A Cruel Joke

Tuesday, 31 May 2011  |  Bullish Insights

I wish someone was pulling my leg.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  And, after coming from my doctor this morning, I’ve learned that something else was pulled—my muscles.  Two of them, to be exact.

Last Thursday was like any other day.  Jun, Lit and I met at the track for speedwork.  But, there was one particular thing I did different that morning: I wore new shoes. I had my brand new Men’s K-Swiss Kwicky Blade Light on.  I was thrilled—as I always am about new running gear—but, as I walked on the track in them, something just didn’t feel right.  It didn’t feel as comfortable as the Women’s shoe. One look at the toebox and I knew it was too spacious. It definitely felt wider, too.  In hindsight, I should’ve listened to my instincts (as well as the sound of my left foot impacting the ground which, as I voiced out to my friends, didn’t sound that good!)

We did 3 x 800s and we were going on our fourth.  Just after the curve, I felt a sudden stabbing pain beneath my toes.  I slowed to a stop and told them to go ahead.  I tried to walk, but felt pain even when walking.  Immediately, I had it massaged at the track.  Then, I plunged into the pool for a 1.5k swim—the longest in my entire lifetime!—which temporarily distracted me from worries over the injury.

I was optimistic.  I thought, like a bad nightmare, I could act like it never happened after a couple of days of rest and subsequently proceed with my scheduled long run, 35k on Sunday, the longest run before Phuket Marathon.  I was wrong. I didn’t cover my run.  And, by Monday (yesterday), it had swelled after just an hour or two walking in a mall.  In full panic mode, I saw my doctor this morning.

GOOD NEWS: He said I pulled two muscles: my middle toe and my muscle near my shins.  All I need is a week of rest.

BAD NEWS: Phuket is only 2 weeks away.  By the time I recover, it will be time to taper.

While I ponder on what to do for the next two weeks, allow me to share lessons learned from this sad experience (so you won’t need to bang your head against the wall saying: “What the hell were you thinking?!” as I want to do a million times over now):

  1. Never experiment with shoes 1 month prior to the race. I knew this! But, with my shoes worn out and dirty, vanity (and perhaps hygiene haha!) got the best of me. I was embarrassed to use those old shoes in public and rotated among Newton racers, Brooks Glycerin, and the Men’s Kwicky Blade Light just weeks before the marathon.  When you’ve found the right shoe, stick with it.  If you must replace it, buy the same exact model and the same size.  (Thanks to Planet Sports for sending my beloved Women’s Kwickly Blade Light over yesterday. I stick to this one for now.)
  2. Cross Train. If all you have is running and you get injured, workouts stop completely.  But, if you have other sports that will maintain your fitness level, then you will be less frustrated and angry while you’re waiting for full recovery.  Swim, bike, run in a pool, take a yoga class.  Do whatever it takes to keep you fit and happy.  Thank God I have swimming right now to keep me sane. You must know how I turn into a monster when I don’t get to workout!
  3. Trust your instincts. If you go for a workout and something just doesn’t feel right—whether it’s a tight hamstring or you’re feeling slightly under the weather—take it easy that day or stop altogether.  Your body is speaking to you and you better listen!
  4. Enjoy the break. I have to admit, there’s a small part of me that is enjoying the brief leave from the rigorous workouts the past months.  Every week, I’ve been running 4x, swimming 3 to 4x, and doing strength training at the gym 2x.  With the past few days break from the runs (not the swim which I absolutely love nowadays!), my pace has slowed, weight has slightly increased, but there’s more time to breathe and relax. A friend said a one week injury leave made him stronger when he got back into the game. I’m hoping it’ll be the same for me. Crossing my fingers…and injured toe, too!

DO YOU WANT A MEN’S KSWISS KWICKY BLADE LIGHT? I’m giving mine away.  Only used for 5km. Men’s US size 7.5.  Remember, this is for MEN!  The first one to comment expressing his interest below, gets the shoe.  BUT, when we meet, you must show me that the shoe will fit you and only you. (TBR reserves the right to award the prize to the winner she deems fit and deserving of the prize.)