Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tempting Fate on Monument Avenue

Ever since mile 7 of the Virginia is for Lovers 14k, the arch of my left foot has been howling at me. I'm not sure what the problem is. Being the pessimistic person that I am, I immediately self-diagnosed my problem as plantar flaciitis and started to research stretches and treatment options. I've been doing a series of stretches and rolling my foot on a frozen water bottle, but it doesn't seem to be helping very much. Insisting on running 4 miles with Prabir on Monday despite pretty bad pain in the arch probably didn't help matters.

But I am stubborn and despite this, I was determined to run the full 6 miles scheduled for tonight. One, the weather today was absolutely gorgeous and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to have a nice outdoor run. Two, I was lazy last night and decided to not go to yoga as scheduled. So I stuck my Zensa compression ankle support on my left foot thinking that maybe that would help and set out on my usual 6 miles route.

Around mile 2 my arch started to hurt. But I kept going and told myself that maybe running in the grassy median that runs down Monument Avenue would be better than running on the sidewalk.

Image source 

Pretty, right? Of course right now there are no lovely leaves. But this is where the tempting fate part comes in. The thing about Monument Avenue is that it is a residential street in a city and this grassy median is, naturally, where people take their dogs for walks. And we all know what dogs do on walks. We also all know that not all dog owners pick up after their pets.

But my arch hurt so much by the time I hit the 3 mile point that I decided that I'd rather run in the median and take the rather large risk of stepping in a pile of dog poo than keep running on the concrete sidewalk.

Luckily I made it through the dog poo gauntlet unscathed this evening. Unfortunately, I don't think that running on the grass helped my pain at all. As I write I'm sitting with a giant bag of ice under my foot. It has gone numb at this point. I'm feeling pretty bummed about the whole situation. The next 3 weeks are the most intense of my training for the half marathon and the last thing I need is to be sidelined by a foot problem.

I think that my iPod is starting to be able to sense my mood. Tonight I was having a really hard time with this run and suddenly I was treated to what seemed like non-stop Lady Gaga tracks, even though the iPod was set to shuffle. I'd say that Gaga tunes always provide me with the most inspiration when I'm running. I imagine that if I just keep running (and running... and running...) that somehow my legs will magically lengthen, my cellulite will disappear, and I will be svelte enough to be able to rock a Gaga-esque outfit such as the one featured in her Monster Ball tour poster:

Yes, I've convinced myself that if I run enough,
I can be this hot.

Tonight some of my favorites got pumped into my skull at just the right times: "Starstruck" during mile 1, "Just Dance" during mile 3, "Bad Romance" during mile 6.

In the end, things shook out pretty nicely even with the intense foot pain.

In other news, last night Sherrod Wright of the GMU Men's Basketball team gave me (and all of Mason Nation) a fabulous Valentine's Day present:

VCU is our biggest rival and this game was tight the whole way through. I was convinced that we were going to lose and had already written a capitulation tweet when we were down by 2 with 3.8 seconds to go. When Wright hit this basket, at first I didn't even realize what happened and then it hit me. I leapt out of bed and started yelling "HOLY SH*T!" over and over, jumping up and down. It was an AWESOME ending to a hard fought game.

Hmmmm... perhaps all that jumping up and down wasn't the best idea for my foot. Oh well. It was worth it because now the three way tie for #1 in the CAA conference is down to 2 - Drexel and George Mason! We face VCU again on February 25 here in Richmond and yours truly has tickets. Can't. Wait.

Are you stubborn like me and run despite injury?
What music inspires you the most when you run?
If I run enough, will I be able to look like Gaga?

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