To see what condition my condition was in. And, you know-it's not where I'd like it to be right now.
After finishing the year with a bang and chomping at the bit to really power through the first month of 2010, I was sort of forced to hurry up and wait. I've always said how I am slow to recover and just tend to get lots of aches and pains, and just kind of figured I needed to harden up and deal with it when I had some extreme soreness in the lower left leg that wouldn't go away. It came on right around Christmas, but I didn't pay much attention to it. Frankly, I get things like that which always seem to come and go. You stretch, you foam roll, you get over it slowly. It first seemed like the calf muscle but I could feel it in my shin and front of my knee too.
I finally got to a point when I got real and knew that it was time to punt on third down. Taking a few days off now sucks, but when this pain remained unchanged for over a week, I declared it time, and counted my lucky stars that it's right now, and not the mid-March when this pain cropped up. It could be nothing but I don't want to run my way into a long term injury, so three days off was what I went with, followed by a test run on my treadmill last night (meh-but nothing felt worse), and the regular early morning run outdoors with my running buddy (meh at first-better by the end). It doesn't hurt now other than regular post-run soreness levels, so this is encouraging to me.
One other thing I did-and this was hard to do, after I was all excited to do the ultra-was write to the race director AGAIN and say hi-sorry-not trying to be a total pain in the butt, but I've been dealing with a minor injury and think I'd be the queen moron to try to tough my way through 50+K when it would've been kind of a training cramming session anyway, but had to take injury time off. I was not feeling good about doing the ultra in a month when I just took some days off-and that's not the kind of event where I want to show up feeling undertrained. It would make for a LONG day. Much to my relief, he wrote back and said no worries, he doesn't move names around until two weeks out anyway, so he'd just remove my name from his list of names to shift. PHEW! Seriously. I feel very well prepared to do the 33K already, and it just seemed like the wise thing to do to prevent a more serious injury when my body's already saying "whoa" a little bit.
Another bit of good news-my husband put screws in a pair of my running shoes, and I tried them out this morning. Wow! These things really do work. A lot of our snow and ice has melted from our Wednesday route, but when we hit icy and snowy patches, it was like it had me perched above the muck with a firm grip on the frozen stuff. One little issue I had was the screw near the pad of my big toe. It wasn't poking me but I could feel it pushing just under the surface-just a totally annoying feeling the entire time I was running. When I finished and came home, I found that I had a lovely new blister there. So, that screw will need to come out and go somewhere else. Beyond that, though-screw shoes are great. They sounded funny on the road, but also didn't bother me.
So, off to a bit of a slow start for 2010. I'm trying to stay positive, and remember that there are still 359 days left to pick things up a bit.