I had my follow-up appointment with the foot doctor today, and while I was hoping for all good news and unicorns, what I got was a little closer to horses with party hats taped to their foreheads (totally the same thing). The original issue (the cyst), seems to have been resolved by the cortisone shot; however, a muscle in my arch seems to have gotten a bit strained as it attempted to compensate for the cyst pain. This means that there has been a pretty consistent ache in my arch for the past week or so: a stubborn, lingering ache. My marching orders are to self-massage, and support the arch with either compression socks or tape (the latter was presented as an option when I told him my compression socks are all knee-highs, and it’s currently 85+ degrees). The hope is that this support will allow the muscle to RELAX, and that within a few weeks, I’ll be able to begin the excruciatingly slow return to “running.” That process, which I’ll learn more about at next week’s follow-up, involves a run/walk routine that may lead me to homicide, but I’m set on being smart about this injury recovery. Pushing things while the muscle is still strained could lead to something much harder to heal, and I’m not all about that.
It has been said that the key to success in training is to utilize both macro and micro periodization. Allow me to explain: Your entire “season” is your macro. For most mortals, that probably means 9-12 months worth of racing (or 1-2 longer race-specific training cycles, or several smaller ones). Your race-specific training is your micro. Within both of those are periods of increased activity and rest, strategically placed to give your body the best balance of gains and recovery.
I’m trying to apply the same approach to my recovery, keeping the big picture (macro) in mind, and trying not to be an idiot in the micro. For now, that means letting go of the 2015 Chicago Marathon. In all, I’ve missed a 5k and a 10k, and I came to the realization that I won’t be in any shape to race the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon over Labor Day Weekend (thankfully, that was a free bib). I’ve been waffling between doing the math and pretending that races are free (sigh).
While those DNS’s are huge bummers, taking the time to recover now means that I will be back on my feet faster. And removing the marathon from my radar allows me to focus on things I would have otherwise missed.
I’ve got my sights set on a couple of races this fall, including:
- Race Judicata on Sept 10th – This is generally a huge cluster of people on a very narrow course, so it would keep me honest in my post-injury effort. It also serves as a fundraiser for legal aid services here in Chicago, and would allow me to see some familiar faces.
- Bucktown 5k on Sept 13th- I’ve never run it before; and hello, sweet sweatshirt swag.
Fueling my desire to recovery smartly (and quickly) is my desire to get back into the fun aspects of the sport: exploring the local running trails outside the city, getting back on the track, and making this solo sport a little more social through new running groups or run dates. In the meantime, I’m hoping to take this recovery time to do the things I always promise myself I’ll do. I’m rejoining my gym so that I can hop in the pool, and I’m committing to core strength work.
In a few short weeks, I hope to be up and running (literally); this is a temporary setback.