The Run That Wasn’t Meant to Be

As I wrote yesterday, the Voltaren gel was a total flop. It provides me with zero relief from pain. It’s basically a waste of my $15 co-pay and several hours fighting with my insurance company. But I was willing to give it a shot for my long run on Saturday, so I opted for the gel instead of my usual ibuprofen and Biofreeze.

Here’s why 9 miles on Saturday was probably never in the cards for me:

  • Long run last Saturday went OK, but didn’t run again for a full week because of the next few bullets
  • Got my period Monday, cramps set in by Monday afternoon and I was miserable
  • Felt horrible on Tuesday when I woke up, so scrapped my plans to run before work
  • After work, drove to Longmeadow
    • Got a later start to this drive than I was planning because work was madness and continued to be nuts until Friday night
  • Still felt awful on Wednesday but took my dad to his medical procedure
  • Planned to run Thursday morning, but instead went to bed at 7pm on Wednesday night and could hardly drag myself out of bed at 7:30am on Thursday
  • Fatigue lasted the whole day
    • Might’ve been allergies, might’ve been the stress of worrying about my dad, might’ve been the insane work stress
  • Stayed at my dad’s again on Thursday night, sleeping 8pm-7am
  • Each day, drank massive amounts of caffeine and had very little protein
  • Each night, drank 2-3 gin cocktails to take the edge off my stress
    • I was never drunk but I’m sure this affected my sleep somewhat

On Friday night, we went out to dinner and I got chicken piccata over angel hair pasta – lots of protein & carbs to fuel the following morning’s run. I limited myself to one drink and went to bed early. Once again, I had trouble getting up the next morning. I knew I had to get going because I was going to my mom’s for the day/night, and didn’t want to get there too much later than noon. I had my coffee & English muffin with peanut butter, but realized that it was cold out (in the 50s but quickly dropping into the 40s) and about to pour. I had only packed for spring weather, so I asked my dad if I could borrow a long-sleeve tech shirt. He only had one and it was white and made for a man, not a woman with hips. So I put a tank top under my short-sleeve tech shirt, hoping the layers would keep me warm. I also wore a hat and my hydration belt, and headed out the door.

Screenshot_20180512-131509.pngAlmost immediately, I realized how insanely tight my calves were. That’s what happens when you’ve been a gluttonous sloth for the past 4 days! I had stretched once but that was it. I also had some pretty significant pain in my hamstring (behind my knee, as always). And much earlier than usual, my feet started burning and eventually went numb like they have on almost every run in the past few weeks.

Now I KNOW that I’m always tight for the first few miles, and always loosen up eventually. But this wasn’t just tightness. This was my body saying, “Nope. No way. Not doing this today. Please stop.” I got exactly 2.9 miles away from home and realized I could not go another step. I texted my dad to see if he could come get me, but he didn’t respond (he was napping – poor guy gets up at like 5am even on weekends, and the previous few days had been a lot on his system!). So I called an Uber which felt so silly to do in my tiny little hometown, 3 miles from home. It was going to be 10 minutes before the driver arrived for my $7 trip, but fortunately I was directly across the street from the best bagel place in the whole world (formerly Kimmel’s, for those of you old-timers like me), which recently relocated from the center of town. There was a long line but it moved quickly, and before I knew it, I was in the backseat of my Uber with chive cream cheese on a salt bagel. Yum!

I let the failed run totally sour my mood for a few hours, but I think some time in the car alone (in traffic, of course) on the way to my mom’s helped me reset. We had a great weekend together. We got manicures – her first ever – and I made us cocktails before we went to dinner with my grandma and one of their friends. I treated everyone as my Mother’s Day gift. Although I didn’t sleep well, I decided I would make up the final 6.1 miles of my long run on the elliptical when I got back to Boston on Sunday.

And I stuck to my promise. After feeling horribly tired yet again all day Sunday and spending 3 hours in the car, I got Chip settled and then went across the street to hop on the elliptical for an hour. I think my feet numbness on the elliptical is completely unrelated to my feet numbness on runs, because my feet have gone numb on the elliptical for my entire life. Anyway, Coach Jack taught us that if you have an injury that makes running unpleasant, you can still get almost all of your training done on the elliptical. The ARC trainer is much closer to running than any other machine, but my gym doesn’t have them, so I had to settle for an old school Precor elliptical. My hamstring still got a workout, but there was no impact, so I felt much stronger than I have during my runs.

I also called Marathon Sports to inquire about the new model of the Hoka One One Arahi running shoes I had tried on and loved last fall, but opted for the Mizuno Wave Sky instead. I’ve been wearing those since November and have had nothing but problems, so it’s time to change my shoes. They said people love the Arahi 2 shoes, but didn’t have any 7s in stock. They ordered them for me and they should be here sometime early this week. I can’t wait to try them out, especially knowing I can return them even after running outside if they aren’t a good shoe for me. I’ll be honest – I hate all the color choices. It’s part of the reason I went with the Wave Sky last fall. But I am going to make the responsible decision to opt for the shoes that feel best on my feet, not look best with my running clothes (even though I truly hate the color purple SO much).

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