It was the box of GUs that pushed me over the edge. It has been sitting so forlornly on the a kitchen shelf, next to the half-eaten bags of trail mix, dried cranberries, and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds. I occasionally had pushed past it to get a pack of watermelon GU Chomps for bike rides, but I can’t remember the last time I sucked down a packet of energy gel. Oh, wait, it must have been last spring on the morning of the Ogden half marathon, right before I hobbled around the VIP area, convinced I’d never again walk without a grimace on my face or a severe limp.
But here I am, 4+ months later, and I’ve decided it’s time to officially start training for Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas, a.ka. “Strip at Night” (psst: where Dimity and I will be speaking and selling). My right foot still has twinges of plantar fasciitis but it’s about 95% better; I’ve resumed getting acupuncture for it to kick it into the fully healed category. Jenny, my wonderful, intuitive acupuncturist, also has me drinking “tea” (actually hot water + molasses) doused with a heaping teaspoon of calcium-magnesium supplement, which supposedly will nourish my inflamed fascia. I’ve embraced it as part of my bedtime ritual along with a TiVo'd episode of “Modern Family” or “Glee.” (Sort of yin and yang, right?) Like so many of you coming back from an injury, I’m super-excited to re-commit to running—but I’m also nervous. I mean, what if my foot doesn’t cooperate, and suddenly I’m back at square one? Lately I’ve been thinking enviously of Dimity’s black “boot” and her 2010 stress fracture. At least a bone-related injury like that has a definitive, “yup, all healed. Go back to pounding the pavement” point.
But this is my lot, and I’m embracing the challenge of training, even if I can’t believe I ever ran double-digits. The other day, Sheila, my training partner from last year’s Portland Marathon, stopped by to borrow my Garmins. When I turned on my 110 to show Sheila how to operate it, I stared in disbelief at the stats from my last run—May 21, the Ogden half. Really, I ran 13.1 miles at an average pace of 8:57…and, at the time, I thought it was kind of slow for me? Oh, my, how times have changed.
I’m cutting it a bit close, only training for two months for RnR Vegas, but it’s all I’ve got. So I opened up the computer file of our Train Like a Mother manuscript and copied out the final eight weeks of one of our two half-marathon training plans. Yes, I'm late to the party, but I'm excited for it. First up: I ran 9.14 miles yesterday in a little under 90 minutes. Foot felt fine...and I refueled with a Roctane around Mile 4.5. It's a start at making at dent in that dusty box of gels.