Playing with fire

I have a confession to make: I’m doing something stupid.

Yes, I had a few days of pain-free runs, but the pain has come back in the arch, bunion, and tendon, exactly where it was when this all started.

I’ve been heating before runs and icing and taking ibuprofen after the runs.  The runs have all been short with a couple speed workouts thrown in.

But the pain isn’t going away.

If this were any other point in the season, I would be taking this time off and not even going anywhere near running for fear of exacerbating the injury and potentially causing a stress fracture.  Unfortunately, states is in a week and I need to get to the point where I can be competitive.  Therefore, I’m riding the injury line very dangerously in the hopes of helping my team get all-state next week.

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I promise, after states I will take a step back, reassess, and take time off while I recuperate.  That’s not really an option right now, though.  I need to last one more week.

Just putting that out there.

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Injury, running, and postseason updates from the new adult

The past few weeks have been full of aqua jogging, school presentations, and getting over feeling sorry for myself.  I spent one week in the pool doing simulated track workouts and easy runs.   I then spent the next week biking and slacking on other cross training.

On Valentine’s Day, I turned eighteen!  I met up with friends for brunch at a crepe place that I’d never tried and had a crepe with a wildberry compote, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate chips, and chocolate sauce.  Berries and vanilla ice cream are the most heavenly combination on earth.  However, my friends were half an hour late, which I discovered later was because they were decorating my room with balloons, flowers and pictures!  Purple and white, my favorite.  I went out to dinner with my family, and I went out with other friends for dinner and a movie the next day.  Overall, it was a pretty great way to celebrate my eighteenth birthday. 🙂

Last Monday was my first day to try running.  After no pain for almost three days, I went for an easy 25-minute run that felt great…for the first ten minutes.  After that, sharp pain and aches came back all around the arch and anterior tibial tendon.  The fact that my toes were completely frozen did not help.  I finished the run by running on the outside of my foot all the way back (0/10 would recommend), but obviously I knew I wasn’t ready to run again.  With three days until regionals, this wasn’t good.

Regionals was last Thursday, and we didn’t decide whether I would run or not until 40 minutes before the race. I warmed up with the team and decided it wasn’t a good idea to race since the pain was still lingering (also, I hadn’t run more than 4 miles in the past 2.5 weeks…).  We were seeded sixth, but our alternate typically runs the 800 8-10 seconds slower than I do, even though she’s made huge improvements recently because this has been her first year of real running.  Anyway, we knew it would be close, as top six move on to states.

Our first leg took it out in a 2:23, 3 seconds faster than she’d run at conferences.  Our second leg, our alternate, ran a PR of 2:33.  Our third leg ran 2:23, also faster than she’d run at conferences.  Our anchor, who’d run a 2:25 at conferences, got the baton in seventh place.  She absolutely killed her leg, moving our team up to a fourth place finish with a 2:18 split!!!!  I was screaming so much during the race that I was almost in tears as she crossed the line.

I waited two more days, then ran 3.5 easy, easy, easy miles on the treadmill on Saturday morning.

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I started off at a 6.5 mph pace and gradually increased to around 7.5 mph by the end of the run.  Thankfully, there was little to no pain.  I walked a ton on Saturday because my friend celebrated her birthday by planning a scavenger hunt to DC, so that didn’t really have positive effects on my foot 😉  It snowed hard the entire time I was at her house, so I had a hell of a time driving back to my house. (It was too cold for salt to have an effect on the snow, so the roads were treacherous.)

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I took Sunday off, and ran 25 minutes on Monday.  Still no pain.  Tuesday was my first track workout since three weeks ago.  Under normal circumstances, I would never jump back into speed workouts so quickly after an injury, but three days until states didn’t leave much wiggle room.  I did 3 x [300, 200] at a dangerously fast pace and discovered that, hmmm, three weeks of no workouts causes the muscles to atrophy.  In other words, I was out of shape!!!

My plan for the rest of the week was to run 20-25 minutes Wednesday, leave for states Thursday and run 20 minutes easy plus some strides, and race the 4×800 today even though I’m not in the best shape ever.

However……

we found out Wednesday that states was postponed until next Thursday and Friday because of inclement weather!!!!!!

That turned out lucky because we actually got a snow day yesterday, so we wouldn’t have been able to go if states hadn’t been postponed.

Anterior tibial tendonitis

I went to the orthopedist yesterday, and after several examinations of my right foot, he determined that I had anterior tibial tendonitis exacerbated by the overpronation that happens when I run, walk, and even stand.

The anterior tibial tendon is in the front of your ankle and top of your foot, and its main task involves lifting the foot up.   Tendonitis in this area can occur from activities such as running and walking.  Go figure!!

The orthopedist told me that the estimated recovery is…not really anything specified.  It can be anywhere between one week and six weeks.  Therefore, my plan of action involves pool running until the pain is completely gone, then some elliptical, then the transition back into running.

I haven’t made a decision regarding regionals yet.  Regionals is next Thursday, and I haven’t done a track workout since the 2 x 1000 I did last Tuesday.  I’ve done some easy runs since then, but absolutely nothing strenuous.  I honestly don’t know what kind of shape I’m in right now, or what kind of shape I’ll be in in a week.

