Friday, October 21, 2011

The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself - the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us- that's where it's at. - Jesse Owens

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 93:

Frustrating day today, BlogLand. It was Run Day today, and I was actually looking forward to it. It's been several days since I've had a run, and I was anticipating getting out there to stretch my legs, and see what I could do.

So, I suit up (yeah, 50 degrees is not warm, I've come to conclude!) and head out. My foot felt okay in my sneakers, I assume it's on the up and up (it's been okay for a few days now), so I didn't think anymore about it, and off I went.
Everything started out fine.... first mile in 10 minutes, with no walks, no feeling like I need to walk, no calf cramps and a steady rhythm. Everything felt GOOD. Another half a mile goes by, and all is well... you know, just enough distance to get me to the apex of my run - the point at which I am the farthest from my house. Then, as I'm going along, I begin to notice my foot. Like, it didn't 'hurt' per se, but I notice it was not 100%. Hmmm.... I think to myself that I should probably ice it when I get home, but it didn't hurt, so it must be okay. Like 2 minutes later... OW. OW,ow, OW. OWWWWW, and I drop into a tentative walk, to assess the issue. My foot hurts. A lot. Like, putting my full weight to walk on it is not comfortable at all. As in, not comfortable to the extent that I was forced to make that pain-wince face, every time I stepped on it.

.... and I was 2 miles from home. EXCELLENT. I thought, well... I have to get home some how, so I'll try and go home the 'shorter' way - which made me instantly angry, that my body had betrayed me like this. EFF you foot, today was supposed to be run day, and I *wanted* to run. I did experiment a little bit, to find that actually a slow run, sort of gingerly, was more comfortable than trying to walk (less pressure on that particular part of my foot?). Thus, I had a totally exhilarating (can you sense the dripping sarcasm?) hobble-limp-jog the last stretch back to my house.

And then, (We're about honesty here, don't judge!) all hot and sweaty and angry, I sat on my front step (the cool air felt good) and   put my head in my hands and found myself tearing up with frustration (and a side of throbbing pain.). I KNOW shit happens. I do. Particularly training with this sort of frequency, no matter how careful you are, odds are that something is going to happen eventually. The truly frustring part is that 1) this didn't even happen training. It just started one day, walking around, after training. 2) There is absolutely nothing I can do to fix it, other than just straight out will it better with my mind 3) Why right NOW? I say that because not only is the 'good' outside running time on it's way out here in Vermont, but that next weekend - exactly a week from tomorrow - I am signed up for my very first 5K race.

Yep, I took a big leap of faith today (before I went for my run...) and registered for a 5K next weekend. My name is officially on the list, they will be expecting me. I never in a million years thought I would do something like that. But... here I am. Signed up for a 5K race. And, was (key word) feeling pretty confident that I could do it and manage a respectable time... at least not be last.

... and then I go for my run today (which is typically longer than a 5K) intending to test out my speed through 5K, and this foot thing goes down. It's not better, I suppose. But it needs to get better, as I'm running that 5K next weekend, either way, damnit.

So... came home tonight and alternated ice packs and hot packs on my foot (why is it SO HARD to put my foot ON ice, when I can sit in an ice bath, no problem???), and it seems to feel much better. The plan is to bust out the kinesiotape tomorrow and get that on there, get some more Ibuprofen in my system, and acquire some squishier sneakers. My guess it that the impact/pressure is what upset it? So as much as I ADORE my inov8's, it may be that I need some more traditional squishy sneakers for a few weeks (I need them for around anyway) to take the pressure off.

Oh, and you're wondering why I'm not just headed to the doctor (because that would be what a smart person would do at this point)? Well, with my new job, my health insurance isn't effective until November 1st. Yeah. 2 days AFTER my race. Although, if it's not better by Monday, I think I may just have to suck it up and go, and just suffer the bill that may come. Yikes.

Anyway, for the sake of discussion, here's today's Run Stats:
Time: 28:43
Distance: 2.43 mi
Average Pace: 11.49 min/mi.

All things considered, I guess it wasn't that bad from a statistical sense.... just bad from a physical sense.

Alright, let's end on a happy note, so I don't get myself all worked up about this foot thing, right now (hang on, my hot pack is ready.):
I went out last night with some of my favorite people, that I see infrequently. It was an amazing experience. I was given a barrage of compliments on how good I looked (yes, loosing 65# and gaining toned muscle will create that shock value), but better than that, I was told (by multiple people) that I was a huge inspiration to them to get their workouts back in gear. People that I am only sort of friends-of-friends with told me that they keep track of me and my WODs on FB, and it helps motivate them. Another girl asked ME (ME!!!) for advice on her current gym boredom issues, and what was keeping me motivated. AND, while many responded with disbelief in their own abilities to do rock throws, or the like, most of them expressed interest in working out with me sometime to check it out.

That amazes me. Who would of thought? However, it feels really great to know that even though I struggle, and it's hard, and I have a long ways to go, that my journey may help someone else, too.

The best compliment I got all evening, was from one of my oldest and dearest friends. He told me that he loves the new, confident Aja. When I asked what was "different", he told me that he felt that it seemed that now I knew how powerful I was and embraced that. He went on to say that I had an aura of strength and peace about me that I haven't had in a long time.

I suppose that having a pet rock, mastering the squat, and fraternizing with some of the most Rad-tacular people on the planet (I'm looking at you, Spartans!) will do that for you. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Sorry about your foot - it sucks for sure. I broke 4 metatarsals in May '10 and I still struggle with aches. Perserverence!