I'm four days away from my first ever half marathon. In the past 12 weeks I have ran 112 miles. That's only an average of 9.3 miles a week which is really not so good for a training program of any kind let alone a half marathon, but I can assure you I have never ran 112 miles in 12 weeks ever before. I'm resisting getting all negative on how that might be pathetic or how unprepared I am for this race (as my training program says I should have ran 222 miles in the past 12 weeks). The fact is 12 weeks ago I could have never ran the 11 miles I did two weeks ago, let alone the 13.1 miles I will run on Sunday. I did every single long training run as scheduled, and I am confident that I will finish on Sunday. Plus, I've been battling an injury.
I have tailor's bunions which is basically where the outside bone of my foot is malformed and sticks out. It can get painfully inflamed. I initially irritated my left foot when banging it into the wall more than a year ago jumping a baby gate. When x-rays revealed no breaks and pain had lingered for months, I received 2 cortisone injections last June. Pain returned in the fall. I went to the doctor's again this March, and that's when the tailor's bunion was diagnosed. Sometimes it hurts when I run, sometimes it doesn't. But it does hurt every single day. Sometimes I'm limping, other times it's more manageable. I've gotten new shoes and insoles to help, but I have declined additional cortisone shots and am not ready for surgery any time soon. Lately it's been extremely painful by the end of the day. I'm at a loss of what else to do. Topical arnica and Panaway Essential Oil were both helping symptoms when I was using them consistently, so I'm back to that now. If anyone has any resources on tailor's bunions, shoot them my way!
|Tonight's Ice Foot Bath|
But when all is said and done, no matter how much I've trained or not and despite the weird shape of my feet, I'm a runner. I'm not a runner because I'm fast (goodness knows I'm not). I'm not a runner because I train a million miles a week (yea, I don't). I'm a runner, simply because I run. I'm really beginning to identify with that label now. There are days I discount it. There are days when runners ask me about my pace or my training, and I hear their responses and wonder whether I'm actually a runner. But then there are moments that set me straight.
Like walking into the hotel in Gettysburg where so many of the Marathon and Relay runners were staying. I walked in with my duffle bag stuffed with running shoes, energy chews, bodyglide, and race gear. I walked past some other people who were clearly there to run the race, and thought, wow, that's really neat, they're runners. But then I remembered, wait, what do you think you are? Yep, you're one of them.
So this runner is getting ready for her first 13.1 miles ever. I am psyched to be running with an awesome friend who pushed me through my first 10K. I plan to finish. I know I can finish. I'm not setting any other specific goals, though I do have in mind that every single one of my long runs (7 miles or more) have been at a consistent 11:43 pace. (Yep, I'm that slow.) I'd like to keep my pace under 12 minute miles. I dream of getting it closer to 11:30 miles. But in the end, my goal is to finish, and I will do that.
Or when I moan to my husband that I must stretch, foam roll, ice, or that I need him to rub my sore muscles (yea, this whole running thing works out kind of good sometimes) and in the same breath ask when he's watching the kids the next day so I can get out and do it all again.
Or when talking to a friend who when talking about her running for fitness says "C'mon, who actually likes to run?" and before I can think I hear myself saying, "Actually, I really do."
Or on a day when the absolute last thing I want to do is run, especially after having missed enough days of training and I know it'll be a rough workout, my feet hit the pavement and I can't help but smile because I remember why I run. Because I enjoy it. Because it feels good. Because I enjoy challenging myself and connecting with my body in this way. Because I'm a runner.
Because this is the Super Hero Half Marathon and costumes are encouraged but not really my thing, I'll be rocking a t-shirt claiming my superpower (which isn't a superpower, but a wonderful thing women's bodies were designed to do, and for all you conscious lactivists, I acknowledge the inherent issues in this type of saying, but it was just too perfect not to wear for this particular occasion having nursed for the past 4 years, 4 months, and 10 days including 20 months of tandem nursing).
We'll be making the kids cute shirts to wear to support mommy. Plus, I'm sure my wonderfully supportive husband will be making adorable signs for them to hold as they cheer me on Sunday morning. Right? Don't you imagine he'd be doing that? Yes, he reads the blog. Yes, I want a sign or two. Maybe three. I'm not picky. Love you honey.