So…now what?

Tricky thing about training for races, especially longer ones: They happen, you feel awesome, then you have a bunch of free time and no idea what to do with it.

In classic runner fashion, I went from excited about training, to feeling overwhelmed with it, to being irritated with myself for signing up, to being proud of my improvement, to looking forward to tapering, to losing my mind during the taper, to successfully finishing my race, to being so happy it was over, to missing running all the time.

So there’s that.

The same ankle that’s been harassing me this entire training cycle did so well during the race… then that same foot started acting up. Ms. Super Genius over here wasn’t thinking when I packed footwear for Chicago and spent all day Monday walking around the city in Chuck Taylors (I know). The outside of my foot started throbbing toward the end of the day and has a weird nob/bump on it. I went to the doctor, who promptly told me to quit being an idiot, put on real shoes, and stop running for a week or two lest I give myself a stress fracture. So, that’s where I’m at right now.

I’ve been icing, elevating, and calcium-ing it. I have to admit, it is feeling better. My custom orthotics have arrived, but the office can’t get me in to “fit” me for them (aka, let me pick them up and make sure they didn’t mess up my order) until Nov. 4. Until then, no running and minimal walking (as much as I can help it).

For now, I’m going to hit the weights and the bike, hard. I bought “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” some time last year and made it through the first few cycles with pretty significant gains, so that’s what’s on the agenda for now. I’m hoping to improve my strength, which shouldn’t be hard given how little time I spent in the weight room over the summer, and correct some muscle imbalances in doing so.

After that, it’s time to tackle my half marathon and 10k PRs (PR = personal record). They are old, outdated, and not indicative of my ability. Look out, spring racing season, I’m coming for you… as soon as my foot heals.

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Overwhelmed.

In so many ways!

First of all, I am completely overwhelmed by and thankful for everyone’s generosity. My fundraising goal for the American Cancer Society was $1,000, and you all helped me surpass that by…a lot. Thank you so much for believing in me and this cause enough to put money toward it. It means so much to me, and has really motivated me throughout this tough training cycle.

I didn’t realize this for the longest time, but apparently there was a spot for people to write a little message to go along with their donation? The ACS website has been a little wonky, and I only just found the section of the site where I can view those messages. I couldn’t have stumbled upon them at a better time! Your words of encouragement and motivation really hit the spot as I’ve been mentally preparing for my race next week. I guess I never found them before because I didn’t need them yet. It was great to see what everyone had to say, all in one place, at the same time. It was a real shot in the arm and it made feel all of the feelings.

I’m also overwhelmed by the thought of the task at hand. I haven’t had a good run since my 20-miler…three weeks ago. So taper madness has officially settled in. I also managed to come down with a cold/the worst case of allergies ever, which isn’t doing my body any favors. I went to the doctor to figure out what’s going on, and all he could say is “you keep all of your anger in your nose,” and “I don’t like your lymph nodes.” The good news is that I don’t have a fever and there isn’t anything rattling around in my chest, so he gave me a Z pack to be on the safe side.

I’m also frustrated that the orthotics company doesn’t have my insoles ready yet. There was some kind of mix-up and they won’t be ready until, you guessed, Friday. Yeah. So, given that I won’t have time to really test them out, it looks like I’ll be running (God willing) 26.2 miles with my janky ankle and foot taped up. That’s how I did my 20-miler, and it held up OK, but the way it changes my stride can aggravate my IT band a little. I had some trouble with during my 20, but I was able to work it out with some intense stretching. I had a deep tissue PT session last week and another early next week.

While I’m at it, I’ll also admit that I’m a little apprehensive about running a race with soooooo many people. I did the Eugene half marathon a few years ago, and that seemed big. That was about 8,000 people. Chicago will be about 45,000. I mean. Wow. That’s a lot, a lot of people! I’ve heard nothing but great things about how well everything is organized, so I’m sure it will all be fine, but it’s always a little nerve-wracking to navigate a huge sea of people when you’re not familiar with an area and you’re not entirely awake (given that it will be the crack of dawn when we show up).

Finally, the thing I’m really fretting over: HOW WILL I PAINT MY NAILS FOR RACE DAY? I always paint my nails before a race, and I try to do something unique and flashy. So far, I’m at a loss…my outfit (assuming the weather does what it’s supposed to, which, YAY, it looks like it will be ideal) is royal blue and lime green. So if you have any suggestions, fire away!