The Night Before… My First 1/2 Marathon.

So I said I’d be back in October, but it’s a little later in October than I had hoped.  Life has been kind of trapped in an up and down cycle for awhile.  Here’s the quickest of updates before we start to talk about the good stuff…

The Bad

In the past couple of months two rather emotionally taxing situations arose.  First, there was the unexpected break up from my long time favorite person. All the appropriate words to describe what that feels like just won’t come out, I guess horrible and wasteful and sad generally sum it up.  Shortly after that, my grandmother ended up in the hospital with a broken hip and now has to be in long-term care, a very sudden change in her health situation. She is currently suffering from dementia, which is sad and difficult in many, many ways for her as well as our family.

I don’t really think going any more in depth than that is necessary.  Suffice it to say, enough bad things.  I mean… It feels just like rainbows and sunshine around these parts. As a side note, I highly recommend grabbing Tig Notaro’s “Live.”  It’s $5 via Louis CK’s site. It’s 30 minutes of laughter and perspective.

The Good

:: My new job has continued to go well. It is such a relief to not constantly think or want to say “I hate my job.”  There is so much power in that.

:: I started playing the violin.  I love it.  I have wanted to play for a long time and finally am.  Lessons have been going well, though I must admit that some of the simpler mechanics are hard when trying to put them all together.  I at least don’t sound awful too often.  I just wish I had more time to devote to it.

Violin!

:: School officially started.  I don’t mind the online format at all.  The flexibility is great and I do feel like I’m putting work into it. I am still in somewhat introductory classes because I’ve never done any academic work in business. I will be excited to start getting into more of my focus: human resources.

:: Miscellaneous good things: I have gotten to spend time with family and a lot of time with friends. I’ve seen some people I haven’t in a long time. I got to see some good bands play, caught Bert Kreisher, watched roller derby, etc.  The cats are doing well…

Cat raft

Life on the Cat Raft.

I am probably forgetting a million things. The main attractions in life have been work, school, violin, a little bit of derby, and running.

Oh, yeah… Running!

So my toe was acting up anyway and then I did a dumb thing like drop part of a projection screen on it.  I ended up with pretty bad toe issues, lost most of my toe nail, and had an infection that wouldn’t go away because I waited too long to go to the doctor.  After almost a month of doctor visits, he finally cleared me for the race tomorrow.  I have barely run much of anything over that past month and before that even because I was trying not to make the toe worse.  If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.  At least the peroneal tendonitis went away.

Here we are now, the eve before the Columbus Marathon.  This is a big deal for me.  Last year at this time, I had just had my gallbladder out.  The weekend after the surgery, we were headed to breakfast and ran into the road closures from the marathon. I remember looking out the car window longingly at the running they were doing.  This year, here I am.  It was only a year ago that I started running, when a 5k seemed forever.  Now I’m about to do a lot more than that.

I know I am not well-prepared.  I never got where I wanted to on my long runs in training.  I know I can comfortably do over 7 miles.  I think I can get through the next 3 okay.  At that point, those last 3.1 miles are going to really be something to work for, I think.  I am going in with the mindset that I will be slow and I might have to walk a lot.  This is my first half, so while I have a time goal in mind, it’s a PR regardless of time. No matter what happens, I think I’ve come a long way in a year.

It is already past my bedtime and I haven’t yet gotten everything ready for tomorrow, so I’ll leave it here and pick up post-race.

Here we go…

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An Experiment in Taping

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I picked up some KT Tape after my appointment the other day. Excited to see if it will help keep me running. I am about to test it out on the 2 or so miles to Goodale Park and back. Hopefully I won’t be hobbling home.

Tendinitis, what?

I have been complaining about my ankle so much that the injury has its own name:  Anklemania.  This particular problem traces all the way back to January or February.  It’s come and gone a little bit.  I am still surprised I made it through the quarter marathon on it.  After that race, my phyiscal therapist encouraged me to take time off and see a doctor.

I waited a while to do either of those things.

Actually, I haven’t been running very much at all.  Major life changes and timing and the heat and my aversion to pain have all played a part in that.  I haven’t run in a week! But on Thursday, I did finally go to a sports medicine doctor.

That doctor asked questions and felt all around my left foot and ankle and decided that I probably had peroneal tendonitis. You can read things about it here and here. Basically, there are two tendons that run behind the ankle bone and one of them attaches down along the side of your foot.  Because the main part of the tendons’ job is to stabilize the foot so running on uneven surfaces (like I did back in January when the trouble started) can cause problems.  Not resting it enough right off (especially from injury through March, when I ran the most) probably aggravated it.

I have been prescribed physical therapy for six weeks to strengthen it.  If it doesn’t start to feel better pretty quickly, I go back in three weeks and we look at maybe a stress fracture and start taking x-rays, etc.  If it takes a turn for the worst, I go back ASAP. But, if I go six weeks of PT and all goes well, I should be good. I am allowed to run unless it hurts or I end up limping afterwards.  If that happens, I have to use the elliptical, bike, etc.

Incidentally, I had a final PT check up for my back on Wednesday which went really well.  My therapist joked that he would see me in two weeks for my ankle.  Boy, was he right!  I wonder if he’ll take my PT graduation shirt away…