I don"t remember exactly when my feet started hurting during the endless agony that was Ultravasan 90km, but I do remember I ran on feet that hurt way longer than you should if you like avoiding pesky things like injuries. I mean, most people stop running immediately if it starts hurting. It"s basic self-preservation, common sense, the sane thing to do. I kept going for hours. I"m hoping that, since the men in the white coats haven"t shown up at my doorstep yet, they got distracted by all the other insane things going on in the world and I dodged a bullet this time.
The bruise that revealed itself in all its blue-black glory when I got back to our hotel room and removed my socks healed within a couple of days. The grotesque swelling of my feet subsided just as quickly. I wasn"t worried. My feet hurt this bad even after I ran 100 km a couple of years ago, and back then it was nothing but a displaced bone that caused the pain. I was going to be back in my running shoes in no time.
I tried, in fact, to run a couple of times after that. A 5km run on pavement first, and, when that caused pain, a 6 km run in the woods that went slightly better. Then, my right foot started hurting even when I walked. This was not like last time. This was not a displaced bone. This was more serious. Now I was worried.
Not worriedworried, mind you. My running motivation has been virtually non-existent since we bought our house, replaced by gardening motivation, painting motivation, lazily-looking-at-all-the-pretty-flowers motivation and so on and so forth. So what if I couldn"t get back to running right away? I did yoga. I lifted weights at the gym. I dug holes in the garden and covered them up again. I even went roller skiing once. I kept my fitness level relatively high.
But now it"s been exactly four weeks, eleven hours, fifty-six minutes and thirty-three seconds since I stood at the starting line of Ultravasan but who"s counting. I"m kinda sorta starting to miss it. Not Ultravasan. Running, I mean. My friends go running. They plan races. They throw up between intervals and sweat profusely and almost die doing hill repeats and I"m jealous because I miss running even at its ugliest, but I also miss them. I miss AIK. And I simply cannot fathom another autumn without regular running, like the nightmare that was last year"s autumn.
I am giving it until the end of the month. I will keep focusing on becoming the next Terminator 2-era Sara Connor, bad-ass albeit with a grace that only yoga can provide and a gardening-fueled pain in my lower back, until my foot stops hurting. It"s already much better and I am hopeful that whatever the injury, it will have time to heal in the 2 weeks that are left of this month. Then I will throw myself back into running"s arms and hug it and kiss it and have its children and never again take it for granted.