While woman-ing the AMR booth at Wineglass this weekend, I got to talking with Alana, who a) you’ll hear on this week’s podcast and b) drove down from Rochester to unfold and refold t-shirts with me, which is why the AMR booth is the most glamorous booth to be in.
(An aside: the Expo was extra-super awesome thanks to all of the mother runners who came out to fondle merch and chat about running and babies and bladders. Sales were second-day heavy, which made it wonderfully chaotic, and all of my helpers — Lisa, Alana, Brenda, and Katrina — kicked butt. Thanks to all y’all!)
Alana, who will be running her first marathon in Toronto next weekend, confessed that she is currently hyper-paranoid about germs and injury. “Me, too!” I said, because I am turning into a champion worrier about the slightest sniffle or minor ache. The idea that all of these long runs that consumed my weekends could be wasted because I caught a stomach bug from one of my children keeps me up at night. I’ve invested so much time at this point that the very idea that I could be taken out by turing an ankle because I’ve tripped over an acorn makes me want to hurl, which then makes me wonder if I want to hurl because I’m getting sick … etc and so on.
Adding to the worry is the outside of my right foot. Somewhere towards the end of my 18-miler two weekends ago, there was one spot on my hoof that started to talk to me a little bit. Not scream. Not whine. Just a casual conversation in slightly elevated tones that caught my attention. It was the only sour aspect of the run itself, which was more or less long, then longer still, then endless, then done.
My foot was still muttering at me the next morning but, frankly, it was hard to hear over the screaming of my legs, especially when I had to shuffle Tin-Man-like to the bathroom. As the morning went on, though, my gams loosened up and felt OK. But the foot; the foot did not.
I gave it a second day of rest because it seemed like what a sensible grown-up would do. Then ran on it the next day, which hurt a little but wasn’t debilitating. Then my acupuncturist friend worked some magic on it and my incredibly tight calves. I believe she mentioned the phrase “plantar fascitis” but I couldn’t be certain because I’d jammed my fingers in my ears the moment she got the “pl-" out.
Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not the dread PF because of where on my foot it hurts. But that just could be denial speaking.
Regardless, I ran the Wineglass Half without any foot-related incidents. It did get a little whiney around mile 11, just like the rest of me. And it doesn’t feel great when my feet hit the floor after sitting for too long, just like my calves and my hips and pretty much the rest of me.
My hope is that it will go away. If it doesn’t do that, I would be OK with it getting worse, because then it would be worth seeing a doctor over. Right now, we’re in a gray area. I’ll just worry about it incessantly because that’s what I do now.
As for the half itself — it was a nice run. It turns out that the trick to no longer being daunted by 13.1 miles is to train for a marathon. Coach’s plan was to run the first five at an easy pace, the next five at a 12:00 pace, then the last three at 11:20. Which is more or less what I did, with the exception of when I tried to fire it up at the end. My body merely shrugged and gave a damp little fizzle because all of the Expo-ing left my legs a little worse for wear. Ah, well.
Also during the half, at about mile three, my brain decided it would be a great time to obsess about how long 26 miles it and how I was only at mile three of this race and that, in just a few weeks, I’ll still have 23 miles to go and wow what was I thinking and crap this was a bad plan and I am a complete knob for thinking a marathon was a great idea. You know. As one does.
Eventually, I pulled my mental socks up and got on with running. Not sure I have some great trick to pass on, other than waiting for my inner complainer to simply run out of gas. Which she did, once she noticed I wasn’t giving her as much attention as she wanted.
Since this whole post is turning out to be about my obsessions — well, the running related ones anyway — let me mention Alicia Keys.
I’m a fan of The Voice, mostly because of a thing I have for Adam Levine, even though I know in real life I would squash him.
This season has Alicia Keys, whose generosity and spirit and all-around grooviness comes through every time she speaks. When she tells a contestant that she sees them, I truly believe she does. Alicia Keys, it turns out, ran the NYC marathon last year, which makes her a total Badass Mother Runner.
While I’d love it if she could give me a big hug at the finish line and tell me that I’m amazing, it’s enough to know that she’s run the same course, too, and in about the same time as I will. And, of course, I’m now scouring her catalog for songs to add to my playlist. “Girl on Fire” is a gimme. What (and who, because it doesn’t need to be all Alicia all the time) else should I add?