Well, I started the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler (my favorite race of the year) but dropped out at the 2 mile mark - it was the right decision.
The backdrop here is that injury recovery is generally a 2 steps forward, 1 step back thing. The trick is to not get into a pattern of 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Which is what I came close to doing here.
I was feeling confident last week after having successfully finished a 5K race on Saturday, followed by an easy 14 miles on Sunday. Confident enough that I ran 6x800 on Tuesday at my normal effort level, and finished feeling confident. Yay.
But the next morning, I was very stiff all over, especially in my calves, with the left worse than the right. I kept the running very easy, and got an appointment to get dry needled on Thursday. We focused on the left calf, which was the worse of the two.
That ended up fixing the left calf, but the right was still a bit tight. I snuck in an ART appointment on Saturday which seemed to help the right, and decided that I'd at least give Cherry Blossom a try. Things felt slightly tight on my warm-up jog, but not too bad. So I lined up, and just promised myself that I'd drop out if things started hurting, and not try to be a hero.
It was Cherry Blossom, on a perfect day. I had to at least give it a try. I wouldn't have forgiven myself if I hadn't. Especially since some of my best races have been run when something was really tight the day before/morning of.
We started, and I was pleasantly surprised to feel pretty good the first mile. No pain anywhere, no tightness. I felt like we were running very slowly, and was surprised to hear another runner announce we were holding 7:00 pace. Wow - this could be a really good day. I was happy I had decided to give it a try. I don't usually run with others in races, since I like to pace by feel, but two of my teammates (both named Jessica) were holding the pace that felt great for me, so I just tagged along, breathing and running easilty.
And then a bit after the first mile marker, as we crossed the Arlington bridge, my right heel started to burn on the outside. I played with my gait and my form, trying to give it a chance to pass. But it just persisted and worsened. As we approached the 2 mile mark, I realized that if my heel was burning at 2 miles, it would be really stupid to run for another 8. So I stepped off course, and called it a day.
Very frustrating. But that's life, I guess. My podiatrist happened to be working in the med tent, so I went in for a "live" eval from him and the PT on duty. Diagnosis was some plantar fasciitis in my medial arch, causing offloading to the outside of the heel, which was causing the burning. They also noted that damn clicking sound in my ankle - associated with my ankle locking up.
So the plan is to rest it for a few days, and then see what to do from there.
-Weather was perfect
-took the metro, leaving from Virginia at 6:10, which got me to the metro exit in DC around 6:45. Metroing to this race worked well, but next time I'll leave a bit earlier.