Runners love swag.
With roses, coupons, cups, free samples, I left the Mom’s Run 5K with tons of swag. If it’s free… I’ll take it.
No one *wants* an ice pack, even if you love free stuff. With no plans to have kids in the near future, I know nothing about OB Hospitalist Group, but I happily took their ice pack, hoping I’d never need it.
Three days later, I needed the ice pack. With only a few days until the Race for Taylor 10K, I headed out on Tuesday morning to run with my friend Kindal. I planned to keep it short and sweet that morning: a warmup, a few 400s, and a cooldown. My left foot felt a little off when I woke up, but I figured it was from sleeping weird, and after warming up, I felt like I could handle a few laps.
On the straightaway of my third 400, I came to a complete stop. Not discomfort- as that’s a part of the sport- but pain. At lunch, I e-mailed some friends to let them know I wouldn’t be running that night since I was looking at my ACE bandaged up left foot.
Purchasing an ACE bandage was quite an ordeal. I hobbled into the Rural West Ashley Walgreens, asked the cashier where to find the ACE bandages, then hobbled past the beer, wine, cigarettes, candy, sodas, and junk food. The cashier told me the wrong aisle number, so I had to backtrack (back-hobble?) over to aisle 12.
It seems like a peroneal tendon strain, according to Dr. Google. Due to travelling to the Society for Technical Communication conference and Memorial Day weekend, I haven’t been to a doc (if it doesn’t clear up soon, I’ll go).
Hopefully this means only 2-3 weeks off, and so far, it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve enjoyed the mental break from training and racing, logged a ton of miles on the recumbent bike (I’ve biked more miles this month than I ran), and enjoyed other forms of exercise like walking, lifting weights, and yoga. Since I don’t have to beat the heat, I’ve slept in!
The Saturday after my injury, Clay and I went to Florence and he ran the Race for Taylor 5K. This race is very special to me, as I ran it for 4 years straight. This year, I helped with registration, cheered on the runners, met lots of new runners who’ve joined the Florence-area run club that I’m part of, and drove home so Clay could take a nap. He ran his fastest 5K all year, and I got to see him finish and cheer for him. I couldn’t have if I ran the 10K as planned pre-injury.
It hurts to train hard for a race- a goal race- and not be able to run, but there’s always another race and another goal to chase. I’m glad I could be there to honor Taylor Elmore, the race’s namesake who was killed in a car accident 5 years ago. I thought about Taylor, Belinda, Greg, Brian, and his family and friends during my tough runs and mentally dedicated it to them, so it was only right for me to show up, cheer, and support them.
I see runners taping up ankles, running on knee injuries, never taking rest days (or engaging in negative self-talk when they do, as if taking a rest day is laziness), and ignoring their bodies. I won’t do that. I certainly love running, but life’s more than counting miles and calculating paces.
Let’s be honest, most runners (especially me) will never be elites, even local elites, or have scholarships or money on the line- so why train when you’re far from 100%? I love the little trinkets, medals, and occasional gift cards I get for placing in my age group, but it’s not worth it to potentially make an injury worse.
My foot feels better, but I’m staying off of it for at least two weeks. Then, I’ll go for a short test run and see what happens. I’m sure I’ll come back to running with a renewed spirit, eager to train and race.
Last Saturday wasn’t the day, but my sub-45 10K is coming, and I can’t wait to dedicate it to Taylor and his family.