Quite frankly I am a little nervous to post a blog entry, because it seems every time I set out all optimistic about goals, either a major life change happens that throws off my training routine, or I get injured. Maybe I’ve gotten a bit superstitious about it…
Well, when last we checked in with our hero, I had just begun training for the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon. It is one of my favorite races and this would have been my third year running it. Unfortunately, shortly after that post, I broke my ankle. No joke, there I was, on an 8-foot-tall wall watching Gloria Steinem speak at the DC Women’s March on January 21 (some running bloggers may avoid talking politics but not ya girl here, #sorrynotsorry), and when I decided I wanted down, I landed, uh, very wrong. After a few days of thinking maybe I could walk it off, I finally went to an orthopedic and was informed I would need a boot and crutches for six weeks, though luckily no surgery.
So DC Rock ‘n’ Roll was out. I commenced gaining 15 pounds while on doctor-ordered “be off your feet as much as possible.” It was like being pregnant but without the nausea, the cute baby bump and pregnant glow, and the baby at the end. Nope, just a lot of indulging in entire medium pizzas in bed and not exercising and having an excuse for someone else to bring me water from two floors down.
But alas, finally my ankle was healed and I was cleared to resume light exercise toward the end of March.
Which was interesting. Remember when I could run a half marathon at a 10:30 pace? Now at the most I’ve ever weighed without a solid training base over the last two years behind it before a six-week break, when I finally laced up again and hit the pavement/treadmill, two miles was taking me nearly a half an hour. It was depressing, but I also knew it was the necessary bottom from which to climb.
And there’s a kind of freedom in starting from the bottom again. Everything I did I could tell myself was better than where I was a few weeks ago, ordering pizza from my phone. (Okay, guys, I wasn’t a total sloth, I did a LOT of reading and was a very busy activist at town halls and lobby days and marches. I even marched for reproductive rights in a boot. Because again, this is my blog and I’ll talk politics if I want to.)
But I did decide to set a goal. A loose goal. Because I was afraid that if I jumped in and registered for a race I’d yet again lose track of my training and/or get injured, I picked a goal rice but didn’t sign up just yet. That goal race is the Baltimore 10 Miler. I’ve wanted to run it since 2014 when I first learned of it. I loved the Annapolis 10 Miler, and the Army Ten Miler, and basically just the ten mile distance. And I felt training for a 10 Miler in 11-12 weeks after injury was a safer bet than training for 13.1 (there’s a half in Annapolis that same day)- that final 5K really does make a huge difference sometimes, especially in hilly Maryland.
So I’ve been training. And it’s been going well! Most weeks I miss just one day of my plan but I’m not beating myself up over it. In fact, this past week was Week 5 and I didn’t miss a single planned workout!
And my dog has been really happy about all the time we’ve been spending together doing her favorite thing – running around outside.
And, I finally crossed a finish line for the first time since New Year’s Eve. Granted, the race was terribly organized so what could have been a sub-12/mile pace turned into a 12:40 average pace when I got lost in the final half mile, but whatever. My plan called for 6 miles on Saturday and I did a 10K, so the miles were covered.
Now we head into the final half of my training plan and I pulled the trigger – I signed up for the B10 officially. My only hang up with the B10 is that, as a former employee of a wildlife sanctuary that took care of “discarded” zoo animals, I wasn’t keen on my registration money going to the Maryland Zoo. (It’s not the worst zoo in the world, I just am not a big fan of the entire zoo philosophy in general.) So I decided instead to sign up through Back on My Feet Baltimore and raise money for them in addition. I am so down with BoMF’s mission. Running has changed my life, and I now work in human services, workplace readiness, and so many of the adult learners we serve at my nonprofit could benefit from the BoMF programming. If you’re interested, you can support BoMF here. (Don’t worry, this isn’t about earning me a free race entry. I’m $24ish away from hitting $300, and as we runners know, that can mean a solid pair of running shoes and some nice non-chafing tech fit running clothes for a new runner.)
So that’s where I’m at. I’m still slugging away. I think my weight gain has a lot to do with it – I’ve been experiencing shin splints and just general leg heaviness a lot more than I remember pre-injury, so I’m hoping shedding a few pounds (I’ve lost like 5 in the first 5 weeks of B10 training, nothing confetti-worthy, but evidence I was treating my body like garbage in the off-time) will lighten the physical weight I’m landing on my feet with as I continue training.
Anyway, how are you guys? Does anyone still follow? Hello? Anyone? What are y’all training for? Injuries suck, amirite? Do you still have any spring race season goals? Been trying out any new goals, like triathlons or weight-lifting? Looking to fall? Smashing the patriarchy? All good things, all good things. Party in the comments and let me know how you’ve been doing. I’ve missed you, fair readers.