I exercised a lot of patience with this one. Ever since I started running again after my stress fracture, a part of my brain has been looking at this race & whispering doitdoitdoitdoit whenever I spotted a Facebook status or got an email from SRM. Any time I was tempted to pull the trigger, though, I managed to restrain myself, reminding my impulsive side that the price didn't go up until late April, it wasn't going anywhere before then in terms of selling out, & the smart course of action was to give myself at least until a few days before the price increase to see how my running was going and how things were feeling as I increased my mileage. If I was having doubts in mid-April, I could always put off registering & suck up the price increase & wait to see if things started looking up. Better to be (more) sure & pay a little more than get a good deal on a DNS.
So I put it off and put it off and put it off, having no desire to make the drive to pick up race schwag for yet another race I couldn't run. "Eh, another week." "Just a few more days." "Once I get to 3 miles." "Once I get to 25 minutes." "Once I get to 30 minutes."
And then yesterday it hit me that in spite of bumping up the mileage and keeping up a full complement of cross-training and strength work, I haven't had any significant pain in my left fibula or right hip flexor in months (er, except for my week of sloth in New Orleans. Apparently inactivity makes me feel awful). Sure, the left calf gets a bit sore now & then, but even so, I can grind a lacrosse ball right into the spot where I had the stress fracture with my full weight on it with only mild discomfort, which only reinforces my PT's theory that the sfx was caused by a muscle issue. (For comparison: I started suspecting I might have a bone issue when bumping gently into the couch cushions with my left calf made me yelp.) I do have to make sure I continue taking care of the muscle, but the bone is solid, my friends.
And running is going well. Yes, treadmill runs still make me want to stab myself in the face even at long run pace, but outside I can lope happily along for 3-4 miles at goal marathon pace with (pretty) good form, and as long as I'm diligent about rolling & stretching every.single.day, I feel pretty darn good. I've even got a touch of speed back at short range, which is encouraging.
A couple of months ago I made a last-minute checklist for Italy & put it in my Google calendar for Monday, April 14, which went:
- Refill prescriptions
- Reserve long-term parking
- Get international driver's license
- Pedicure that shit (so as not to be mocked on The Continent)
- Register for SRM (?)
I've been going down the list, checking things off, & paused briefly when I got to SRM. Doitdoitdoitdoit went the impulsive side, & finally, the rational part was able to think objectively about the last few weeks & go, Seriously, what are you waiting for?
I am hoping to get in 15-20 miles a week in Italy & work up to a six mile "long" run. We get back on May 11, so starting for-realsies training on Monday, May 12 gives me 15 weeks, which is not too bad in terms of prep time. Probably not enough to run my best possible race, considering where I'm starting, but as long as I don't get sick or injured & do all the work, hopefully enough for a BQ.
(I just keep coming back to missing it by 88 seconds at M2B, running in the heat with quads long since destroyed by the extreme downhill & (oh yeah) a torn hip flexor. Heat could be a factor, but the SR course is kinder, and I definitely won't run it if there are any injury questions. I mean shaving 90 seconds seems completely reasonable. Right?? Someone tell me I'm not crazy.)
I don't really know what my posting is likely to be like for the next few weeks. I am not organized enough to arrange something like "guest blogging" which I heard is the hip thing to do during an extended leave of absence, but I have posted like *ten whole pictures* on Instagram, so you know. There is that. Also, the Twitterz.
HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!!
(But seriously. Someone please tell me I'm not crazy.)