Three years ago, on February 4, 2020, I had foot surgery. The short version is that I have really flat feet, and somehow the muscles and tendons in my foot kind of stopped working to “hold my arch up”… and it was determined that I needed surgery to correct this. It was a long road afterwards to simply get to walking normally again, but 5 months later I finished physical therapy and started working towards running once more.
(You can read the long version here.)
Even a year after my surgery, I would still wake up with a bit of a limp and my foot would feel really stiff. That eventually got better, but as I picked up running farther and longer, I began having knee pain in the opposite leg. I discovered that how I walked and even how I stood had changed a bit since surgery, and I was a bit unbalanced. *cue more physical therapy*
In the latter half of 2022, I decided to try just going back to the gym and doing strengthening workouts, as well as signing up for a yoga class. I wasn’t running much at all anymore, except for maybe 10 or 15 minutes on the treadmill a few times a week.
This was fine and good, but I did still really miss running, especially running outside.
The university I work at has a lovely 2-mile trail around its perimeter, and it’s great for jogging. I actually live close enough to the university that I can run from my house around the trail and back, and it’s close to a 3-mile route.
One time, many years ago (back in 2018) I thought it would be fun to train for a half marathon – with the hopes that maybe someday I could participate in a Disney marathon. (There’s a Disney princess half marathon and all the runners dress up and wear tutus and things, and you get to run around the theme parks, it looks so fun!) I ran around the trail 2 times, and ended up logging about 4.5 miles total. Afterwards, I had so much knee pain that I decided a half marathon would never be in my future. That was literally the farthest distance I have ever run, and I’ve never gotten anywhere close to that ever again.
*cue January 2023*
On a whim this year, I decided I wanted to try to train for a half marathon again. To be honest with you, I had a lot of anger from how things went down in 2022, and I just felt like I had so much energy that I needed to get rid of. I thought I would train until my foot or my knee forced me to quit. I fully expected to fail, to give up after just a week or two of training.
But as of today, I’m starting my 6th week of training, and am back up to running 3 miles – something I haven’t been able to do since my surgery. My knee occasionally feels a bit sore, but I’ve been trying to stretch a lot before and after my runs, and I also bought myself two new pairs of running shoes to try and fend off any injuries.
I also think that doing yoga last year helped to strengthen my core muscles and potentially balance out my left and right sides. I am still going to try to do yoga once or twice a week, in addition to my marathon training, with the hopes that this combination will allow me to continue to succeed.
I just really feel like I need to succeed at something this year, you know?
Even if I don’t make it anywhere close to my goal of running 13.1 miles, I’m still proud of how far I’ve already come. I’m trying to take it one day at a time and see how far that gets me.
Maybe I’ll surprise myself and one day I will be able to run the Disney Princess marathon!