The past two months have been wonderful. I finally started trusting myself and what I'm capable of, and I really started embracing my strength. I stopped panicking (for the most part) before my scarier runs. I started to believe in myself. And I embraced pain like a Real Housewife embraces a new housewife, I tolerated it but I sure as hell didn't like it. But I dealt. And the best part is that I've gotten really strong.
So I took off to run a friend of mine this past weekend and we had a strong as hell long run. I surprised myself because the entire way, I doubted that I could run that fast. And when we finished, I felt like I could do the entire thing again. It was a best case scenario for my mental game going into my last week of training before tapering for the London Marathon.
Then came Monday and a 60 minute easy recovery run. I took off, made it up the block, and realized something was wrong. My piriformis muscle, which always gives me a hard time when I train as hard as I am, was acting up. (This is why Finish Line Physical Therapy said we should be doing these 9 exercises every day.) I tried to make it a mile to see if the stiffness and pain would dissipate once I warmed up and stretched. But it didn't. I was in a lot of pain and I made the really hard decision to call a car, go home, and rest.
It sucks when things don't go according to plan. It sucks when you spend months working towards a goal, get really close, and then have to bench yourself because you get sick or injured.
Now, this is a best case scenario. Nothing is broken. I could have push through the pain if I wanted but I've been through this enough to know when to sit back and help myself to a serving of humble pie. So with the guidance and support of my Coach Josh, I've been hitting FlyWheel, stretching my ass off (literally), foam rolling like it's going out of style, soaking in epsom salt baths, and resting.
And yesterday, even though I know everything is going to be OK, I realized I was having a hard time trusting the process. So I called Sports Psychology wizard Dr. Bob for some insight. (Have you subscribed to the Run, Selfie, Repeat podcast on iTunes or Google Play? Check it out for short pep talks about life with a side of running.)
Look, shit happens and yes, it really sucks when it does. But it's like Dr. Bob said, give yourself permission to freak out because you can't predict the future. It's impossible to know how your set back, speed bump, or detour will impact your goal. But as long as you do everything you can, you'll be ok. I would much rather be out there crushing my tempo runs and mileage this week instead of laying on a foam roller. But yoga, foam rolling, voodoo banding, eating REALLY healthy, and resting is everything I can do to get myself ready to race my face off. So that's what I'm doing.
Trust your strength and know that these set backs, speed bumps, and detours happen to all of us. Always expect the unexpected. Yes, they suck, but it's all about how you handle them.
So chin up. There are healthy miles are ahead.
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.