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.