Skip to main content

The Big 2-0

I did it. For the second time in my life, I completed a 20-mile run. Not only does this number mark the height of many marathon training schedules, but for me it is also significant in that I've been here once before, and I broke down. My body suddenly decided it had been pushed too much and would not finish the training or run the marathon. So here I am in my post-20-miler week, hoping to make it through. After all, it was on an "easy" five-mile run that my injury occurred. And it was on a Thursday--tomorrow. I am admittedly somewhat superstitious, so my real feat will be getting past tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day--until I actually make it to Chicago on race day. In fact, I was talking to a run-club friend last night, who is also running Chicago, about our sudden fear of incurring a non-running injury in our daily lives--falling down some stairs, tripping on curb, or some other injury of klutz--that would prohibit us from making it to race day. I suddenly realized what a tenuous state I was in, and would be in, until October 9.

But I can't really function properly in that mind frame. After all, so many things are out of my control, and my previous injury happened without a single warning. So I must try to push those fears aside and enjoy these last few weeks of tapering down my training. Or not. I have yet to decide if I'll do another 20-miler this weekend. Beginner training plans only include one 20-mile run, but I've been training somewhere between a bronze and silver, or a novice 1 and novice 2, schedule, depending on whose you look at (I looked at four--it seemed wise until my current dilemma, and only then did I begin to appreciate all of the thought and planning that goes into a single training schedule). If I don't do another 20 this weekend, I'm at a loss for what to do. The height of training is supposed to occur three to four weeks prior to the race, and if I call this past weekend the height of my training, that's five weeks before race day. Which must mean that I'm likely to lose some of my endurance and ability with that extra week or two of tapering. I think there is such thing as becoming too rested before a race.

This is nonetheless an important milestone (pun absolutely intended). It's not the ultimate one I hope to achieve, but I can already look back on my arduous summer of training with such pride and gratitude for everything my body and my mind did do. As a symbolic gesture of the real gesture I perform after every difficult run, I pat myself on the back (I'm so beyond caring about how that looks to others after those runs). Good job, Lee.

Comments

People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: I Exhale

I've really been holding my breath with this recovery, more so than the last one for some reason. After getting past the three-week point (which was two weeks ago, when I started to write this), I felt a little more at ease. Since then I've been changing my own dressing daily and slowly weaning off of crutches so I can now walk around in the boot—hands-free! I'm still a slave to icing and elevating as much as possible throughout the day. But the very best part? There's no other foot left to do. After this, I'm done, done, done. I can start to return to a life not defined by sitting and waiting and feeling confined and limited and trying my hardest to heal but having little actual control over any of it.

I wrote in my last post about the difficult emotions I'd been having throughout this second surgery recovery. I think I underestimated the psychological toll I would take doing one foot right after the other. And while there was a feeling of elation after gettin…

Surgery Chronicles: Hard Feelings

I'm one and a half weeks out from my second foot surgery, and, by all important measures, I'm doing well. But boy has the past week been difficult. In the first few days post-surgery I was in a pretty good mood; the surgery had gone well, I was in the excellent care of my mom, and I had made it past the last major hurdle of this months-long event. All I had to look forward to was recovery and progress and gradually returning to my normal life, whatever that might look like.

But even though I've gone through this process once already, it's still just as difficult this time around. There's the constant worrying about this weird feeling or that new pain, the accidental step in the middle of the night when I forgot which foot was injured, and the agonizing wait time between appointments. Now it's compounded by concern over whether I'm taking good enough care of my first foot. Did I ruin the surgery when I stubbed my toe falling off an exercise ball? Am I using …

Surgery Chronicles: 12 Weeks and Progress

I'm now more than 12 weeks recovered from my second (and final!) foot surgery, and life is starting to feel a little more normal. When I last wrote an update, seven weeks ago (still blaming Irma for all of my delays), I had just gotten off of crutches but would wear my boot for two more weeks. I've been out of the boot and walking in shoes for just over five weeks. The constant discomfort I've felt in my foot from swelling is finally starting to wane. I work in the office now, I do my own groceries, and I even attended a work conference recently, which meant lots of walking at airports and the conference hotel, frequent standing, and few opportunities to elevate and ice. I was very concerned about how my feet, particularly the left one, would endure. And while it wasn't comfortable, I made it through, no worse for the wear in the end.

I joined a new gym/community center recently, with a new and beautiful outdoor pool, and I'm so happy that I'm able to use it n…