Tomorrow is my first road race of the season. I’m extremely excited about getting a fresh go after the setbacks I’ve had this year. But as I prep for my first road race of the season, I can’t help but wonder if those setbacks will hinder my efforts. Am I strong enough to overcome the “demons” that come out during a long race?
This summer I found myself in a rut, a running plateau. It started in mid-June during level 7 of my marathon training program. It took me two weeks to get through that level, and that was the last level I successfully completed. I attempted level 8 three times unsuccessfully before I decided to switch my focus. I felt that taking a break from running might help with the stress and disappointment of not being able to finish my key workouts. Granted, I was having some relationship woes that were more than likely a cause—woes that have yet to be completely resolved.
So I focused on strength training and doing other types of cardio. I began with increasing my Camp Gladiator workouts to 5-6 times per week. I started walking with a friend, and continued with yoga and other cardio group classes.
But that didn’t mean I wasn’t running at all. I was still getting a couple of runs in per week. Only I wasn’t officially following my plan. Instead, I revisited the C25K program. I also found time for some hill work, intervals and fartlek runs. I participated in an ultra marathon challenge, where I ran 10K every three hours for a 24-hour period. That was a blast. And I ended the summer with a tough 50K trail race.
And then came the injury. Now, I’m no stranger to injuries. Last August I suffered a soleus (lower calf muscle) injury. That injury lasted only three weeks because I immediately started physical therapy. It took four visits with my Airrosti chiropractor to get that sorted out. And I ended up with a wicked PR. In fact, I ended up PRing in all of my distances—5K, 10 mile, half—in the months that followed.
This August, however, I suffered a different kind of injury. Basically, a deep blister on my big toe has taken me out of the game. I can still run, but not well. I’ve only done five runs in the last five weeks. However, I’ve been going to spinning classes to keep up with the cardio, and I hear that actually helps with running. We shall see.
So, tomorrow I’m going to wrap up my toe the way I’ve been doing, and I’m going to get out there and run. I know I’ll struggle through the physical pain and the self-doubt, but I need to focus and keep the demons at bay.
Whatever the outcome, I will be victorious.