Yay! Dayl and I did the Hippie Chick Half Marathon!
I thought my sense of accomplishment from yesterday would be about us both running the race together. We’ve been training hard individually and having a lot of fun running together whenever we could. When I injured my Achilles & hamstring about a month ago, I was worried that I would lose ground on training. My doctor said I had Achilles tendonitis, and suggested resting, icing and massage. She said to let my body tell me when I could run again, but that it should just take a few weeks to recover.
I rested. I iced. I got massages. Meanwhile, whenever I ran even a short block my whole leg was on fire. My hamstring hurt even while sitting. It wasn’t healing. At all.
My biggest disappointment and fear was that not only would I not be able to run the Hippie Chick, what if I couldn’t run again ever?I kept telling myself that a dream deferred is not a dream denied, but I had a hard time accepting that I wouldn’t be able to participate.
I showed up for packet pick-up in near tears. I knew I couldn’t run, but didn’t even know if I’d be able to walk it. I found a physical therapist at packet pick-up and tearfully told him my story. About chasing after Jack and feeling my whole leg go “TWANG.” About all the steps I’d taken to heal that hadn’t work. Surprisingly (to me), he asked me to walk back and forth while he watched my gait. He said, “You know how some people pronate, and some people supinate? You’re doing both—one on each foot.”
“So I’m crooked?”
Apparently, when my leg went twang, my whole pelvis got knocked out of whack. The reason I could never get my Achilles and hamstring to calm down is everything was straining to react to a crooked pelvis. Oh, such a relief to have an answer! As I walked around the packet pick-up expo, Charlotte Lettis Richardson said, “Consider each race a measure of your current fitness level, not an end goal.” That helped.
I met Dan the physical therapist first thing on race day morning. He pushed on this and pulled on that and after a few minutes, I was pain-free. Completely. A miracle. He sternly warned me that running would more than likely throw it right back out, but I should be able to walk the course.
3,000 other women and I gathered in Hillsboro.
It was so exciting, and it was all I could do to not run. Walking is harder for me than running. Partly because I like to push myself. Partly because I’m just not used to walking like that. Maybe I’m too impatient, maybe running just feels better. But I did it! I held myself back. I didn’t run until the last half mile. As a total bonus, I found my sister-in-law along the way, and we ran the last half mile in together. Finish strong!
The best part? PT Dan re-examined me, and I was still in alignment. And still not in pain the next day.
I was so proud of myself for restraining and not re-injuring myself. I think I felt just as elated as the women who ran the whole thing, like Dayl. She pushed her body in a different way. We celebrated our accomplishments together, just not the way we originally intended.
I have many more races to run, and I’m so very proud of all of us who participated in the Hippie Chick.
In good health,