November 15, 2014

Marathon Preparation

So in early spring 2014 we had the beginnings of our marathon team (see previous post), and I started thinking a little bit more about actually training. November seemed an awfully long way off! I literally started from the couch. After having Seanin last August, I hadn't done much exercise beyond the 15-minute T-Tapp workout (which I do love and think is quite effective). In January I started the Couch-to-5K program. Looking back, it seems unreal that I had to work up to a 5K, which I ran in April!

So we went on our massive 3-week road trip in late April; I think I ran twice during that whole time. I started running again a bit, but then we had family visit us for 3 weeks in June. I ran twice during that whole time as well. So I didn't really get serious about training until early July, just over 4 months before Race Day.

I figured 4 months was plenty of time, no problem! HA! Probably if I had been running regularly it would have been just fine.

Shortly into training I experienced a foot injury. The arch of my right foot was hurting. Actually, it started hurting on top of my foot, but then the arch began aching. I iced it and rested and eased back into running only to have it happen again. I got new shoes, thinking maybe that was the problem, and it happened again. I went to the doctor, who thought I had plantar fasciitis and referred me to ortho. I went to my chiropractor who said I didn't have plantar fasciitis and that I'd be fine. I went to my ortho appointment and was feeling great by that point, but the doctor gave me shoe inserts anyway and off I went. I learned to use a frozen water bottle to roll my foot on after running. I took Ibuprofen when pain flared up and rested, rested, rested. I bought Jeff Galloway's book and learned about the walk-run method when a couple of friends recommended it as the way to prevent injuries.

Basically, I had to swallow a lot of pride and realize that everyone is different, my body is getting older, and this experience was just not going to turn out the way I anticipated.

By late September I was feeling much better, not really dealing with foot issues anymore, and starting to look at how I could plan some long training runs to actually prepare myself for this ordeal. I finally passed 8 miles--the point where I had seemed to be stuck, as previously when I would run 8 miles (or attempt longer), I would end up waylaid and in pain. (Once Ted had to come pick me up because I couldn't make it home!) In fact, I made it to 12 miles one Sunday morning and felt great. I was careful to run 4-5 minutes and walk a minute. The next couple of days I felt fine...knees were a little sore, but I seemed to recover well, having taken an ice bath immediately afterward. I did a 4-mile run Wednesday.

Then on Thursday, I squatted down (using my knees!) to lift Seanin and something seemed to explode in my lower back. Pain radiated down my legs and I couldn't move. Thank the Lord the children were so responsive. Charis got Seanin and the boys helped me stand up, and the rest of the day passed in a blur of pain and fog.

That was October 2. I spent the next few weeks recovering. I met with an Italian physical/massage therapist several times; I visited the chiropractor; I met with a doctor to get some muscle relaxants. I got on the treadmill and walked. And walked. And walked. One of my workouts was 2 hours long and gave me hope that I would, in fact, be able to finish the marathon, even if I weren't running. By October 28, Charis and I were boarding a plane for America, where she was to compete in the National Bible Bee, and although I was moving reasonably well, the long periods of sitting still made my back ache. (I was thankful for those muscle relaxants!)

During our time in Florida, I hit the treadmill and carefully tried some slow running. Four days in a row I ran! And I had hope.

November 9, 2014, I was going to finish a marathon!

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