Christina is a guest writer for The Running World According to Dean. This is the fifth in a series of articles on her experiences with surgery and recovery. (Here’s 4, here’s #3, here’s #2, here’s #1) I hope her insights and candidness will ring true for many of you as well as keep your hopes high for any recoveries or comebacks you may be enduring. We’ll be with her every step through her journey to recovery.
Moving into week five my funk remains with me. Or should I say I allow it to. Let me explain. I was driving home from my parents reflecting on how tired I am, my foot still bothers me, my back now hurts and I’m just all over achy. I rationalize that it’s the end of the day and I often have a harder time in the evenings. I even wrote in a previous blog, that I had learned to dread the evenings. I then have a very clear thought, I didn’t learn it, I chose to dread the evenings. First of all I can choose the thoughts I think and if I’m going to chose to dread the evenings I will find things to support that theory. Second, the word dread means that I’m thinking about the future. I’m worrying about something that hasn’t happened and already putting meaning and putting an experience to it. Not only am I putting an experience to something that hasn’t happened, but I’m also reacting to it. With that understanding, I knew that I could try and shift my thoughts.
My new found optimism lasted maybe 12 hours. There was a get together at Coach Dean’s house and I debated if I should attend. Knowing myself and my recent struggles with not running, I didn’t think it would be helpful. I proved myself right but hadn’t I already set that expectation before showing up on the doorstep? In the beginning it was ok, maybe because I stashed myself away from conversations. After a couple of hours I was extremely ready to leave. I couldn’t handle anymore questions of how my running was going. And after my reply that I wasn’t running, I got the question when could I run. That’s the problem, I don’t know. I’d like to guess in two weeks but I have no clue.
On the day after Dean’s get together, I realized that the pressure for me to qualify for Boston is gone. I can now go run the marathon without the worry of qualifying. This also means that my long runs can be just that…long runs. I can quit beating myself up if the pace isn’t “fast enough” or if I don’t do the exact number of miles at goal pace. I will reset my goals but it will be realistic now, based on my conditioning and training.
Although it still hurts to put pressure on the heel, I’ve ditched the crutches (yes, yet again!) and opted for a hole cut in the insert of the shoe. A trip to the doctor on Friday doesn’t reveal a lot besides the fact that he acknowledges I’m a slow healer and doesn’t know why it is taking so long. DUH! Did he forget that he cut a big hole in my foot? And probably just to shut me up, he did tell me he isn’t opposed to me trying to run on it. So, there you have it, I now have doctor’s clearance to run but there is a small problem, it still hurts to walk on it. Hmmmm, where’s my pain killers and Ibuprofen?