First things first:
As if my Grandma wasn’t already the most beautiful, kind, elegant, witty, loving, etc. person I know (not exaggerating for the sake of granddaughter points, btw), she sent me something yesterday in the mail I thought I lost:
When we returned home after the Disneyland Half-Marathon, I couldn’t find my bib anywhere (BF and I both always keep ours!) and I was devastated.
Not only did it have a castle and my name on it, it was for a race that I felt SO good during. It may have been my slowest half ever, but the relaxed pace and the overall enthusiasm of the race made it oh-so-memorable. Needless to say, I was NOT happy when I thought I’d mistakenly thrown my bib out somehow.
Never fear, Grammy to the rescue. One car clean out and stamped envelope later—she brightened my spirits and helped assure me that I am not as bib-negligent as I thought.
Moving on…my plan of attack.
Admittedly, I’m somehow still feeling hopeful about Chicago. I might be crazy, I might be delusional, but I prefer to call it general optimism. Something in my gut is telling me to not throw in the towel yet, and since I’m a big believer in intuition—I’m going with it.
Plus, I don’t know 100% yet if I am or am not racing. So, I might as well hold off disappointment until the actual decision-making time comes, right? Right.
(That right there was my mother’s voice lurking its way into my blog. How’d you get to be so wise mommy?)
Here’s where I’m at: I haven’t run at all since Saturday the 8th. A little counting tells me that that’s 11 days ago and exactly 30 days before the Chicago Marathon. Put it all together and we get…missing peak week of training, still not running, and still not repaired from my looming ankle pains.
Sounds like a recipe for absolutely not attempting a marathon in 2.5 weeks, according to basic common sense.
I, however, have batted away common sense for the time being, and instead have formulated a plan of attack, as well as a new approach to this race.
Step 1: Get healthy.
I have another doctor’s appointment tomorrow (seeing as Dr. Casual wasn’t exactly spot on with his “Aleve and ice” perscription), and I’m hoping to get a little bit better gauge of just what this is and what, if anything, I can do about it.
The good news is that my ankle has been feeling increasingly better everyday. I wake up in the mornings without pain, and aside from some stiffness and aches, it seems to be cooperating in the whole “get better” game. I’m icing, compressing, and Aleve-ing like a pro—and, fun fact, RICE actually sort of works.
I’d like to get away from the Aleve, though, and hopefully that’s what my new doctor can help with tomorrow. Going from taking no over-the-counter meds to taking 3-4 per day is a little much.
Step 2: Do what I can.
Luckily, I can still swim, bike, stair-step, etc. I’ve done the best I can to maintain my fitness while not aggravating the injury. Keeping some semblance of a training regimen in my life is really helping to both distract and comfort me from the fact that my running has derailed, and with any luck I won’t have any trouble reclaiming my running fitness.
Step 3: See what happens.
This largely depends on what the doctor says tomorrow and how well my healing goes, but my plan for Chicago right now is to make the call a week beforehand.
If my ankle is healed and I’m able to do some pain-free miles before the race—Lord help me—I’m going for it. I’m confident enough in my fitness and my experience as a runner to take on both the physical and mental challenges that would come with this endeavour. Now, don’t get me wrong, if it happens—it’s gonna take some luck, patience, and smart execution. But, I do believe that if I’m better, I’ll be able to gut it out.
Now, it is going to take a miracle to actually get me to the start line (and an even bigger one to get me to the finish). But, if the opportunity presents itself, I’ve rearranged any form of “goals” for this race. Since I would be coming off of injury, and since my training was derailed, my time goals would be not only slower than planned, but they’d be perhaps non-existant.
(Not sure of any of the tenses used right there.)
And it’s fine! I’ve said all along that my intent with this training cycle was to take it less seriously and have more fun. I went into Tacoma way too tightly wound, and as a result I unravelled in a dangerous whirl. I wanted to reclaim my run love with this training cycle, and these circumstances would really force me to own up to my original goal.
I’ll admit, when I saw the numbers on my Garmin ticking down throughout the weeks of training, I started to get sparkly thoughts in my head about time goals and certain qualifications.
But that can be for another time. My goals for now include making it to the Windy City, finishing the race, and soaking up the marathon atmosphere. I think that order of events would yield the best-case-scenario outcome.
However, first order of business is getting better.
I realize this post and my general mindset may seem a little far-fetched, but like I said—it ain’t over ’til it’s over.
I’ve accepted the fact that I might not be running the Chicago Marathon. But until then, I’m going to continue to try to get there—just as I have been for the past ten weeks.
Call me crazy (I sure have), but if I’m healthy and good to run on October 7th—I’ll be at the Grant Park start line, in Corral C—to be specific.