3 Weeks To Adidas King Of The Road

A blurry photo of me running up the slope in my estate, taken by my son. It's not that I'm going fast, it's that the photo is blur.

Since my last whiny post, my foot has gotten better! Plantar fasciitis is no longer the giant demon it was last week. I thank God, the prayers of my family and friends, and my physiotherapist’s sage advice:
• “wear your trainers, you vainpot”
• “walk straight, don’t try to avoid the pain”
• “ice your foot”
• “take a pill for inflammation”

It’s time to strap on the running shoes and go.

It has been two weeks since I ran the Marina Bay run and my body is beginning to sound like its old, pre-running self:
• “Are you sure you’re okay enough to run?”
• “Your legs are really going to ache.”
• “You’re outta shape, babe.”
• “You’ll never make it up the hill.”

This is why runners say that running really is a mental sport. First, you’re mental for running so many kilometres when you could drive, and second, it takes extreme mental strength to keep going.

Often, the run begins to feel tedious and boring sooner than your body starts to feel tired. So the mind needs as much training – if not more – than the body, for any long-distance run.

“As a (wo)man thinks, so is (s)he,” says my favourite book.

Men's category still open for signups! Closing Monday 8 August, if you're keen!
I have exactly 3 weeks to the Adidas King Of The Road race on 28 August. I signed up right after the Marina Bay run, thinking “Okay I’ve done 10km, and I need to accomplish 21K at the Standard Chartered Half Marathon this year end, so… 16.8km sounds like a good mid-point to aim for.”

Crazy, I know. I really am mental. Especially since, after I put down my 50 bucks for KOTR, my foot became The Hulk.

I heard about this race from my friend and colleague Phoebe, whose husband, a phys-ed teacher, is running it. The KOTR is an 84K race split up across 5 cities in Southeast Asia: Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Each leg is 16.8K. I thought I heard Phoebe say she was running it, but when I bumped into her husband at church, he set me straight. He was running. Phoebe was cheering.

“It’s an okay distance,” he said, comfortingly. “I don’t want to kill myself with a full marathon! Killed myself enough in the army!”

It seemed strange to me hearing that, but I realised after a couple of days that, if you are forced to run (as opposed to being a sucker for punishment like me or my husband) your enthusiasm for running might be severely curbed.

I digress.

So I now have to get from 10K to 16.8K. Except I haven’t run for 2 weeks, which means, in truth, I have to get from 0K to 16.8K in 3 weeks. I have no idea how this is going to happen, but I sure am praying that my mind can follow my heart, and my legs can follow my mind, and angels can follow me and push me from behind.

There, but for the grace of God, run I.

My Foot!

It takes a lot to get me down, but I have to admit, I really am down this week.

And it seems such a very little matter, but it’s annoying the peanuts out of me.

It’s my foot.

My left foot: bandaged, bothered and bewildered.

What began as a typical muscle ache after the 10K run 10 days ago has grown into a pain that is driving me to tears. I probably shouldn’t have gone to Zumba class on the Monday after… or to Body Combat the next day…

By last Tuesday night I was limping like a shot dog. It’s been a week and I’m still limping.

My physio Chris saw me last Wednesday and declared it an inflammation of my plantar fascia (the muscle that runs along the bottom of the foot). She gave me calf exercises to do, and then did an ultrasound that helped the pain a little. She also told me to throw out my ballet pumps. “They’re killer for the foot, really bad!” she chided.

She also told me to ice it every night before I went to bed. And I was not to run for a few days, and no more Combat or Zumba till the inflammation subsided.

The next 4 days were TORTURE. I wanted to get well quickly and get back on the road. So I diligently stretched and iced and wore FitFlops, which do support the arch considerably more than my ballet flats. (Actually Chris’ instructions were to wear my Asics Kayanos all the time, because they support my arches, but I couldn’t bring myself to look like Dora The Explorer. Just. Could. Not. Blame all my years at ELLE and Female.)

Yesterday Chris gave me permission to go for Zumba, “but NO jumping! And wear your Asics, not your son’s wornout New Balance shoes!”

So there I was, moving like C3PO in Zumba class, feeling kind of like a vegetarian at Carnivore restaurant.

I saw Chris again after Zumba, limping really badly now because shooting pains had started zig-zagging across my foot.

She was openly dismayed at my pathetic state. “Why are you not wearing your trainers like I told you? Lie down on your face, I’m going to get your calf to be less tight,” she barked.

Boy, was that an understatement. She did a deep tissue massage — if you’re one of those suckers for pain who always feel that you didn’t get good value coz the masseuse was too gentle, you should go to Chris. It was such a deep massage I thought her fingers were going to go right through my legs and pop out between my fibia and tibula!

I had to exhale every time her hand pressed up—a little pain management trick I learned at pilates. In fact I concentrated so hard on my breathing that she said after a while, “Wow, you’re tolerating this really well!”

I gasped, “It’s REALLY painful! I can’t talk!!”

After the calf torture, I could actually walk a little better and limp less.

I was miserable at the thought of not going for my runs — if there is one thing I still fear, it’s losing momentum.

Chris’ advice was to go to the gym and do the elliptical, as it doesn’t impact the foot, and I can still get my cardio.

So here I am at home, doing my stretches like a good girl. Just downed two anti-inflammatory pills, and two Panadol for good measure. I hope and pray I can be up and running by the end of this week.

And I really shouldn’t be whining so much—I’d much rather have an inflamed foot than cancer! Thanks for letting me feel sorry for myself.