My running update: Less than six weeks out from the marathon, and my training has been going . . . well, just OK. This year has been much different than last year. My training has been tougher since my flexible time has evaporated. I was hoping to shave some time off my last year's finish, but my pace is still too slow.
The weather was brutal throughout January and February, resulting in my current hatred for the treadmill. The warmer temperatures drew me outside, specifically to Eden Park, where I started a regimen of running up the hill to the Twin Lakes overlook. I was starting to feel good, but my last two long runs were disappointing. The one before last, the weather was gorgeous but my time was lacking. And, at the end of that run, my leg felt a little tight. The tightness continued throughout my last couple of runs. And then came last Saturday's run.
The weather was pathetic. I checked the radar before I left the house and it appeared the rain would let up. Little did I know, it started to move in a swirling pattern and continued through my entire run (also, the temperature dropped eight degrees in a couple hours). About ten miles in, my leg felt really tight. At one point a felt a sharp pain. Thankfully, Kelly had hopped in the car with Kaelyn and tracked me down, granting me a reprieve. But I could tell something in my leg was definitely not right.
After consulting with Susan, a lady in our church who's doing doctoral work in physical therapy at UC, we discovered it was most likely achilles tendinitis. It occurs when the tendon is overworked, especially when doing strenuous hill work. In some cases, it takes months to heal.
I don't have months.
Reluctantly, I knew I'd have to take it easy this week. Of course, with the amazing weather and the time change, this has been the best running week of the year thus far. This and the injury made me mildly depressed. I'm doing my best to heal: stretching, icing, and taking anti-inflammatory meds, but nothing is guaranteed. My leg is feeling much better, so I'll take a little jog this weekend. And, as I continue training, I'll need to steer clear of the hills and do some flat ground running.
I'm not quite sure what's going to happen. There's a distinct possibility that this could be the demise of this year's marathon. I haven't given up hope by any means, but my focus now is merely on completion. But, ultimately, I find it incredibly humbling. I love conquest—adding accomplishments to my portfolio. But the one predictable thing in our world is unpredictability (for proof, tell me how your NCAA brackets look at midnight on Friday). Even though I can train by the book, I couldn't predict what would happen to my body. It reminds me of what James wrote in his epistle, "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
Who knows what tomorrow holds? Not me. So we'll see what happens.