On Monday, it happened. That “it” being a terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon. As it was said in many ways on Twitter, as a runner I felt violated, like someone had attacked someone in my family. As a person I was horrified.
An event that is supposed to celebrate unity and perseverance, how on earth could it draw the hate. Any hate. Why did these guys do it? Did someone know someone there?
Many runners were there also not because they qualified (for those of you who are not runners, the Boston Marathon is the only one in the world that requires qualifying times) but because they partnered with a charity to help raise funds for the cause of their choice. The sick irony is that the explosions went off around the time (4h9min elapsed since the gun went off per the clock in many pictures) that many charity runners would have crossed or begun crossing.
My dad was freaked out, thinking “what if that had been us”? He’s right. Not that I would have qualified for Boston anytime soon, but that’s not the point. With what the world is coming to, this could have happened anywhere. I run a LOT of big city marathons, of course, I live in a big city, but I have competed in MCM and in a week’s time, NWM13 also in DC.
Granted, DC has its own way of dealing with things (it took me 40 minutes to clear security for MCM if that tells you anything) but any crazy could hit any of the big city marathons. Who do people have to look for nowadays?
I just remember the texts I was getting. “OMG are you at Boston, aren’t you running?” “OMG are you okay?”
I checked Twitter, and there was my answer. “Two explosions….”
BREAKING: Two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon result in injuries -BW
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 15, 2013
The week to follow was hellish indeed, and a busy news week. The day after was ricin letters and then the plant explosions in West, Texas.
MORE: Senate sergeant-at-arms says a private lab confirms ricin was in a letter sent to Sen. Roger Wicker: apne.ws/1023e2m -MM
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 18, 2013
RAW VIDEO: Crews in West, Texas, search for survivors and victims of an explosion at a fertilizer plant: apne.ws/101Ioju -MM
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 18, 2013
Thursday into Friday, one of the two perpetrators had been eliminated and the chase for the younger brother of the two was on. Friday night the ordeal was over.
As a runner, it is a troubling thought. Yet the unity received in the community was unbelievable. I wanted very badly to parttake in a number of runs dedicated to Boston this week, but as I am nursing a very delicate ankle injury as I aim to complete NWM, I decided not to rush it.
Today was my first run since 6 April. A 7-miler taper…and a fitness test. Ran it slow at a 10-minute pace. Re-compressed my ankle as soon as I could and iced it again. No issues, except for tight calves, not unexpected as it had been awhile since I’ve run.
I’m suspecting plantar fasciitis (PF) given the symptoms I’ve had. A few pulls of the arches beneath and without realising what I had even done, I did more weight training, and then the monster bit me. Two weeks prior I had been using near-worn out shoes, when I felt the first pull, they were gone for a pair that only had 200-odd miles on it. I had another new pair of Ravennas that I rotated in.
Since then, I have had 1 week of complete rest, 1 week of crosstraining. No pain anywhere in my old or new Ravennas (the retired shoes were Saucony Guide 5s.) Today’s 7 miler in my new Ravennas, no issues during the run, calves notwithstanding.
At home, I’ve been using a brace and a night splint, and committing to basic ankle exercises. In the final week, I’m aiming at 3-4 training sessions. 2 runs of 3-4 miles a piece and 1-2 crosstraining sessions. If I can keep my body good this week, then I’ll be in good shape for NWM. Don’t think I will achieve anything near my best time coming off injury, but I will take whatever I can get if I know I will be fit to complete it.
Afterwards, it’s back to rest and maintenance workouts if anything as I have two doctor’s appointments lined up. Going to get an official diagnosis and scan ASAP and a strategy plan for getting back where I need to be. No, I don’t think anything is broken, but seeing what Derek Jeter recently pulled, well, there’s always some sort of paranoia on my end. (At the very least, some precautionary measure as well.)
With 4 months and 2 weeks until the next race, and at least a 2 month offseason, I have plenty of time to recuperate.
The good news is I’m seeing no swelling and no sharp pains that would indicate fractures. My shins have never been acting up, so that’s a good sign. The stress on my ankle though post-run, is from the flat feet standing still so as long as I am wearing orthotics (which I do nearly all the time, even for casual footwear), I am essentially set for the next week.
Even though I can do crosstraining, the biggest weakness is being unable to stand barefoot for long periods of time. (The key word…is long.) Right now, I’m surviving on my Birkenstocks.
The final thing I will do to help myself next week will be purchasing KT tape and using three pieces per leg to strap my arches higher which should help support overall on the long run. I know how my body will hold up for 7 miles, but you never know.
Today’s run was a huge confidence booster, no doubt. Hoping my body will hold up for just one more week and then I can enjoy race weekend and really commit next week’s race to everyone who’s suffered in Boston, and a tribute to all the heroes in between.
I will be posting more on Nike Women’s Half in DC in the coming week!