It’s been seven days. Seven. Whole. Entire. Blasted. Days.
So this is how it works. The spring weather here in Anchorage has been perfect for running, and I finally have a few fabulous running buddies who are available and willing to slog along with me. But now that the external conditions are prime, I find myself in decidedly less than prime condition.
After squealing my head off watching the the awesome Boston marathon finish last Monday, I went out for a run. (Is there any other response to seeing something that inspiring?!) By mile 5, I finally broke down and admitted to myself that the PTT (posterior tibial tendonitis) wasn’t getting any better. And that continuing to run on it wasn’t doing me any favors. I traded some messages with our resident Salty Running doc, Garlic, who had herself endured PTT issues; and she convinced me to take a week off and try to get in to see a therapist or chiropractor.
Being relatively new in town, I had no idea where to go. So I googled ART-trained chiropractors and cold called the one practice that seemed to know what that was. They had an appointment open for later that morning, and I jumped on it. Turns out the chiropractor I saw was a runner himself, so naturally, we talked about local races and routes and paces and training plans as much as we talked about my injury. His official diagnosis was that I “strained the hell out of it” in that last 1000m repeat on an uphill grade at the end of a 14 miler about 10 days prior. His official advice echoed Garlic’s: take at least a week off, continued ice baths, stretching and walking. And maybe an ultrasound treatment or two.
Then he looked at me and I quote, “Runners are a pain in the ass to take care of. Are you going to actually listen when I tell you not to run?” I laughed. “Takes one to know one,” I said. “And yes, I’ll listen. I won’t like it. But I’ll listen.”
During the conversation, we talked about the Mayor’s Marathon, the Daniels’ training plan and peak mileage. He asked me to consider a back up plan of switching to the half distance and doing a full later in the summer/ fall if I was intent on another marathon before Boston. Of the 23 marathons he’d run, he thought Mayor’s was the most difficult and unpleasant course, and not just because it was extremely hilly. He described it as single track in many spots, with seven miles worth of a stony gravel trail in the middle and more mosquitoes than spectators. Not exactly a popular Boston Qualifier, then, eh?
So the tentative plan is to ease back into training within the coming week and adjust my goals to include the half instead of the full marathon. My primary goal for this summer is to stay healthy and enjoy the prime running and hiking season in Alaska. When I tried on the idea of skipping out on the full marathon, I felt relieved instead of disappointed. I’m taking that as a sign I made the right decision. By doing the half marathon, I won’t need the significant recovery time and can continue to run and race through July, when several of the popular Anchorage races take place.
So. All in all, I’m in a good place. But I’ll be in a much better place when I get cleared to run and leave this PTT in the dust!
And now, your moment of Zen, courtesy of Alaska’s 5 am sunrise: