I believe it was a year of success. Why? Because I learned some lessons that in the end will make me a better person and eventually a better runner. And just what lessons did you learn, Cristina? Well, I am glad you asked.
DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that what I tell you now is my own experience and should be taken as such. If you are injured by all means see a doctor!
Lesson #1 Get a second opinion!
At one point in our lives we will put in the training and then get injured. We will be told to either a) Hang up your running shoes forever (see another doctor) or b) Heal up and then start to slowly get back out there.
When I first got injured after the Walt Disney World Half Marathon my podiatrist told me to just quit running and then he slapped a boot on my foot. I quickly figured out that this man was not a runner and just didn't understand. But I did take his advice, I transferred my bib for a foam race to my niece, and then sought out some knowledge from the internet. I slowly got better. But I wasn't healed when I did the Expedition Everest Challenge in May and I paid for it with pain. Would I run again? I had to get some answers and some help!
This time it was in the form of a sports medicine/chiropractor. It did help... a ton. He assured me that I didn't need to give up running and that we could get me back out there on the trail. Then he electrocuted me, used medieval torture devices, and basically helped me to begin to heal. Note: I have a high pain threshold so it isn't his fault that we didn't know I wasn't ready for the Tower of Terror Ten Miler. But I felt great! I didn't feel 100% but not many people do before a race, right? Someone is always battling some injury. I felt way better (although I had a little bit of pain still) and I thought if I toughed it out I could finish but I wouldn't be setting a new PR. Little did I know I would be setting a new PR in my pain threshold! Which leads to...
Lesson #2 Never give up...but be smart about it!
If you clicked on the Tower of Terror Ten Miler link then you know what happened. I pushed and did not quit the race! But the next month I was getting more treatments , not running, yet healing. I did make the decision to transfer my Thanksgiving day Run 4 the Pies Race bib to my niece again. You have to be smart about your injuries and like Kenny Rogers says in "The Gambler"..."know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.". During the race I knew I wasn't injuring myself any further and that I could push and so I did. However, I didn't want to go into a race knowing I may have to quit halfway in because I was permanently damaging myself.That is why I transferred my bib. I knew I had to heal and so I am. I had to re-evaluate what the causes could be and what to do to prevent that pain again. So, in my opinion, it is better to not start a race because you are being smart about what you know you are ready for rather than dropping out mid-race because you were an idiot and disregarded all of the warning signs that you shouldn't have run that race in the first place. Healing time is our friend. Which leads me to...
|First run with no foot pain!|
3 miles, baby!
Why is time an enemy in a runner's life? Because it can both try your patience (when healing) and your nerves (when the balloon ladies are breathing down your neck). Right now I think time has been my friend. I have taken the time to do some physical therapy. It has helped me heal so much. I think at this point I am at 85% ready for my 10k in two weeks. My foot feels good...very good (knock on wood) but my lungs are bad...very bad. I have lost my endurance. But I kind of don't care about that. I know I will get it back. I am just jazzed about my feet. On Saturday I ran/walked 3 miles with no foot pain and no numbness. This is the first time that has happened in almost a year! If the only thing that bothers me during the 10k is lack of endurance and lung power then I am okay with that. I would rather have a tough race than a painful one.
So, in my opinion I have had a successful year of lessons learned. Yes, my original goals went down the proverbial crapper. Who cares about the original goals when the trials you endured give you new insight into yourself? I have a whole new year to make entirely new goals and have those goals evolve into something else. The point is I HAVE GOALS and I intend to always strive to accomplish them. Therefore, I will always be successful because I will never give up trying to become a better me. So was my year a failure or a success? I have indeed had a very successful year. Here's to the new one!