Or Don’t

To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. For those of you who don’t already know it appears I have a stress fracture on my lower left leg, right at my ankle. A stress fracture is a crack in the bone caused by repeated force over a period of time. When the muscles get tired and can take no more, they transfer the weight to the bones which then have to take on that repetitive beating.

If you’re looking for an exciting story as to how this injury came about, you’re about to be disappointed too. There was not one specific moment that I just fell down crying with pain. I was running last Wednesday (only 3 miles, mind you) and my leg just started hurting really badly towards the end. I thought I had given myself shin splints. I ran…until I hit 3 miles. Then, I walked the rest of the way to my car.

I thought that I had pretty tough bones considering the beatings they took from 10 years of being a cheerleader. All of the jumps I did, the back-tucks and back handsprings I landed, and the times I FELL from stunts and pyramids. The only break I ever had was a broken nose in college…and that was from someone else’s flying arm. I had my share of twisted ankles for sure, but that was about as far as it went. I have hit basketball floors from 8-12 feet high and never sustained a serious injury.

All that being said, I am trying hard to not be depressed. (This is only temporary after all…I am not losing a leg.) Running is kind of what I had going for me. With a marathon coming up in less than 3 weeks I am on a time frame here. I can’t believe that this happened after such a great high of my 20 miler (which in all honesty could have caused it). I have still not decided about attempting to run it. I have high hopes for myself. I don’t want to get out there and be miserable 1. because I am in pain and/or 2. because I have lost all of my running fitness. How miserable 26.2 miles could be if not properly trained and ready! Everything I have read and heard says to try deep water running. That it best mimics the act of running and keeps you in running shape. But…you must have $$ to join a gym with a pool. I could handle the $50 a month…it’s the $200 “initiation” fee upfront that kills me! This is why I like running, you can do it anywhere and it doesn’t cost a thing. I miss the fresh air and the beating of my heart.

I did Pilates yesterday. What a waste! I didn’t even sweat! I’m gonna go crazy without it!

Chronicles of the Creeper Trail: First Time for Everything

My first time…to run 20 miles. Crazy, right? Who in their right mind does this?? We actually questioned our own sanity on the ride back from Alvarado Station to Johnson City on Saturday. BUT if you want to run a marathon, you have to do it or suffer the consequences of hating every single second of your 26.2 miles because you haven’t had the time on your feet. If you want to sign up for a crazy event, you must train like a crazy person. That being said it actually wasn’t that bad.

Yes, I know that sounds even crazier, but if there’s anything I’m good at (in running) it’s that I will keep going. I split up my mileage in my head as I’m going. I didn’t start it saying to myself, “I have 20 miles to go.” I said instead, “I have 3 miles up.” Then, 3 miles back. Followed by 7 miles out and 7 miles back. Of course, I had mile markers in my head all the way. I would think if I can just make it to the next mile, I will only have (insert miles here) to go. I can be alone with my thoughts because that is basically what goes on in that time. I was alone with my thoughts for over 3.5 hours. Good thing I like talking to myself. Ha!

I did have a couple of obstacles to overcome. One was being hungry. Obviously, I did not bring enough food. I know better from now on.

Another was… the COWS! Omg, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not an animal person. Not that I hate them…just don’t really know how to relate to them. I’m scared of them, ok?! I realized while running that we had to open and close gates but I didn’t think too much of it. I don’t know why. I’m a smart girl I should’ve figured it out. I guess I just thought someone would’ve told me that there could be cattle on the trail. Another clue besides the gates should have been the huge cow patties I ran around. Again, smart girl…where was my thinking? I remember thinking that someone had to have a reallllly big dog or a horse. But then again, I knew better. I’m from the country I know this was not left by a horse, and especially not a dog. Maybe this was just my mind playing tricks on me because I didn’t want to quit when I got scared. Well, apparently I was running almost the entire trail through pastures. Upon reading when I got home, I found that much of the Creeper Trail is private land but we can use it as long as we stay on the trail (and don’t scare the livestock. Ha!) All of this is not a big deal in itself. So back to the running. I was at 18.5…so close that I could taste the finish of it. Then what to my eyes do appear but about 10 grazing cattle blocking my way …and the gate. I did not know what to do. I was all alone. Half of the crew was in front of me, the other half was behind. I looked behind me, hoping upon hopes that one of those fast people were approaching and would rescue me from these cows staring at me. Literally, staring at me. No one was there. What to do? They seemed harmless and I know they are supposed to be more scared of us, but these guys sure didn’t act like it. They were staring me down. One particular black one looked really mean…like he might stomp me down at any moment. I made myself just go. I had to. I felt like if I stood there any longer they would come at me. So, I took a deep breath walked very slowly between the cows all while saying, “I’m not gonna hurt you, I’m not gonna hurt you.” until I passed the one closest to the gate. Then I sprinted. I knew that if I could make it there I could climb over the gate if I couldn’t get it open.

All that for nothing. They did not move one step. Even after I had closed the gate back, but they were still staring at me. (As a side note, Brinson said he experienced the same thing when he came through a little behind me. I’m telling you the black one wasn’t very nice. He saw it, too.) Whew! Glad that was over. I guess 20 miles can make you a little delirious too. When I made it back I was so glad to see that little restaurant and Jamie cheering me on. 20 miles complete and it didn’t even hurt as badly as the stupid Bluegrass half marathon. The next day I was fine, surprisingly. I had expected lots of soreness but only experienced a little.

I’m glad that this went so well (other than the cattle incident). It makes me not dread the next one, next week. This will be the last one until the marathon in less than 4 weeks. Overall, I’m really glad I decided to do this after all the toying I did with the idea not to. Great friends and a strong mind can make anything doable, maybe even enjoyable 🙂