With big goals ahead yet no plans to have another baby at the moment, I was faced with making changes to the year's objectives. I dropped to the half at Terrapin but decided that with the anchor event of the RNUTS being at 19 weeks along I could stay the course and finish the Mountain Junkies series. I ran all the races I could in the series through the spring with little training and loads of doubt. In May my body just got bigger, the days I ran more sparse. The week before the series ended with the inaugural Conquer the Cove Marathon and 25k was Memorial Day. I decided that I HAD to run that 10k held on the Monday following Memorial Weekend to give me the mental confidence that I could in fact finish the 25k the following Sunday for which I was registered.
Alicia who was pregnant with her first child agreed to run the 10k with me. All went fairly well, it was hot and it hurt but we finished. I felt pretty good about myself. My time was slow but now I would know that I could finish the 25k that Sunday. But walking around the award ceremony after my left foot began to hurt. As the day wore on the pain just grew greater. The next day I could not bear weight on the foot. I began to worry that my foot was broken. By Wednesday I was convinced of it.
When that evening came and I couldn't walk across my back deck without tears I decided to go see a doctor. The doctor took one look at my belly and looked at me with that look of sympathy saved for one who you see as not that bright, pity perhaps? He told me that I had gained too much weight,too quickly, had probably just bruised the foot badly from running on it with all that extra weight. He said I would be fine, but DO NOT RUN anymore this pregnancy. I kind of decided at that moment, that as a general rule I have a general distaste for some people.
I told no one about the doctor visit other than Todd. I told no one about the intense pain in my foot other than Todd and my sister. I KNEW people would agree with the doctor. I knew that people would tell me exactly what it was I did not wish to hear, do not run on Sunday. Skip the race! I knew that rational people would all agree, just sit it out!
But I am just too damn stubborn to be told what to do. My sister pleaded with me not run if the foot was hurting. I changed plans once again. I decided that if the foot felt ANY better by Saturday I was going to run on Sunday, even if I absolutely trashed the foot in the process I would know that I finished what I started and that I would have a good 20+ weeks left that I could recover. If the foot was still hurting as much or any worse as the week wore on I would skip the race. I don't know if I would have stuck to that plan but thankfully I didn't have to. The foot felt a little better by Saturday.
I ran the race that Sunday, it was slow. To put it in perspective, I almost ran the marathon this year in the time it took me to run the 25k that year. But I did it. I finished it. Did the foot hurt? Yes, but I managed. Did I ever regret it, running? Toeing the starting line? Not even close. It was that day, about five miles in I had one of the most moving experiences I have ever had on trails. I was running along this really beautiful rolling patch of the course and I just felt, despite the pain in my foot, the aches in my ligaments, incredible. Just almost transcendental. Invincible. And I had this thought to myself, you were made for this, Alexis. This is where you belong. And I believed that voice, had utter confidence in what it said. And I have never looked back.
I'm in a little bit of a tough place right now. Both of my knees hurt, they hurt walking, going up the stairs, sitting for long periods. The days I run are sparse once more. I am full of doubt. I am full of worry. I have signed up once more for a series, the Beast.
Last night Grattan asked sympathetically if, due to the pain in my knees, I was going to run Masochist. I am doing the Beast I told him. Funny, I don't even look to starting as an option, it will just be so.