How does one deal with the aftermath of working toward a goal for so long, sacrificing so much along the way, accomplishing that goal, and then suddenly having all that time and freedom returned to you?
Eat ice cream. Lots of it.
Chocoholic. Mint chocolate chip. Raspberry sorbet. Teramisu. Mocha Lover’s Dream. Chocoholic.
After spending six months in training (part for the half marathon, then the rest for the full marathon), I was growing tired of being so strict with myself. I tend to be a rule follower, so if a training schedule tells me to eat a handful of sand every day during training, I make sure that I eat that handful of sand every day out of fear that eating only half a handful, or God forbid-NO sand at all, might completely sabotage my running ability and I will never be able to run again. So, after following every rule and suggestion during my training, I was ready to be done. And I was pretty sure I would never want to see pasta within 20 feet of me as long as I lived.
I spent the first several weeks enjoying NOT thinking about miles, times, or carbs. I practically skipped my way back to the gym to rejoin my favorite Body Pump class, and found my upper body was just as weak as ever. “C’MON LADIES!!! BIKINI SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!!!!!!” This quickly replaced the running mantras that had been ingrained into my psyche for so long. Apparently now my biggest concern is getting those glutes and abs in shape for a swimsuit. Or perhaps my bigger concern should be my ARMS. As I was pointing something out on the board to my students the other day, I was interrupted with, “EEEEW!!! Gross Miss!! Your arms be jigglin’!!!” And as the whole class chimed in with their disgust at my jiggling arms, another one pointed out, “Miss, you must be gettin’ old cuz only old people arms jiggle like dat!!” Yes, they had extra homework that night.
And I recently tried my first spinning class, something that I feared almost as much as running a marathon. And for good reason. I hadn’t sweat that much since I started training in August in 105 degrees. I felt like I was in a Gatorade commercial. You know…the one in black and white and everyone is soaked in sweat and at the brink of dying from working out, but then they reach for that brightly colored, glowing bottle of Gatorade to drink in sweet satisfaction as the sweat pours down. That was me. Minus the Gatorade. And I couldn’t help but enjoy the antics of the trainer who kept yelling “INCREASE!!!!! INCREASE!!!!!!!” with such ferocity to signal it was time to tighten up the resistance on our bikes that you frantically fumbled about with the control even just to fake that you were INCREASING out of fear that she would jump off her bike and come after you. And who wouldn’t be motivated to kick it into gear hearing the trainer shout above the pounding music, whirring bikes and grunting bikers, “C’MON LONG LEGS- LET’S GO!!!” Fear has its place.
However, it didn’t take long for me to start to crave a run again. I only got to squeeze in about 3 before I woke up one Saturday morning with a little achiness behind my left ankle. It was so minor that I didn’t give it much of a thought. The next day the soreness had spread around the whole outside of my ankle as well as a little of the inner ankle. I thought this was odd, but it still didn’t inhibit anything so I brushed it off. Then Monday arrived. By the end of the day on Monday, my ankle had blown up so big it looked like I had a raging case of elephantitis. No accident. No tripping and falling. No idea how this happened.
I attempted to capture it on camera, but for some reason my feet came out looking like they belonged on ET’s sister. So don’t be grossed out. You may want to wait and eat until later. I am not claiming to have cute feet, but I swear the camera brought out every ugly thing imaginable to make me look like swampfoot. With elephantitis.
Did you survive???
I finally went to urgent care to get it checked out when, after 2 weeks, I still could not flex my foot and it was still swelling up throughout the day, though on a more humane level. The doctor determined it was a soft tissue ankle sprain that could have been developing over time, or it could be an Achilles tendon problem that may require an MRI. I’m hoping for the sprain.
Anyway, my Austin run is in a little over a week. I’ve run 3 times since the middle of February, and probably won’t be running again in the next two weeks while this ankle heals. I am pretty bummed. This race in Austin is the official one that I have been raising funds for Without Regrets Foundation. Hopefully my ankle will be strong enough to at least walk the 10 miles with a few of the other fundraisers. Either way, I want to be there but I am so disappointed to not be running!!
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted. Have a blessed Easter! I’m off to find some ice cream…
Careful with those ankles.