Peachtree Road Race: the Plan

Alternate titles considered:
I Hate my Flipping Right Foot
The Best Race Walk that Ever Could Be

Between travel, weddings, hematologist-mandated rest days, and a right foot that rebels with little provocation, I knew my training for the Peachtree wasn’t where it should be. Even before the iron and foot issues, it was stupid of me to think that I’d be able to get in my long runs while on wedding weekends. Lessons learned. However, I think that without the foot/iron issues, I would have been able to rearrange everything to make it work.

Last Saturday morning, Sudie and I decided to practice the Peachtree course for our last long run of training. She has been on top of it all along, and so she rocked it. I warned her going in that I probably wouldn’t be able to keep up, but I had a plan. I always have a plan. The first three miles of the course are net downhill, then you encounter Cardiac Hill at mile 4, and the last 2.2 are rolling hills through midtown. My thought was that I would run to Cardiac Hill, walk up the beast of the hill, and then do 3:1 run:walk intervals to finish the race. Reasonable, right?
Well, all was going well until about 1.5 or so in (by well I mean, I was moving fairly quickly and hadn’t died from the heat/humidity), and then it happened. Foot pop. Numbness. Radiating pain up to my right knee and hip.

FML.

I was behind Sudie at this point (she’s speedy), and I texted her to let her know what was going on. I also texted my parents. My mother (the daughter and the sister of an orthopedic surgeon) was basically like, you’re dumb if you keep running. So, I walked for five minutes, then tried to run again. Nope, nope, nope.

I ended up walking the rest of the course (at a fairly brisk pace), and I called my ortho’s practice here to see if she could fit me in this week. Unfortunately, she didn’t have an appointment that worked with my work schedule this week, and I’ll be in DC for work next week, so I’m going to have to wait a little bit to see her. I did talk to her about the pain, and she agrees with me that it sounds muscular/tendon (not bone). I’m supposed to take this week off from running, but do the bike and the elliptical for cardio.

I’m still having a little bit of residual foot pain from Saturday and Sunday, so I don’t really want to push it this week. I’m trying to wear supportive shoes, but my old Asics aren’t really business casual, and I don’t think my Chacos count either. I’m doing a lot of tennis-ball foot massage under my desk, and stretching of my IT band/hip flexors. That’s really all I can do at this point, without a diagnosis.

For the race itself, I’m supposed to take it easy. The pain seems to set in when I run for a long extended period of time, so I’m going to start with 3:1 intervals, knowing that if my foot starts to throb, I’ll be walking. Since I did the distance last week, even with the pain, I know I’ll be able to finish, just not as quickly as I wanted. I’m going to take July off of running for distance and do other forms of cardio (more on that later), and hopefully start August with a bang — and no more foot pops!

So, am I disappointed? Yes.

Am I still excited? Yes.

Do I still want to do races in the future? Yes.

Do I feel like a runner? Not at all.

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