The 18-Miler That Wasn’t

I was planning to do a nice, happy vacation recap today, but that was before last night’s run. As you may remember from my Manic Monday post, I had 18 miles on the docket after work. I was nervous, but not unduly so. After all, I had completed a relatively painless 16-miler over vacation, and while I hadn’t really been keeping up with my running super well, I figured that if I just took it easy, I’d be ok.

Things started out fine; I was a bit tired, but after a week of excessive eating, drinking, and a lot of time sitting in cars, that was to be expected. I was cautiously optimistic about finishing 18 miles. I was doing lots of mental gymnastics to keep motivated and not worry. Ben was making tacos for dinner, and I kept imagining a heaping pile of taco fixings on top of a sweet potato. It was working.

A few miles in, the new Mirages started to bother my right foot a bit. The toe box isn’t as tall as the old ones, so I could feel my big toe rubbing. This is something I’ve noticed on other runs in these shoes, but it was especially irritating to feel at the beginning of a pretty long run. At mile 10, my left quad started to feel really tight. I stopped to stretch it out, but it continued to feel tight and weird. At mile 14, it changed from tightness to an achy pain. I was pretty uncomfortable, but I ran right by my apartment with every intention of finishing that damn 18 miles. Before I’d gone another mile, I knew there was no way I could finish. I was hobbling and making little grunty pain sounds every few steps. I altered my route to take me back home and finished up with 16 miles.

I stretched out as well as I could and took an epsom salt bath, but today, the quad is still achy. It almost feels like acute DOMS. I feel like I’m limping a bit, but that might be in my head. My right foot is also really sore around my pinky toe. I’m thinking I was doing something weird to compensate for the big toe rub, which may have been the cause of both the quad pain and the foot pain.

All of a sudden, I’m feeling very, very nervous about completing this marathon. Number one, I’m worried about my shoe situation. If I can’t make it through 16 miles without some kind of weird overcompensation injury, how am I going to make it through 26.2? I kind of feel like I should try to find something else, but worry that it might be too late in the game. We all know how I feel about Fleet Feet, so where will I go to find new shoes at this juncture?

I was really looking forward to completing 18 miles as a confidence boost in these last few weeks before taper. I’m supposed to run 20 miles this weekend and I honestly don’t know if I can do it. I emailed Coach Suz with my worries, and we have a game plan, but that game plan might involve skipping the Athleta and VCM 20 miler this weekend and attempting it on my own next weekend, which I REALLY don’t want to do. I’d much rather have a group to help me get through than have to do it on my own.

So, yeah. Not an auspicious start to my last few weeks of training. I’m trying not to panic, but it’s hard. I’m planning to rest the next couple of days, and focus on hydration, fueling, and recovery efforts. Some gentle stretching and rolling, maybe some yoga. Blargh.

19 thoughts on “The 18-Miler That Wasn’t

  1. txa1265 says:

    Ugh … so sorry to hear this! I think you’re right – compensatory stuff is always an issue. Shoes are a PITA! I remember trying out Merrell Vapour Glove … just too little shoe for me, and found that it bugged one foot more than the other and I compensated and it hurt my calves as a result (which is why I did exactly two runs with them before now just using them for ‘around the house’ and walking).

    Really don’t know what to suggest on the shoe issue – it is really frustrating especially this late in the game! Crap!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Yeah, definitely frustrating. I may try to swing by Dick’s Sporting Goods or something to try on some different shoes this week. We’ll see how things go!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Firstly, I cannot recommend tacos fixings on a sweet potato highly enough. SO TASTY. Secondly, yes, I’ve searched high and low in the internet for the old model of my shoe, and the pickings are VERY slim. I must have a common shoe size cause the few I’ve found are stupid expensive. Although at this point, it might be worth it to just suck it up and buy them…

    • txa1265 says:

      OMG how did I miss this … I saw tacos and was thinking that we have tacos planned for tomorrow night and somehow just lost track of the sweet potato thing. And sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorite things.

  2. candies & crunches says:

    Ahhhh… If only I could help you, but I have never run so far haha! I have full confidence in Suz though. Try not to overthink it though, our minds are very powerful. So try to use it to your advantage. Sending positive vibes your way!

  3. irishrunnerchick says:

    No! That’s some crappy news. Don’t panic! I’m a total hypochondriac so I go to my PT as soon as anything affects my walking and getting a concrete answer usually helps. Hope everything starts to feel better soon!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thank you! I try to hold off on going to the doc because in my mind, if I don’t have a diagnosis, there’s not really anything wrong, haha. Sort of backwards, but that’s how I feel.

  4. Fallon @ Slacker Runner says:

    No!!! Shoe issues suck! I was really hoping those would work out for you. I feel like all I do lately is buy shoes and nothing works. Have you tried plugging what you like about the old ones into a shoe finder on a running store website. I recently tried that. I don’t know if it will help but it pulled up shoes I wouldn’t have even thought to try. Good luck! And hey- you still ran 16!

    • DarlinRae says:

      My friend Lisa actually just turned me onto one of those on Runner’s World yesterday, and it had a couple of suggestions that were already on my mind to try anyway, so I need to get over to Dick’s Sporting Goods this weekend. I’m hoping I can try some, find some that work, and then buy them cheaper online.

  5. SuzLyfe says:

    Hang in there, bud. Don’t go nuts yet (believe me, I know it is hard). We will get you through this, even if I have to be on the phone with you the entire time you do your 20 😀

  6. Brittany says:

    Oh boy, I understand the shoe struggle. I panicked during my first marathon and my New Balances weren’t working out during training and I switched brands (Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 – my godsend) just a month or two from the big day. And damn, I wish your Fleet Feet was giving you better service! :0(
    Even with the shoe debacle, it sounds like you have some great support in your corner and you’ll figure it out and make it through 26.2!

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