Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Patience Rewarded

While soberly getting ready for bed Saturday night, I jammed my pinky toe into the doorframe of the bathroom. It hurt tremendously. I iced it right away as a precaution before I turned the covers for the night. At 4am, I iced it again when it was throbbing. As Veronica Mars would say: ruh-roh.

The next morning arrived and I had plans to ride and run the Columbia course with my friend to prepare for next weekend's race. Having to walk with a limp proved to be a legitimate obstacle to doing this workout. Maybe I could just ride? I tested it on the trainer for 5 seconds and continuing did not seem smart. See, the prior weekend I got sick and missed that chance to ride the course. This is unrelated to the toe, but I was disappointed with the prospect of not getting to Columbia, yet again. I had difficulty coming to grips with this, despite all signs pointing to DON'T DO IT. I took the doubting to another level and pondered if I would be able to race next weekend.

I called my father who loves hearing from me when issues arise. He encouraged me to stop beating myself up about what happened and just take care of it. "Let it go," he said, and reminded me of the self destruction that ensues when I fail to do this. His warning sunk in: Don't let this destroy you. I FINALLY TOOK THE ADVICE. I let it go.

After I got off the phone I made a new plan for the day. I wished my pinky toe GOOD LUCK deteriorating while being iced, elevated and bound to its neighbor. I followed through on my afternoon pool plans with the DC Rainmakers and swam gently. The activity loosened up the toe (good sign) and by the end of the day, I could walk normally. I managed the toe crisis!

My coach wasn't reachable during this time, and in the message she left me the next day, she said she hoped that my toe was doing better. I smiled at the absurdity of it because this is smaller than peanuts in the grand scheme of life. It's a TOE. Although, it is awesome to have the support.

So... big hooray for stopping the bad thoughts from consuming me. I took control of the things I could control, gave it the necessary rest to heal and kept things in perspective. It only took three days for me to be back on my feet running (a modest pace).

Not all is lost as I have ridden the Columbia course earlier this spring with my GRC teammate, Michelle. Here we are after a lovely brick workout.

To slog readers, including men, who were kind enough to point out the ill-fitting running shorts I raced in this year--I'm acquiring pairs that fit. Thanks.

See you at Columbia... and Lauren's racing Ironman Texas. GO LAUREN!!!


  1. I feel your pain . . . and neurosis. During a track workout two weeks ago, I went too hard and tweaked my achilles. This minor injury comsumed me mentally for about three days, and I didn't let it go . . . continuing to run and make it worse. Finally, I spoke to my "kitchen cabinet" and they told me to relax and give it a chance to heal. After a week of not running, I am going to test it by running a steady-state six-miler today. (Fingers crossed.) I hope that you race well in Columbia.

    --Richard (random age grouper that follows your blog)

  2. thanks, Richard.

    I can't help myself... your test run is SIX miles?

  3. Well, the test run would have been six if there wasn't any pain (i.e., I wasn't going to go further), but there was pain so I stopped at .8 miles and made a doctor's appointment. As long as there's no pain with other activities, I'm going to replace my running sessions with additional cycling and swimming sessions (unless the stupid doctor who can't see me until May 31 says otherwise).

    Now I have to do the right thing and hope that I'll be okay for the RI 70.3 in early July. I don't have much experience not running before an event, so I'm not quite sure how to approach it.