Weeks 3 and 4 have been really hard, and pretty discouraging. As I mentioned last week, I have had some calf pain for a while, but since I started this training, it has gotten a lot worse. On a good day, it takes me about 3-4 miles to get warmed up and to feel like I am not hobbling. I am feeling worn out and losing a lot of confidence. I had a massage on day 1 of week 3 and I think it helped, but only for a short while. This week, I got an injury evaluation from a physical therapist. She said that it was a shin splint and that the pain had maybe been most acute in my calf. She said to run the marathon in 6 weeks, I would need to start physical therapy right away and start taking some days off and doing aqua jogging instead. Puke. Needless to say, I am feeling pretty unconfident.
When I first blogged about my goal to qualify for Boston, I promised to write about my experiences and what I was learning about running, myself and even what God was teaching me through the process. I haven’t been good about that, but I want to do that today.
This week, I was talking to my friend Tiffany about how frustrated I was about my calf pain, how I was afraid of how much physical therapy would cost, or how I felt like everyone I would talk to would have a different idea of what was best – massage, physical therapy, compression sleeve, dry needling, cold, hot, epsom salt, rest, biking. It was all so confusing. Tiffany said, “How about we pray that the pain would go away?” I could kick myself. It had never once crossed my mind to ask my Creator to help with my pain. Initially, I felt so frustrated with myself. Why in the world would I not ask first and foremost, God, to heal me from this pain? But also to ask for Him to give me wisdom in choosing a recovery method? I am reading A Praying Life right now. In the first chapter, the author describes a life without prayer as being dysfunctional. Our relationship with God is close in theory, but practically, it is distant. I felt that this week. I can know a lot about God, but if I am not in close communication with Him, and calling on Him in my need, I am distant with Him and our relationship suffers. And then my friend, Annie, reminded me to not be frustrated with myself, but instead, be thankful that God had given me a community of women in life to stand in my blindspots and point me back to the Truth when I am far from it. Since Tiffany stood in that blindspot and reminded me that I was talking to everyone but God about the thing that was paining me the most, I have been praying more. I have been calling on God to heal my leg and to give me wisdom in how to move forward. I have also been praying before I run – praying that these runs would be an act of worship and that I would meet with God even when I feel like I could die. This week, I am thankful for a God that wants to have a personal relationship with me and aches for me to come to Him first. And I am thankful for the circle of godly women in my life that love me enough to tell me where I am falling short and to persevere me.
And, finally, here is my report from the last 2 weeks.
Day 1: Day off! Two-hour massage.
Day 2: 10 miles easy (8:50 overall pace)
Day 3: 4.25 miles total (1/2 mile warm up, 3 x 1 mile under 7:00 pace with 400 recovery between)
Day 4: 9 miles easy (8:59 overall pace)
Day 5: 7 miles easy (8:32 overall pace)
Day 6: 7 miles easy (9:05 overall pace)
Day 7: 18 miles easy (8:59 overall pace)
TOTAL: 55.25 miles
Day 1: 12 miles easy (8:56 overall pace)
Day 2: 3.5 miles total (1 mile warm up, 10 x 200 at a 6:18 pace with 200 recovery between)
Day 3: 9 miles easy
Day 4: 6 miles easy with 3 miles in 21 minutes
Day 5: 7 miles easy
Day 6: Day off!
Day 7: 6 miles easy (9:26 overall pace)
TOTAL: 43.5 miles
For those of you that are following my progress and have been checking in with me, I cannot thank you enough. I am encouraged by your asking and pushing me to follow through.