My Running in September took a HUGE hit! And right in Marathon Training too. My total mileage for September was 4 miles. That’s right FOUR miles, just the same number of letters as the letter “four” which is one more than 3 and one less than 5. Why? Why you ask on how, in weeks 5-8 of marathon training that I would be held back to only 4 miles. Two main reasons: Self-Deprecating Attitude and Injury.
I’ll address the Self-Deprecating Attitude (SDA). Coming off of the Flying Pig Marathon in May, I thought that I would be more excited on continue some maintenance runs during the summer, so that come August 1st, I’d be ready to go for the Niagara Falls International Marathon. Well, a couple things happened, that while none by themselves were bad things, combined, they really threw me off. I hate to imagine what would of happened, if I wasn’t on my meds and that’s more for those around me.
One factor was that our Our Reliable and Resourceful Au Pair moved out of the house to live with her fiance. The effect that this had was the disappearance of Terry Day: A Near 4 Hour Excursion Time for Me to Do What I Need to Do at My Own Pace, which pretty much killed my Weekday Mid-Distance runs. I could have done them after the kids were in bed, but after working all-day, then coming home and doing the whole kid thing, it wouldn’t be until 7:30 or when I would get the first chance to relax and so often I would be too tired to want to run, knowing that I only had a little time to work on some of the stuff at the house. Since I was tired at night, I would try to catch up with things in the morning, thus making me late for work, so instead of working out at lunchtime, I would make up the time at lunchtime, since I couldn’t make it any other time, or be forced to take personal time for it.
Another factor was finances. During the summer we decided/ forced to move to a stricter budget. While we could still pay our bills, every month were still coming up short for stuff like Groceries and Gas (which would be put on a credit card). So we started making some difficult cuts to our lifestyle and one of them was to forego the Niagara Falls Marathon. Since we were going to going to California for Thanksgiving for a Family Wedding, the tickets for that alone for 4 were over $1200, not to mention the drive to Nashville and parking. That’s a rather sizable chunk, especially we knew we would have to pay for hotel in Cali for our stay… also having to pay for Food and a Rental Car and Wedding Incidentals. I was pretty darn bummed that I wouldn’t be able to do the Niagara Falls Marathon since you ran in two different countries! The Free Entry Fee ($60) was insignificant to the cost of the hotel, travel, etc. However, the ever fun Flying Monkey Marathon fit very nicely with our California Trip. We could drive to Nashville the weekend prior to the trip, I could run the marathon on Sunday and we would already be there for the flight out. We’d also be able to use our Priority Club Points (Holiday Inn Family) to stay in Nashville for Free. So the only increased cost of the race would be the entry fee and the residual cost of training.
The “residual cost” of training was offset on the morning of September 18th, when I was getting some eggs for the refrigerator in the Garage. While trying to get to the fridge, I stepped on an electrical cord with my left foot, which I knew from the pain (and I have a high pain tolerance) that it was cut. But Fridays are French Toast Days for Breakfast and it’s wildly popular in the household. If there is not French Toast in the morning, there is alot of crying and begging and upset people in our household. When I came back in, the heel of my foot was tender, but when I did the “Take A Regular Step too See How Much Blood Is There” severity test, there was hardly any blood at all. I thought that I was home free. HAH! Good one there.
The injury that I sustained was an approximately 2 inch incision on my left heel which was near where my foot stride initially lands. This means that all my weight would land it first, ouchie. Another characteristic about the cut was it such an angle that it only cut into a couple of layers of skins. Having thicker skin on my feet, along with the angle, the cut didn’t penetrate very far, which is why there wasn’t much blood visible with the initial testing. Also the angle was good that it didn’t penetrate too far to mess with any of the muscles or ligaments in the foot, else I would be really screwed and not in Fun and Exciting way. I went around the weekend as usual but my foot was hurting. After 2 days, I inspected the injury, and there were 2 pieces of skin that were flapping around which was the source the sharp pain. So, I broke out my Time-Life Book Series on Home Surgeries and with a pair of toe nail cutters (don’t worry, they were sanitized) I took off those flaps of dead skin. The sharpness went away, but not the pain.
Now that it was in the week, I went though a regiment of bandaging up the wound with antibiotic and kept as clean as I can keep the bottom of my feet. The gash was starting to heal and there was about an 1/8″ wide opening that still needed to close up. I was asked if I had needed stitches, but that wouldn’t have worked that well because the gash was too wide, and it didn’t go very deep either, it’s just that the heel has tough skin and doesn’t grow back very quickly, especially when you walk on it. Things were going well… until I showered.
Although I wasn’t stinky anymore, the shower had softened up the area and the tenderness was back! It had been about a week or so since the injury and now I was back at Square 5: I was beginning to be able to put full weight on it. Now, I couldn’t and that pretty much shot running the weekend of the 26th. With another round of bandages and antibiotics, it was around Sept 30th, that I could finally put my full weight on my foot and walk normally. It had healed up enough that only pressing on my heel with significant force, that I could feel the injury. So, on October 2nd, I ran for the first time since September 12th, when I ran with Brian Wilson, my friend, not the Beach Boy or Canadian President.
The cool thing about making my entrance back into running was that this was the first time that The Younger was coming to run on his bike. Since he mastered riding his bike without training wheels this past June, I have been itching to take just him running. I wasn’t sure if he’d last the 2 miles, but he did just fine. I was running with Brian again, his class was finished and he was leaving that morning. I stayed home from work to spend a little time with him and his wife Dori before they left. The Younger only crashed once, but that was because he got to close to me and hit my leg, causing him to crash… ego hurt more than anything. So, I’ll be able to take him on other excursion with him and just his bike in the future. Later that day, he was a little tired and was constantly hungry!
So with those 2 things doing a double-whammy on my running, I ended up with 4 miles of running September and so far this month, I have 2 miles in October. This weekend is the World Wide Festival of Races, and I have ALL intentions to complete the Half-Marathon distance! I have 6 weeks until race day, and so, I need to play my cards carefully, so that when it comes to the marathon, I won’t be too destroyed. The Flying Monkey Marathon isn’t known to be runner friendly with the hills. But Me Likey Hills!