It was the last day of July, and three and a half weeks left before thirty-one Long Islanders were to descend on the city of Reykjavik, in Iceland. It was going to be magical, and challenging all at the same time. Taking the red-eye six-hour flight on Wednesday before the race, and landing Thursday morning. The race would be on Saturday, August 24, 2019, some were planning to run the full marathon, others the half. A few travelers would try the 10k and 3k races. We had met as a group, planned ALL of our excursions, and everything was a go!
There was ONE slight catch for me…
On that very day, I had collided with the banisters and broke my 4th metatarsal bone in my right foot. What did this now mean for me, race on or off? A detour? I did what most practical people do. The next morning I went to see my doctor. I saw both my primary care and foot doctor who happened to be “professional pals”. Both had the same reaction.
“There will be no race in Reykjavik for you young lady”, they said with a hearty laugh. I responded calmly, O.k. Doc, I will give you a week of no running and we will continue our dialogue. I will, however, plan on doing weights while I wait for our next appointment.
“Please, sit down, while doing so”, was his response.
An x-ray confirmed the three-quarter-inch break! A soft cast was now covering my foot, along with a walking boot. Secretly, I was planning my next move to still make the race happen. One week later, another x-ray confirmed the break was barely visible. The doctor could hardly believe his eyes, another clean soft cast cloaked my foot, but this time I was on a mission.
My next move was to transition my training to the deep water. A large supposedly waterproof bag, recommended by the foot doctor that would cover from my toes to above my knees was going to allow me to do my water workout. Instead, it literally raised and tilted my whole body to one side. Now that wasn’t going to work. I would be a lopsided water warrior. A homemade makeshift bag below the knee was my solution.
Week two, at first ten to fifteen minutes at a time in the deep to “test” the waters. No pressure on the foot, since I was not touching the floor, but I was still RUNNING! (Ha Ha). Within ten days I was up to one and a half hours in the deep end of the pool running without a break.
One day on, one day off. Off days I worked on my core, did weights along with plenty of stretching. Calmness, confidence, and commitment charting my course.
My mission had meaning and I was building momentum.
A week before I was to leave for Iceland, and I had to try and transition my training. Monday, August 19th, three half-hour jogging sessions, throughout the day in my home pool, in a depth of four feet. Light pressure, my foot on the floor, AND I had been “upgraded to a bandage wrap”. Man, was that cramping my commitment.
Tuesday and Wednesday would be the TRUE test. With sneakers laced, ready to hit the road, one mile down and ten minutes in the pool. I repeated this sequence three to four times, on both days. I figured I probably totaled somewhere between seven or eight miles each day. A trip to the doctor that afternoon, he signed me off and released me to GO!
Did I do the half marathon three days later, three and a half weeks after the break?
You bet I did. (Although I did have a few moments of doubt along the way).
I P.R.’ ed with a time of 1:53:54. (One hour, 53 minutes and 54 seconds: PR stands for Personal Record)
What were some of the keys?
Listen and know YOUR body.
Be smart. Rest when needed. Eat right.
Use the water to your advantage. Don’t give up on your dream.
Have a plan in place. Test the waters (pun intended).
Stretch and core training is very valuable.
Listen to your Doctor. The proof is in the X-RAY.
Everyone’s body heals at different rates.
I hope this small glimpse into my world, encourages you to NOT give up but to find a way that works for you to reach your goals.
Ane a great big special thanks to ALL my co-travelers that helped make the Reykjavik run a total success!