Just over a week ago I was out on a long run with my group, putting along and hoping that my legs were going to cooperate for the 10 or so miles I had planned. Silly me. Here comes mile 4, with its sharp and sudden pain. It wasn't in the usual spot on my calf, rather it was just below it and went down the inside of my leg to my ankle. My MD degree makes me think it was my soleus. It was enough that I came up short and limped along for a bit before slowly easing back into a manageable pace. I made it to the water station at mile 6 and decided to keep going, mostly out of sheer stupidity.
I made it back to home base, and then to the apartment, where I applied ice and lay down. I should have stopped my run sooner, considering I spent the rest of the day hobbling. I couldn't even walk down stairs without considerable pain. I rested and iced for the next few days and the pain really abated. By Tuesday I thought a short test run was in order, as all regular activities were now pain free. I made it halfway up the block before the pain started coming back. This time I decided to bag it and just go home. It wasn't worth it. Clearly something isn't right. Normally I would call my trusty chiro and take it from there.
Unfortunately, my transition back to graduate school means that I am currently without health insurance. Until further notice. I don't have the funds to pay for the consult fee, and I've called around to a few other places to get similar quotes. In the meantime, I've had to make some hard decisions around my racing schedule. In the short term, I backed out of the VHTRC Women's Half Marathon that is in two weeks. I got my money back, but I'm still pretty disappointed. I had a great time last year and was looking forward to beating my time.
Next up is Ragnar, which I am still committed to doing. It isn't as simple as backing out of a race because 11 other people are depending on me to show up. Finding a replacement this late in the game would not be easy. I have one of the easier assignments on the race course, so I am not that worried. I just hope that my combination of rest, prayer, yoga, and junk food will heal my leg in time. I'm ignoring the MCM 10k in October for the moment, which means the big kahuna is next on the chopping block. Richmond.
Hotels are booked. Race fees are paid. More than anything else, my pride is what is keeping me from officially withdrawing. My longest successful run is 12 miles. I've missed several long runs in the last month due to injury and vacation, most recently an 18 miler this past weekend. At one point I was going to modify the long run schedule so that I'd be doing less now but eventually catching up with my group by late October. That was before the calf strain, which as of Saturday will have cost me two more weeks.
I have three options at this point. I can withdraw completely, lose $55 or so spent on the race fee, and mope indefinitely. I can drop to the 1/2, which will cost me an additional $35 in transfer fees and is a bit of a gamble considering the mileage I've covered thus far in the season. Lastly, I can drop to the 8k, which will cost me $10 and all my pride. 8k? Really? I think I might rather spectate, honestly. This marathon has been planned for 10 months, I'm travelling with a bunch of badass runners to do it, and dropping to the 8k just reeks of failure.
Sure, I can look on the bright side and just try to be the best little 8k-er there ever was. That just isn't my style at the moment. I don't need to make this decision today, but it does need to be made soon. This "woe is me" attitude sucks and I need to change it. I'm tired of being pissed off but I'm also tired of a body that continues to betray me. Are there other options I'm not considering at the moment? I tend to have blinders on when I get this worked up.
I'm hoping to have health insurance again soon, and when I do my first stop will be to one of the many professionals that have been recommended to me in the last two weeks. If I can get my work and school schedules to coordinate, I also plan to do another test run in the next few days. I can't help it. All this inactivity has me climbing the walls. My bike is set up in the living room but I haven't been able to get myself on it yet. I'm incorporating yoga for the moment, just to feel like I can still move my body and sweat. Not to mention the mental benefits I get out of it. I just......I'm a runner, dammit. I want to run. It shouldn't be this complicated.
So, that is the state of things here. I'm leaning on friends right now to give advice and perk me up. It isn't the end of the world. I just got really lucky last year with the way my training and racing went for MCM. I was foolish to think it would go as well the second time around. Alright, vent over. Must...end...pity party. Aside from telling me to suck it up and get my head out of my ass, I'd really appreciate some practical advice as to what my next steps should be. I always feel better once I have a plan in place. Control freak, much?