Sometimes a week seems to fly by. Other times - like when you're supposed to be training for a marathon but you're injured and can't run - the minutes, hours, and days seem to drag on endlessly.
And being a slightly obsessed runner, you fill many of those minutes and hours and days by looking at the workouts on your training schedule that you're not completing, and wondering just how much it's setting you back.
So yeah, it wasn't the best of weeks. Which is not to say I'm totally despondent and depressed. But I'm not bursting with joy, either. I'm somewhere in the middle, which I think is best described as coping, and making the best of things.
And truthfully, although I thought there was going to be no running whatsoever this week, I did complete one run - even though I really shouldn't have.
Backing up, though - I had two PT visits, both focused on a lot of Graston and a lot of ART, both of which felt great. I don't find the Graston painful at all (some people do), and while the ART can feel slightly uncomfortable, it also feels like your injured muscles are getting the most incredible stretch - one that you could never in a million years achieve on your own - so in that sense, it feels good.
I had another appointment today, and go back again Thursday, and will try to fit in two more appointments next week, also. I had an acupuncture appointment scheduled for today, too, but had to cancel it due to lack of childcare. I can bring Carmine to my PT appointments, but I don't think bringing him to an acupuncture appointment would work out too well. Hopefully I'll be able to get in there soon, though, because I really think it would be helpful.
And aside from the PT, I've been falling back on my usual cross-training options of biking, elliptical, and weights. Haven't hit the pool yet, but I am thinking about adding that back into the schedule.
But by the time Saturday rolled around, I was thoroughly sick of being in the gym, and even though it was a drizzly, gray day, I needed to be outside. But I don't like riding my road bike when the roads are wet. So I hopped on Scott's mountain bike, planning to just ride up and back on the bike path.
But once I got going, I felt great and wanted to ride more, so ended up making my way down the bike path to Route 2, and rode all the way up that road and back, and then took the bike path back home, for a total of almost 25 miles.
It's a very different experience being on the mountain bike, but in the bad weather, it felt like a good choice. And it's so much tougher riding with the big tires, I definitely felt like I got a great workout.
But most importantly, I had fun. I like cross-training at the gym - I don't have to force myself to do it, because I do mostly enjoy it. But it's not FUN in the way that getting on my bike or going for a run are. Being outside (even in the rain), and moving myself forward, and enjoying the scenery, and feeling the satisfaction that comes from knowing that under my own power I covered 25 miles - that's fun - a type of fun that will never, ever come from pedaling a machine indoors.
And I had so much fun on that bike ride, I thought I'd be ready to do it again on Sunday, but on my road bike this time, as the weather was forecast to be beautiful.
But the weather was so beautiful that I woke up thinking of nothing but going for a run. I thought about it all morning. When I had left PT on Thursday, I was on my way out the door, but then turned around and went back to ask the question I sort of didn't want to hear the answer to - "Should I run or not?" I was pretty sure the answer would be not, which is why I almost didn't ask it, but I forced myself to go back, and as I expected, the advice was to continue to stick with cross-training at least until my next appointment on Monday.
I'm typically a very good patient, and I follow orders that are given to me. But everyone screws up occasionally, right?
As I debated whether or not to lace up my shoes Sunday morning, I bargained endlessly with myself. I made excuses for why it would be ok to run a few miles. I talked myself out of it (several times), and then talked myself back into it.
I thought about how great I would feel being out there running, but then how guilty I would feel when I got back home, knowing full well that I shouldn't have done it.
In the end, I caved. And I was right - it felt fabulous to be out there running. But even as I ran, I thought about how I shouldn't be doing it. But I didn't stop.
I definitely felt some discomfort in my hip, but it felt better than I expected it to. And as I warmed up, it continued to feel better. So much so that I ended up running 8 miles. Yeah, stupid.
But what's done is done, and although I know I shouldn't have done it, I don't really regret it.
The result of those 8 miles - some discomfort that afternoon, and a tiny bit of lingering soreness today, but overall, far better than I thought I'd feel, which I guess is kind of encouraging?
So where I'm at is really not much different than last week. I'm going to run if I can, but with every day that goes by, I feel less confident about Philly. Being able to go out and run 8 miles does not mean I can go out and run 20 miles, or 8 miles of speedwork, or a 10-mile tempo run - and if I want to run Philly the way I wanted to run Philly, that's what I'd need to be doing right now.
I'm not interested in fighting through a few more long runs just to muddle my way through those 26.2 miles and finish with another 3:53. I did that in Boston, and the whole point of aiming for Philly was to redeem myself and run a marathon the right way - to train fully and run the race the way I know I'm capable of running it (if I stayed healthy).
So if I can't really go for it and give it my all, I don't know that it's worth the expense and the effort, especially since I'd still be flirting with major injury issues and risking having to take time off post-race because I pushed so hard to get through the full distance.
I'm still not ruling it out entirely, but I'm doubtful, and I'm very much in limbo. But surprisingly okay with it at the moment. Having the hope that I might be able to at least get out and run a few times a week - even if it means missing Philly - that's all the hope I need right now.
Philly will be there next year, as will so many other races, and my 3:25 marathon will be there at some point, too - I feel sure of that.
Right now I'm ready to focus on doing whatever I can to get healthy enough to just get out there and log some miles. If I can do that, everything else will work itself out in time.
Just gotta keep moving forward....