Let me set the scene for you.
It’s early April. The weather is finally warming up and you’re loving being able to run outside again after a cold winter. You’ve been training for a half marathon since January. Your training is going SO WELL and you’re on track to get a personal record on your half marathon time. You only have a couple more weeks of training to go before your race at the end of April.
Suddenly, on a long run, your foot starts to hurt. You think maybe you just stepped on a rock, or landed on your foot weird, and maybe it’ll go away. You push through your run.
But then… it doesn’t go away. Now it hurts to run, and it even hurts to walk. How are you going to make it through your training? How are you going to make it through the race?
Hi, welcome to my life.
I’ve successfully run three half marathons, and I’m currently training for my fourth. I’ve cut down my mile time significantly, and I was super pumped to run this race, because I knew I was going to kill it.
But then I got injured.
I knew that I needed some new running shoes, but I guess I didn’t realize how worn out my shoes were. I think what happened is that my shoes got so worn out that they no longer give me good arch support when I run, and so I was putting extra pressure on parts of my foot that couldn’t handle it.
The weird thing is that when I feel pain, I feel it in the top of my foot. My sports therapist thinks it’s tendinitis, and unfortunately there’s no easy fix. She recommended rest.
How can I rest when I have two more weeks of training and then a half marathon to run??
So here’s where self care comes into play. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I can’t train as intensely as I want to. I have to listen to my body, and do what’s best for me. I have to skip the last long run of my training program to give my foot some rest. I’m really hoping that if I take it easy these next few weeks, my foot will have healed up enough that I’ll be able to run on it for race day.
I’m super bummed. This was supposed to be my best half marathon yet, and now it looks like I’m going to lose some speed from cutting back on my training in the last few weeks. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to run the full race on race day, and I have to come to terms with the fact that I may have to stop and walk for a bit.
But deep down, I know I’m doing what’s best for my body. If I push too hard, I could seriously injure my foot.
There will be other races.
There will be other opportunities to train.
Most importantly, I have to remember that this race does not define me. Whether I do well or do poorly, I will congratulate myself for listening to my body and responding to my pain. Whether I can run or have to walk, I will do my best and I will finish my race, and that is all that I need to ask of myself.
Listen to your body, and don’t risk injury just for one race.
There will always be other races.
And I know that next time, I’ll definitely kill it.
Be happy. Be healthy.