Sunday, July 24, 2016

Jess Goes Running: Marathon Training--Week 7

I went into this week of training feeling slightly shaken from a confidence perspective, but trying to push through that and deal with it, find my mojo again, so to speak.  I had ended the week previous with a sore calf; this one ended with a break, as I took 6 days off from running.  Though I didn't run on Sunday, I did do a fair amount of walking on Monday with a trip downtown with my brother to get lunch with Tom and to go to the Art Institute.  I was fully prepared to start up with training on Tuesday, as scheduled.  I needed the break from the perspective of being exhausted, but I had also been feeling a bit physically off, especially my left foot (which was an ongoing problem with varying levels of intensity and frequency of pain) so despite the fact that I was reluctant to take it, I felt like the six days off would ultimately help me in the long run.

Then I woke up with a headache resembling a migraine.  I felt miserable.  It was bad enough that I was out of commission and had to go into work late.  Running on Tuesday was definitely out of the question, so I opted to push everything forward a day--3 miles on Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, 3 on Friday, long run on Sunday.  Not really a big deal.  I was able to go running on Wednesday morning before work, and I felt pretty strong despite the break and how I had felt the day before.  It was a slower run, given those issues and the heat, but I enjoyed it.

When I was out, my foot hadn't bothered me.  Pretty much as soon as I got back from my run, though, it started hurting--just slightly, just enough to be noticeable.  That mild level of annoyance had escalated to full on searing pain by the end of my shift.  I feel like I may have exacerbated the pain due to the tennis shoes i was wearing, as they were not as supportive as other pairs I regularly wear.  I was also experiencing a lot of the same pain that I had been having before, to a much higher degree.  The next morning, it still hurt and by early Thursday, afternoon, I could barely put weight on my left foot.

After a conversation with my boss, I wrapped up my loose ends for the day and left work early to go to a doctor.  I couldn't play through the pain any longer; I wanted to be at work, and I wanted to run, more than anything, but...  I also needed--need--to take care of myself, too.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to get into my doctor on such short notice, but I also didn't want to go to an emergency room, either.  I figured an immediate care clinic would be a relatively good option given the circumstances.

I was wrong.  I am not going to go into detail here, as it was a negative experience I am just wanting to move on from, but I was turned away from the immediate care clinic and refused to be seen.  It was a very bizarre experience and I have lodged a complaint with the appropriate party.  I ended up at Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, where they were able to fit me in with a consult that evening, without an issue.  Tom left work early and met me there; we had to wait a while and I am pretty sure I was the last patient of the night, but it gave me plenty of time to thoroughly fill out the paperwork and relax a little bit.

Everyone I dealt with at IBJI was incredibly pleasant and kind.  After talking to the nurse and getting a few x-rays done, I met with a podiatrist, who diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis in my left foot.  I felt incredibly relieved to have a diagnosis.  PF was something that I had been suspecting; I was glad that it was not something worse.  He recommended a few stretches for me, gave me a print out with a few different kinds of insoles, and also gave me a cortisone shot in my heel.  The shot has provided me with a lot of relief, but it really hurt at the time; Tom said the needle was pretty long, but I didn't watch.  I had a lot of inflammation in my heel.

Today, Sunday, I should have run 12 miles.  Instead, I relaxed on the couch, had brunch at the condo of one of our best friends (we brought bacon and cherry strudels and she made amazing omelettes with broccoli, peppers, and cheese), walked to Aldi with Tom to stock up on a few things, and have iced my foot.  While it can be difficult for someone like me who is usually so go-go-go to slow down, I am taking cues from the universe and listening.  This is the first time in a few weeks that I have been completely pain-free and I certainly don't want to push it.

So what does this mean for my training for Chicago?  I'm currently in the middle of four days off from work--I was given a note and instructions to rest from the podiatrist.  After that I should be able to go back to work with little issue.  As far as running, he told me to take a week off, then see how I feel.  Start slowly.  Thursday, I plan on lacing up my shoes and seeing how far my feet take me.

Even despite the pain I had been having the last few weeks, I still felt like I was having strong training runs so I am hoping that I can fall back into it.  It makes me very happy to know that I can continue training and keep working towards my goals.  As I move forward, I am definitely going to be listening to my body and putting in the work to get stronger and be healthy.  So this was week 7, another unexpected week of rest and recovery.  I really hope week 8 has me running again, because I sure do miss it!

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