So it’s mid-September. Half Marathon season has officially begun and I have completed two of the eleven half marathons that I have scheduled for this season.
One might think that with the experience of having over thirty half marathons under my belt I wouldn’t get nervous about running a half marathon anymore. But if you made that assumption you’d be dead wrong.
Let me tell you why…
When you run as much as I do, you run higher risks of overuse injuries. Anytime you exercise there is a chance that you might get hurt. That doesn’t stop us from doing it because usually the risk of injury is far outweighed by the benefits of exercise, but sometimes that’s not the case. It’s rare – but it does happen.
I have been running for just over four years now. Each year I have run more than the year before. I love to run. Around this time last year, I started dealing with an overuse injury – Achilles tendinitis (chronic inflammation of the Achilles tendon) which for me is caused by excessive overpronation and the ankles rolling in constantly trying to correct it. As a result calcium deposits forming extra bones on the backs of my heels which rub against the Achilles tendon make it very sore and very angry on pretty much a regular basis.
The treatment for it, as prescribed by my foot and ankle specialist, has included warming up the tendons correctly before each run, icing the tendons after each run, daily stretches, an air splint that aims to help stretch the tendon to control the pain and making sure that I have slight heel lifts in my shoes.
This was all working great! And then… I got new shoes.
I got new shoes. That has to be one of the scariest words for an avid runner who is successfully coping with a chronic foot problem. The slightest change in your foot strike, foot fall or stride can be the difference between successfully coping or sitting on the bench.
I didn’t want new shoes. I’d run in the same shoes for the rest of my running career if they lasted that long. But shoes wear out, and unfortunately, shoes change. Like every year. I’ll never understand why they can’t leave the design of a shoe the same for more than a year, but apparently new technology is always better… except when it’s not.
So now here I am, just a day away from getting on a plane to Paris where I am participating in the RunDisney Inaugural Disneyland® Paris – Val d’Europe Half Marathon Weekend and as I pack my suitcase my biggest debacle is…
Do I wear my old running shoes that are worn out and make my feet hurt?
Do I wear the new version of my old running shoes that make my feet hurt?
Do I wear the new completely different style running shoe that I just got to try to stop my feet from hurting as much as they have lately?
Because there doesn’t seem to be a good answer right now.
So here is what I am going to do…
I am going to keep doing everything that I have been doing and this coming Sunday, the morning of the race, I am going to make the decision I think is the lesser of all evils and the most likely to make sure that I make it across the finish line.
In other words. I am going to put all three of those shoes in my suitcase, not stress out about trying to make up my mind right now, and instead focus on getting the rest of my suitcase packed for Paris.
Because I am going to Paris! In less than 24 hours I will be on a plane heading to Paris, France to run my first international half marathon!
I’ve got clothes to pack! My event day running shirt just arrived from my sponsor BariLife Vitamins today and have to decide what I am going to wear with it! I have to get all my running gear together and make sure that it is all packed in my carry on bag just in case something happens to my suitcase.
I’ve got snacks to pack! I’ve got stuff to organize! The last thing I need right now is stressing out about shoes…. Right?
Yup. But I am stressing out about shoes and I will tell you why… because I am traveling all the way to Paris to run this half marathon and to bring home the Castle to Chateau medal that comes along with completing a half marathon at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. They key word there is completing.
I have never not finished a half I started, and although I know that mentally I could handle not being able to finish, I’m just not sure I can handle it on this particular event. I know I would be very disappointed. Not disappointed in myself, just disappointed in general.
But there is nothing I can do to change this right now. All I can do is put all three pairs of shoes in this suitcase and hope that come Sunday morning, no matter what shoes I have on at the start line, adrenaline, determination (and some pixie dust!) get me to the finish line.
I can guarantee you one thing… you’ll definitely be seeing some really cool photos from the Disneyland Paris Half Marathon course. You’ll be seeing mile marker selfies and smiles as I run through the happiest place on earth in France!
I’m excited. I’m a Disney Fanatic! I’ve been to Disneyland hundreds and hundreds of times, I’ve ran the Tinker Bell Half Marathon for the last three years. I’ve been to Walt Disney World four times now since I started running. But this is my first time at Disneyland Paris and I am super excited to take in this new-to-me Disney Park!
I’m about to embark on a brand new NSV ( Non Scale Victory ) for me!
Six years ago when I started this journey getting on a plane, traveling to another country, walking around a theme park, riding rides and running thirteen miles would have all been a physical impossibility for me. At 420 lb., with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and severe edema, this trip would never have even been a consideration for me! But thanks to my choice to take back my life from obesity, my choice to have bariatric surgery and my successful weight maintenance this is all possible.
And even though this running shoe debacle has me thinking that I need to rename my blog Desperately Seeking Comfortable Running Shoes or Desperately Seeking Sanity, what I need to remember is that, in the big scheme of things, this shoe stress and tendinitis travesty is really a very small thing to have to worry about and there are much bigger things to be celebrating.
So with that said. It is time for me to grab my passport, pack my big girl panties in my suitcase and put a little faith in myself and my journey and say Au Revoir Slender Seekers! The next time we talk I will be telling you all about how amazing Paris was and showing you what a Castle to Chateau medal looks like around this WLS Runner’s neck!
Have you been following my guest blogs on the Bari Life website? If not you can check them out here.