The LA Marathon is less than two weeks away!! Unfortunately, I had a small setback, thus, I had to take a week off from training. I strained my right foot due to overuse, and running on an imbalanced, rocky path. I’ve been training mostly on trails to give my knees a break. But, running on rocky paths means running on uneven grounds.
When training for a Marathon, every day counts! I thought about running through the pain, to avoid falling behind schedule, but I’d be risking NOT running the Marathon altogether. Perhaps, you’re wondering what happened…
It started February 20th, when I decided to try a new route. I drove to Echo Mountain in search of new scenery. When running in an unfamiliar area, I follow a route from a previous runner or track my run to avoid getting lost. After a couple of miles, it began to sprinkle. No biggie, I thought, this will be a nice change. My inner “Rocky” kicked in as I continued running uphill. As I gained elevation, the fog began to hug me, and soon after it began to pour. I kept refreshing my weather app and gained confidence at the sight of a cloud, perhaps, this was just a cloud passing by. I looked out to the city, as I paused to catch
my breath; I was literary above the clouds. The bliss was short-lived when I realized my running app crashed; the sun will be setting in less than an hour! I had no reception, and no sense of direction. The fog began to bewilder me and the mountains were now intimidating. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Echo Mountain espouses numerous trails and routes, all leading to different directions. I had to come up with a game plan, fast! I couldn’t turn around now; it would take me two hours to get back. Eight miles in, I now had 50 minutes to find my way back to my car. The map was supposed to loop me back to my starting point. After many failed attempts at restarting my tracking app, I continued to run, time is ticking!
I ran down a trail to go back up, I ran into a puddle of mud, then turned back around, etc. Not recognizing anything around me, I began to tear up slightly. A feeling of abandon swelled up in me, I hadn’t felt this emotion is years. I felt like a kid again. It was like getting lost at the grocery store, looking for your mom down every aisle, feeling so small and helpless. You know you should have paid more attention to where your mom was going, but you got distracted by the colorful cartoons on cereal boxes. That’s exactly how I felt, I was absorbed by the scenery around me, unlike being at a grocery store, there was no one around to ask for help and, I could die here! No one would hear me if I yell, or get swallowed by the fog. Perhaps, I should stop being dramatic and ask for help. I kept running.
The rain began to pour harder as I ran against the wind. This would make a great horror flick, I thought. My mascara ran down my face and starting burning my eyes. (Great, I forgot to take it off before running, of course). However, I was determined to find my way. After getting one bar on my phone, I turned to google maps, “in 300 feet make a left, in a quarter mile make a left, in 200 feet make a U-turn,” ugh, I was doomed.
I came across a trail that seemed to be descending, and I went for it. A few minutes later, my shoes were sinking in mud and bugs were flying into my mouth. I really began to cry now! “Why!” I cried. After much resistance, I decided to text my boyfriend. In case I die, you know, I should tell him one last time how much I love him. Just kidding, I texted, “I’m lost, SOS, not kidding,” follow by a picture of my view. I think he assumed I was crying wolf, or just being dramatic. I tend to over-dramatize situation but this was for real! He got in his car, and drove to save the damsel in distress.
Fortunately, I managed to find my car an hour later!! When I sat in my car and took off my wet, muddy clothes, I noticed a sharp pain on my right foot. I was so happy to get to my car that I ignored it. For the next couple of days, my foot was sore, but it wasn’t intolerable. I stayed off it for a few days, but I consider this to be nothing out of the norm.
The following Thursday, I ran 6 miles on the treadmill. As soon as I stopped running I knew something was wrong. An hour later, I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. I immediately knew it was overworked from my run at Echo Mountain, and the 6 miles on the treadmill was too much for my foot to handle.
After not running for over a week, and resting as much as possible, I ran 4 miles to ease back into it. Yesterday, I got back to my long run with 11 miles on a familiar running path. I am pain free and ready to continue my training. Listening to my body and healing, is more important than staying on schedule and ultimately causing a serious injury.
Training for a marathon can be exhausting physically, but also mentally. So many factors go into having a successful run. I will stay on the ground for the rest of my training and avoid putting myself in dangerous situations or unknown territory.
We all live such fast-paced lives and if you don’t stop to give your body a break, your body will do it for you. The injury allowed me to slow down, gather my thoughts, and rethink my marathon strategy. Training for a marathon has taught me so many things. I will write about that after the race! As of now, I am grateful that I didn’t seriously injure myself and will still be able to run the LA Marathon on March 19, 2017!
Have any of you experienced something similar? Let me know below.