Half Marathon Heartbreak

Right now, I should be writing a happy, exhilarating post about how I kicked ass at my frist-ever half marathon. About how, even though I haven’t ran 13 miles yet, the energy of the crowd and volunteers and general atmosphere kicked up my adrenaline and I sailed through the finish line. About how happy, accomplished, and proud I am to have achieved this milestone – a first of what I hope to be many.

Instead, I’m icing my quite-swollen toe and writing about how the aforementioned scenario didn’t happen. Running a half meant a lot to me, because I’ve been deeply in love with running for a while. However, I had finally (finally) been serious enough to hash out a training plan, squeeze it into my schedule, and make it happen.

A few weeks out, I ran a decent-paced (for me) seven miler and even hit my fastest 10K! It was a gorgeous beach-front run, and I remember being a little surprised I hit seven so easily; I felt that I could definitely run more. I even went surfing the next day and was stoked to knock out a couple more long runs.photo 3photo 1

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A little less than a week before I came down with some kind of something and was totally congested and exhausted. I spent the days preceding the race sleeping, resting, & downing a magical elixir of hot water, lemon, honey, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and apple cider vinegar. I happily chugged down this toe-curling (no pun intended) concoction because I knew I would run my race regardless of how shitty I felt.

Fast-forward to the day before, and I’m feeling a mix of emotions; nervous, anxious, excited, terrified. It was a beautiful island day; perfect temperatures, a cool breeze, and glassy, clear waters. I went to my friend’s birthday bbq, expecting to eat some awesome food and relax before the big day. I ended up playing some beach soccer with the boys, and noticed near the end of the game that my toe felt a little weird. I sat out the next match and relaxed in a hammock slung up between the trees. The day was literally that perfect.

I noticed later on that my toe kind of hurt. No, really hurt. And it was freakishly swollen and possibly a little crooked. I tried not to panic, reasoning that I probably stubbed it in the sand and it would be fine tomorrow. My friend popped it back into place, and I tried to let it go.

photo 2At home, I could barely walk, but I refused to acknowledge the obvious. I woke up at 3 a.m. to head to town for the race and discovered my toe was purple, swollen and now had a pulse of its own. I tried to mimic a foot strike and pretty much collapsed in pain. All I could think was, Is this seriously happening??

It did happen. Now, I’m doing my best to think positive and hope that my toe can heal in time for the Honolulu Marathon, which is in about a  month. Sadly, I had planned on using the next few weeks as crunch time to get ready for to run  those 26.2 miles; now, I’m not sure if I’ll even be able to walk it.

It’s pretty heartbreaking, but what’s a girl to do?

There’s always next year & the next race. I can’t shake the feeling that this marathon might not have been meant to be. Even so, I’ll be doing everything I can to stay in shape & let my toe heal. Stay tuned!

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