairs I never wear because my feet end up hurting so badly. I agree they do make you feel amazing and make your legs look so much better than flats do. Sigh...
    Teaching middle school is not really practical in heels because I'm all over the place, so I usually stick to flats

  2. So sorry girl. I completely understand this frustration. I fought with my injury for moths. Have they considered bike fit?

    NO heels. They are so bad for you feet. If I had a dime for every time a woman walked into the shop complaining of foot or leg pain in a pair of heels (but also stated they wore support in thier running shoes - which is almost pointless if your wearing heels all day!) I would make more in a day than my paycheck!

    I do hope you get this figured out soon. No good.

  3. so sorry about your back/foot pain. Blah. I too have had to switch to flats from heels and being only 5'2" I LOVE HEELS. My feet, bunion, back and sore quads can't take walking in heels anymore though and i've found i'm in a MUCH BETTER MOOD after work if I wear flats instead of heels--my husband thanks me for wearing flats these days. :)

  4. You know I feel your shoe pain. I have so many beautiful shoes in my closet, and yesterday I noticed they had a thin layer of dust on them. SAD!

    BUT, it's better for your body, obviously. Heels are now a sometimes shoe for me.

  5. I have a lot of trouble wearing heels too but I love how much confidence they give me. I have luckily found a few pairs that I can do everything in

  6. Oh boy. I remember my first "pain free" run after injuries or surgery. Makes you feel like a million bucks!
    I can't wear high heels anymore because of my bunions. It really does suck! My big toe just doesn't bend that way anymore. 2.5" is my limit. And the time in them is limited.
    How's the back on bike rides? ;)

  7. Sorry to hear you are still dealing with all of this :( Like you said, at least you are making progress in the right direction.

    FLATS! I gave up wearing heels to work long ago. And with my chronic sprained ankle issue I don't take chances in heels. I'll rarely put a pair on which means I am sorely out of practice walking in them which adds to the vicious cycle of my avoiding them. You are right, though, they look better than the granny flats :)

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