The Journey to Nashville
Helloooo, from Nashville!
But wait, Sam…you live in New York City….what the heck are you doing in Nashville?!
Obviously, it’s been a while since I’ve updated. I know. I’m not even going to bother giving excuses anymore. Let’s just say I’ve been living life outside, rather than behind a computer screen. After all, if I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have any good stories to tell. And we don’t want things to get boring around here, do we? (BECAUSE IT’S NOT BORING ALREADY!)
Anyway, I’m in Nashville for the weekend to get my race on. Way back when (nearly a year ago…holy crap), I signed up for the Country Music Marathon on April 28, 2012. You read that right – the Country Music MARATHON. As in 26.2 miles, not 13.1. I was super excited as I bought my ticket and watched the money in my bank account disappear. Nothing was more exciting to me than the thought of spending 4+ hours (because you know I’m not going sub-4 on my first mary) pounding the pavement in the hot Nashville sun with my dad and Dustin on the sidelines.
Of course, I didn’t really think things through. Nashville has hills? Psshh. It might be 80 or 90 degrees on race day? Whatevs. I just wanted to ruuuuuun!
Clearly, I’m a bit naïve.
So after a few more races, including a half-marathon, and a wee bit of hip pain, I was ready to start training. Six to seven months of long runs, building up 20 miles until the welcoming relief of taper town (no, I don’t go crazy during taper. I’m totally one of those runners who loves it). I hired coach Abby to guide me through, which ended up being the best decision I made through this entire journey. She coached me well; every run now had a purpose and strength training was reintroduced into my life. We were focusing on getting me strong so that my body would be ready for all the sweat-filled pounding that was about to go down.
But then my knee started to hurt.
Oh yes, we can’t forget that now, can we? The awful long runs, the tears and the total breakdown in the middle of Central Park. If you’ve forgotten, let me remind you. I sure as hell will remember it for a long time. Tendinitis is fun!
After a lot of careful contemplation and discussion with coach Abby (read: me sitting in Starbucks across from Abby bawling my eyes out while she tries to calm the crazy person down so people will stop staring), we decided it was best if I drop down to the half-marathon. If you want to know all of the reasons why, check out this post and try to understand my brain a little. It’s complicated, I know.
Just because I was moving to 13.1 doesn’t mean I couldn’t go after another goal of mine, though: sub-2. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and truly believe I’m capable of it. First step: physical therapy. So I packed up my bags (OK, I’m exaggerating) and paid a visit to Ken at Recovery Physical Therapy.
I can’t say this enough: Ken is a great physical therapist. He doesn’t run himself, but he gets me as a runner. He doesn’t make me do things I don’t want to do, like give up running, and he worked with Abby to stick as close to my new training plan as possible while still building the strength back up in my knee. But more details on that in another post.
I spent my mornings therapy-ing and my evenings running (not on the same days), with some strength and cross-training in the mix. Oh, and a lot of icing, foam rolling, compressing and stretching. A few weeks later though, a dull pain popped up in my foot. Nothing too crazy at first, but noticeable enough. I told Ken and we started modifying exercises and ultrasound-ing the crap out of my foot tendons.
But it didn’t get better. It got worse. Figures.
A few days and a diagnosis of tendinosis due to overuse later (that’s early stages of tendinitis, in case you were wondering) and my mileage was reduced to help heal. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), the tendinosis developed right around the time taper period hit. I choose to view it as a blessing because I could drop down on the miles I was logging without seriously compromising my training. More icing, ultrasound and electric stimulation began and soon enough it was time to cruise until race day.
Phew, I think you’re caught up now. I’ll be back tonight or tomorrow with my goals for race day and how I actually feel about these hills now that I’m staring at them up close and personal.
Now you tell me: Have you been dealing with an injury? Tell me your secrets to recovery! And are you racing this weekend? We have a good number of awesome NYC bloggers tackling the country music half on Saturday, so no matter what, it’s going to be a great time!