"One ceases to recognize the significance of mountain peaks if they are not viewed occasionally from the deepest valleys."--- Dr. Al Lorin
This week has been rough. I took a much-needed rest week but without the regular, vigorous workouts I'm used to, my natural Prozac is suddenly absent, and I feel like I'm going through withdrawal. Post-race blues is actually a real thing, and I think I'm getting a taste for it. Take a look at the article I attached to the link on the title. I'm trying to take it little by little and just ride it out.
Sunday and Monday I was still on a high. I felt super positive about everything and was surprisingly not very sore or stiff at all. I got a massage on Monday and felt a lot looser afterwards. Tuesday, all the congestion from a cold I'd been fighting for 2 weeks came back, and I could barely speak. When to the doctor. Lungs and chest are clear and no sinus infection. However, I'm still very congested. He gave me some meds and sent me home. Sigh.
Wednesday I started physical therapy. I had made a pre-emptive appointment, assuming I would desperately need to be put back together again after the race. I fear I may be a little too much like Humpty Dumpty, however. Unfortunately, although I was tight on Wednesday, I wasn't having any pain so there wasn't too much for me to show the PT. She found TONS of things wrong with me though. I was tight everywhere, which wasn't surprising. She watched my gait and tested my range of motion and then showed me some stretches and strength moves. By the time I left, I felt so biomechanically flawed, I felt it was a miracle I could even walk. My hips are tight, I can't bend my knees as much as I should, I have collapsable arches, I pronate, etc., etc., etc. I'm not sure if she thinks I'm espeically tight because I am, or because I'm such a klutz, it takes me 3 or 4 times to correctly attempt the new stretch she was trying to teach me. The next day, I realized how tight I actually had been. I strained an oblique muscle trying to stretch my hips. It hurt for 3 days!
Thursday I thought I was feeling pretty good. Then, Friday, my energy levels came crashing down. My congestion rebounded and I pretty much slept all day Friday and Saturday. This has given me way too much time to think. Negative thoughts are clinging like cobwebs, and I simply cannot brush them off right now.
Sunday I tried to go for my first run since the race. It was overcast and chilly but it felt good to get out. After a brief warmup and stretching regime we headed out. I took it easy and slow. After 2 miles, my knee, the same injury that had bothered me before the race but for some reason, not during, came back full force. I focused on my running form and biomechanics for the next 2 miles, which helped. At 4 miles, the road sloped upwards, causing a sharp increase in my right knee. I stopped, turned around, and walked the 4 miles back to the car. Jason was kind enough to walk with me.
It was a long, cold, gray walk. I was wearing my finisher cap from the race last weekend and wanted to throw it in the bushes, thinking I didn't deserve to wear it. I'm frustrated about this nagging injury and concerned about the marathon at the beginning of June. I have nothing but doubt in my head right now. Plus, I feel like no matter how hard I work at this, I will never be anything than mediocre, and that just sucks. I thought about how the PT had picked me apart, and it makes me feel like a big clumsy elephant, a galoomp-a-oomp, out there, shuffling along. Sometimes, just once even, it would be nice to feel fast. Or agile. Or graceful. I have never felt any of these things. Lately, all this training just makes me feel even slower. Even more average.
I know these thoughts are exaggerated. I know they're not true. I know I'm in this for more than glory (obviously). I do this because of the life lessons it teaches me with regards to goal setting and accomplishing the impossible. No one ever said it would be easy. So I'm going through a rough spot right now. Needless to say, my confidence is nil. My energy is gone. I'm going to focus on trying to get back into a low-volume workout routine this week to preserve the fitness I worked SO GOD*MN HARD to achieve (even though I feel like I have nothing left to show for all the hard work I put in) and also to try to get some energy and positive attitude back. Will I be able to do the marathon in June? Should I sign up for IM-AZ for '08? These are decisions I need to figure out. And fast. But I know, worst-case scenario, these races will be waiting for years to come.