Yesterday, I did a nighttime pool workout meant to mimic the track workout my teammates were doing.  I did: 2 x [1:30 hard, 1:00 easy, 2:00 hard, 1:00 easy, 1:30 hard, 1:00 easy, :40 hard, 1:00 easy].  I wasn’t that tired at the end, so I tacked on another 1:30 hard, 1:00 easy, :40 hard, 1:00 easy.  It definitely got my heart rate up, and it was more work than I’d done in a week!

Today involves 30-40 minutes of pool running, and we’ll see what happens on Thursday and Friday.  If there’s zero pain between now and Friday, I might try a few 400s on the track.  That probably won’t happen, though.  I’m really trying to be careful, although I’m also worried about regionals.  It is not that big of a deal if we don’t make it to indoor states in the relay.  It’s better that we don’t make it than we do make it and I’m out for the rest of outdoor or something.

My big TOK essay is due tomorrow, so I’m going to spend the rest of the time between now and when the pool opens working on it (or pretending to work on it!)  The pool doesn’t open until 5:30, so I’ve had two and a half hours to kill.

Injury

Well, this is going to be fun.  I don’t have definite answers, but I will hopefully find out soon.

Last Monday, the mild twinge that had been coming and going in my right foot suddenly got worse.  I did half the workout on Tuesday, took Wednesday off to see a podiatrist, ran 30 minutes easy on Thursday, 35 minutes easy on Friday, and aqua jogged on Saturday.  The pain still lingered, so I iced and elevated on and off.

Yesterday, after a pain-free school day, I ran for 35 minutes with the team.  It took a whopping 30 seconds for the pain to come right back, but I stubbornly and stupidly ran through it.  I hobbled the second half of the run and iced as soon as I got back to school.

The podiatrist didn’t tell me what’s wrong with my foot right now, just that I have bunions and will likely need surgery in the near future (which I already knew).  Now, there is a constant, throbbing ache in my arch, as well as pain on the top of my foot when I run.

This is so irritating.  I’m not going to lie.  I was working hard, motivated, and in fantastic shape before this all began, and I haven’t done any hard work in 12 days. (Yes, I’ve been counting)  At first, I was smart about it and had no time taking the day off, aqua jogging, whatever.  Now, I think I’m in self-destruct mode because I am set on doing the workout today no matter what.  I know that is a terrible idea because it will likely exacerbate whatever is wrong with my foot, but I really need to feel like I’m working hard.  Regionals is in nine days.

Conferences and EXCITING NEWS

Conferences first.  Then the other thing.

Our conference meet took place over two days, a week apart.  On the first day, I ran the 4×800 and 3200; a week later, I ran the 1600.

Conference day 1: Our main goal for the 4×8 was simply to qualify for regionals, but we also wanted to win.  I was running the anchor leg.

2:26 first leg, 2:25 second leg, 2:26 third leg.  I got the baton in second place by about four seconds, and my leg was pretty rough, even from the beginning. On the last lap, I finally made contact with the team in first but tied up really badly on the home stretch.  I ended up with a 2:25 split.  We finished second in 9:42, though!  Sooo close to the 9:40 state auto!!  (The first place team ran 9:41, so they missed it too.)

After the race, my entire body just felt awful.  My coach wouldn’t consider scratching me as an option even after watching me practically throw up and pass out on the ground, so I finally accepted that I would have to die run the two mile.  Coach told my teammate and me to focus solely on nabbing a regional qualifying spot (top 6).  I decided to go out conservatively and hope to out-kick whoever was in sixth.

I technically executed that plan perfectly by staying behind- and stepping on- the sixth place girl until there were 300 meters left in the race… I kicked really hard and ran my last 400 in an 81!  That’s something to be proud of considering how terrible I was feeling before the race.

I finished 6th in 11:40 and qualified for regionals.  However, I still feel really bad about how I literally used and abused the girl :/

Conference day 2, a week later: All I had to run on Thursday was the 1600.  I was seeded third with a 5:20, and the first place girl was seeded at a 5:17.  My plan was to stick with her and try to PR and/or win.

Unfortunately, she went ham in the first 800!!  Our first lap was a 35, and her 400 meter split was a 73.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone out faster than a 78 in a mile… I gave my coach the “oh, craaap” face as we came through, and he mirrored my expression.  The girl in first maintained a few seconds over the rest of us, so I ran most of the race by myself in second.

The only picture I could find from the race... ignore the fact that I look like death warmed over

The only picture I could find from the race… ignore the fact that I look like death warmed over

By 1000 meters, my lungs were on fire, but I pushed through.  With 200 meters to go, I had nothing left to kick with, but I finished the race in second place with a time of 5:19.05.  That’s less than a second away from my PR, and it’s a season best and only the third time I’ve run in the 5:teens, so I suppose I’ll take it.  The girl who won didn’t run her second half any faster than I did!

After the race, two of my coaches ended up carrying me off the track because my legs just would not function.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me!  This is happening far too often!!

Three weeks until regionals!  I aqua jogged today instead of running because my foot has been bothering me.

And now for the other news…..

I GOT INTO COLLEGE!!!

…That is all.

🙂