Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Last Tuesday, I returned to the doctor to see how my foot was healing. (I almost typed heeling. That would have been really funny, right? But, not, because it's not my heel that hurts.) It had been a week in the funny shoe.

I mean, I knew it was getting better, but it wasn't quite better yet, and when someone with a diploma and an x-ray machine tells you that you should keep wearing a funny shoe, it's a lot easier to swallow than when you admit to yourself, "Self, I should keep wearing this funny shoe."

So, off to the doctor's I went.

Returning to the doctor to reassess a healing injury is a bit like groundhog day isn't it? You are all full of anticipation. Will the sun be out? What will my x-rays show? Will there be a shadow? Does that spot on my foot really hurt or just kind-of-sort-of hurt? Am I a hypochondriac? Maybe I'm fine? Or am I lying to myself so I can start running again? Will there be 6 more weeks of winter?

Long story short, the shoe remains, but I did get authorization to add some biking back in. And add some biking back in, I did.

Easy ride around the neighborhood Tuesday: Check. All systems go.

Computrainer workout? Check. Wednesday I had the best ride in a while. Probably because my legs aren't trashed from running. Hmph.

Spin around Hains Point after work in the sunshine? Check. Thursday. Perfect weather. Intervals. Friends. Tour buses. Pollen. The usual. Awesome.

One more computrainer workout Friday? Check. Crushed it.

Rock'n Roll Half Marathon Bike Course Lead? Check. Filed under, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em (or something like that.) I signed up because I thought it might be kind of a cool way to see the race and participate since I couldn't actually crush those 13.1 miles myself. This was So. Much. Fun.

I suited up with lots of neon, an all access pass on my bike and suckered my friend Catherine into joining me.

We clipped in just in front of the start line and headed out with a crew of rowdy bikers to lead the runners, check the course for any problems and report some splits back to the announcer.

I got assigned to the lead females for the half marathon. We were instructed to follow the timing trucks out the first mile or two and then find the 2nd place female in the half and stick with her, feeding her splits back to the finish line.

I don't usually get to see the timing trucks. They are cool.
After she finished, we looped back by the DC Tri tent along the course for a pit stop, some high fives to our fast friends who were finishing up the half marathon and then we headed out along the marathon course to try to find our friend Janie, who was gunning for a PR. We had lots of good cheers in our heads that we needed to share, such as:

Yay Janie!
Good job at running!
You are running a marathon!

See? Proof. She was running a marathon. Also: she is really tiny.
Keep running!
Way to go, keep it up!
Well done, Janie!
Stay on course!
Don't go on 395!

Wrong way.
Good job at sportz!
Keep running the marathon until you finish!

I'm almost certain we were why she finished so strong. If I were her, I would have wanted to kill my two friends on BIKES when I was running a marathon, but not Janie. No, she LOVED seeing us ride bikes in loops around her.

Inspired by Janie and hopeful for a recovering foot, I'm going to try to go for a walk tonight. In real shoes. Probably in the direction of pollen and tour buses. I know, I'm really living on the edge. Hopefully someone out there along the course will give me a "way to go, keep it up!" I'll report back.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IM Training Casualty #2: Get a book or something

My foot had been bothering me for exactly 9 days before I saw the doctor. I thought it was going to go away, that running had bruised it or inflamed it and that something strange but minor had happened. So I self assigned myself a week with some anti-inflammatories, some ice, and no running.

I made sure to fill any time not spent running with extra biking and swimming, because that's obviously a good idea. My food must not have gotten the memo though, because it wasn't getting any better (so mysterious!) I was grateful to be going to see a doctor. Pains worry me, not because of the actual pain, which doesn't bother me very much, but because pain means something is WRONG.

The doctor I found is very nice, and is conveniently located 1 block from my office.

When I told her I had initially noticed the pain building during a run, she asked me if I was planning to run the Rock n Roll Half in a couple of weeks. I said ideally, but it wasn't looking so good. {I'm wondering if she's gotten an influx of crazy people with strange foot problems in the last week or two. Probably.} 

She was unable to come to a specific diagnosis, but there are a couple of things that might be causing the pain. She said considering I'd like to be able to run again like, tomorrow soon, she is going to take a conservative approach. She wanted me to wear this lovely stabilizing shoe for the next week anytime my foot hit the ground and to rest it.

These boots don't match.
Her: So, wear this terrible stabilizing shoe, try to limit walking, and add the anti-inflammatories back in twice a day. Ice if you feel like you need it. It can only help. Mainly, rest it. Do you have any questions?

Me: Can I swim?

Her: I think so, just don't push off the walls and if it bothers you when you are kicking or anything, stop.

Me: Can I bike? I mean, define "rest."

Her: (Laughing.) How about no biking for a week. How about, get a book or something? Rent a movie?

Me: Ok, you drive a hard bargain, but I agree to your terms, since you are so nice.

Her: Good, come back in a week and we'll see how you are doing.

I'm pretty sure that it's all in my head, but I have to say, my foot is feeling So Much Better after being out of real shoes and not bending much for a solid day (also: drugs.) I'm hoping she's on to something. I could still possibly run the race on the 17th, right? Maybe?