Saturday, March 26, 2011
Well. This year has been quite interesting so far.
I was rocking it out with my workouts and my food and my job search when I decided to take a chance on a volunteer opportunity that I thought might lead to a "real" job down the road that would be an improvement over the work I do now. Starting in early February, I have been spending 6-7 hours at my regular job in the middle of nowhere, and then driving downtown to spend 4 hours at this volunteer thing. On weekends I've been making up some hours at the regular job. Somewhere in there I got very sick for about a week, and the schedule has been pretty rough. Part of it is the actual schedule, but a lot of it is that the new job has some unforeseen challenges and I think I may drop it soon. Some other employment opportunities have started to come up. Nothing solid yet, but after 2 years of almost zero response to applications, I had 4 interviews in less than a month.
Anyway, I had a race last weekend that was supposed to be my marathon halfway point both physically and psychologically. It was the Get Lucky 21k. I had been seriously considering dropping down to the 7k because my training got rather off-kilter between illness and work, and the race was moved to St. Paul due to Mpls permit problems, so the bf and I would be racing in two different cities altogether. My pride got the best of me, so I ended up doing the 21k. I made a few mistakes, like getting there late, so I burned out too quickly, had to waste precious minutes waiting for a port-a-potty, and ended up finishing at precisely the same pace as my last race, which was the Monster Dash 10-mile in Oct (which I didn't really train for). My goal was to beat my last half marathon time, which probably would have happened if I hadn't done some silly things. The worst part, though, is that shortly after the race, my Achilles tendon flared up. I have never had Achilles problems, so it kinda freaked me out (and upset me in that thinking back over the week, I did everything possible to contribute to the problem). Then I started reading about Achilles stuff online and I got REALLY freaked out. A lot of people talked about ending up with a tear, or at the very least having to take months off from any activity. I have had plenty of aches and pains on my path to running fitness, but nothing where I thought "what if I need surgery?"
I also spent most of the week extremely hormonal, so I have been eating in a way that's sort of disturbing and also showcases the worst of my long-standing poor relationship with food. Part of the reason I like to run so much is that it takes some of the pressure off planning my food. I have to eat well and fuel myself and so-on, but it's less likely that the occasional day or week of bad eating will escalate into anything more than a blip.
Anyhow, I have some other structural problems (flat feet, spinal alignment) that I have been avoiding dealing with via physician, so I finally reached out to Sparkpeople and got a recommendation for an orthopedic sports clinics in the area. I emailed someone I found on the website and immediately got a recommendation for a female sports physician who is also a runner, and thankfully she is in my insurance network. The person also reassured me that there isn't really a strong connection between strains and tears, so I am a little less worried. I'm not sure how well I could handle having to stop running for any period of time.
On Monday I will make an appointment to see this doc and try to start resolving this. It constantly amazes me how my body reminds me that I'm not really the one in charge!