Right now, I hate my trainer. Mainly, I hate her because she is right. Problem is, I can’t fire her…because it’s me.
A little background: I am training for my fifth marathon set for next Saturday (October 6th) in St. George, Utah. This training I feel great. I’ve incorporated some new techniques…more on that in future posts…and actually look forward to runs. For those that read my posts regularly, you know that was a struggle in past races. I was on the brink of abandoning running altogether. By this time in any marathon training, I can’t wait for running to be over so I can do other fun things.
Not this time, though. I can’t wait to get out and run. I’m already mourning post-marathon times of shorter runs. The trouble is now that I want to run, I can’t.
I’d been having Achilles pain in the mornings, but it goes away in an hour or so, but my ignoring it (shocker) didn’t make it go away for good. Ever since my last 20 a couple weeks ago, the pain is worse and I’ve developed a strange protrusion at the back of my right foot. I call it my third heel, but I believe it is a bursa sac full of fluid. It is messing with my Achilles and now I’m experiencing radiating pain through my calf. I also know my whole foot strike — when walking, doing yoga or running — is creating a whole load of imbalances in my entire hip-hamstring-knee kinetic chain on both legs. It doesn’t hurt when I run, per se, but it sure does make me lame afterwards. I hobbled down the stairs the other morning gripping the railing for dear life. It is tender to the touch. But, of course, I will not go see a doctor because I might get the advice that I shouldn’t run the race – and that isn’t an option at this point. (I will take my own advice only so far, you know.)
If I were a client, the recommendations would be a no-brainer: Don’t Run. Cross train until the race, run it and you’ll be fine. If you feel pain or potential Achilles rupture during the race, quit. You gain no fitness in the last two weeks prior to the race. You just hang on to what you have and keep your muscles loose. I would tell any client – the extra rest will do them good. They may actually run the best time of their lives.
Problem is, and we all know this, doling out advice is so much easier than taking it. I’ve spent two days on the elliptical – one of them for 90 mind-numbing minutes to simulate 8 miles of running, and my heel already feels better. So much better that today I was tempted to run. I didn’t though. I am being a good client.
So, if I tell you not to run or lift or to take a day or two off — I know it is hard. I know your pain. But, I also know you will be better off for it. I trust that I will be too.