It was hard not being able to run. Last summer I was running 100 miles per month (or at least I did for 3 months until my achilles completely collapsed). I tried everything - except resting. I refused to stop running. And so the inevitable collapse came - and it wasn't pretty. It came at a moment when I most needed to run. See, I was training for my first ultra - the Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town. Traditionally this 56K road race is run on Easter Sunday. And last summer I was in a good place with my training. When the achilles gave in, I could not think outside the box and keep up my fitness. Instead, I felt really down, and stopped doing anything. I still tried to run on and off, and I guess I ended up making matters worse. I don't know how I ran those other races listed above, but it was in tremendous agony.
Well, I finally got cleared to run 3 week ago. Not fast and for long the podiatrist said. I have an overuse injury and we are trying to avoid surgery. Anyway, at the end of my second week back, I went for a long run - See Jane Run half marathon. I've always wanted to do that one, but have never been organized enough to.
It's a small race, over in Alameda. It started promptly at 8am on an overcast Sunday morning. Thank goodness! I ran steadily, but rather slowly. It was actually quite tough going, and the last 2 miles were really sheer guts, as I had long run out of gas. My foot held up well, but around mile 10 started feeling a bit iffy. Then started the slow descent - well it accumulated speed rather rapidly, and by mile 12, I had taken off my shoes and was running in my socked feet. I should have done that ages ago! It felt so much better. I think I need to look into this barefoot running thing again. My foot can't get any worse than it already is, right?
Anyway, I finished, I didn't have a time in mind, as this was a long run for me, and since the longest distance I have run in a very long time averages around 3 miles, I was fine. Of course the time wasn't brilliant, and I know it will start improving. Might take a bit of time, but running is about being in the moment, in the here and now - and I was present and accounted for that Sunday.