So, the first three weeks of training for my marathon are officially over. Wow, that was fast. And they were NOT uneventful! The first week of official training, I set out on a twelve mile run with my husband on Christmas Day in Charleston, SC after not feeling too great all day long, but I need I had to get out there and run. Two miles in I was not focused on what I was doing, my foot landed wrong on the lip of a paved trail, twisted my ankle and fell flat on the ground. I skinned my hands and knee, but that was the least of it. My ankle was in such sharp pain, I was almost afraid it was broken! With tears in my eyes I rubbed it and tried to walk on it a bit until I got some feeling back into it. Then my husband said he would go get the car and I said, no let's do this. I pushed out 6 more miles. My ankle continued to bother me (and still does a little) so I took it easy the first week of training.
Second week of training, the ankle was still bothering me and I was developing some severe numbness in my footbed and toes. This was something I had dealt with on and off for a few months, but nothing too severe. I always just thought it was my socks bunching and causing the numbness. Now, it was almost unbearable at times and was now in both feet. I did some research and it looked like it might be Morton's Neuroma. I did a few short runs, skipped my midweek long run and just did the long run of 15 miles. My long run of 15 miles was set to be a DC Roadrunner's race, the Al Lewis 10 miler and then run the five miles back to our house, but I got the start line and almost didn't run it at all. My ankle was still giving me soreness and I was unsure of what my numb feet would do. With minutes to go to the start, I said heck let's do this thing. I'm glad I did, but the last two miles were a true test of my will (and it shows in my splits!)...I thought my feet might fall off! Luckily, as long as I am not running (I can be standing or walking) the numbness goes away. So post race, my husband and I hung out for a few minutes, had some gatorade, ate a banana and with the numbness gone, headed home. I liked having that race as part of my training because it definitely made me amp up my speed a notch. I have a tough time in training to pick up my speed, but in a distance race have no problem keeping conversational speed at an 8:30 pace, but in training that would be a no go. It's funny how that works! After that race, and how my feet felt, I decided I really need to go see a podiatrist and figure out this foot thing once and for all. So I finished out the week not entirely sure I was going to be able to pull this whole full marathon training thing off....not with the spat of "bad luck", I seemed to be going through!
Montgomery County Road Runners since he actually runs for them himself and has run Boston. He checked out my feet and he also thinks that it looks like Morton's Neuroma. He tapped parts of my ankle and I told him it was sore and he said it was consistent with a sprain...so there you go, I had officially sprained my ankle my first days of training. Way to go, me. He ordered an ultrasound of my feet which I was able to schedule at the earliest for Feb. 1st...sad. The ultrasound is going to check the thickness of my nerves for scar tissue. He did place an insert into my running shoes to lift my mid-foot and take pressure off the nerve. I was hopeful and ready to test them out on my next run. Saturday was my long run of 16 miles! I have to admit, I was dreading this a bit on Friday all day. At this point in my training, it's not about the endurance. I know my body can do it...it's mental. It's the mental component of making myself run that far and not being bored and not wanting to stop. With the inserts in my shoes, I am happy to report that I felt no numbness! This is amazing! And I got through the 16 miles, no problem! Actually, I finished and totally felt I had more miles in me = awesome. I mentally broke it up into 4 four mile runs. After each four miles, I told myself I could have a water break and two of my cliff bar shot blocks. This worked out perfectly since they come in a package of six. This worked really well for me. Once I got home and settled in, my only problem I realized was that were the insert went in my insole to raise my foot, caused me to blister....right in the middle of my foot. So weird. I did a short yoga sequence on my own to stretch out after my shower and then spent the rest of the day enjoying my family.
Today is Sunday as I write this and I did yoga at my gym (that I even convinced my hubby to come to with me for his first time..he did great by the way!) and I am happy to report no soreness from my 16 miler at all. Bring on Week 4!