I went to a tennis clinic Monday, and on Tuesday, I ran only on soft surfaces – part-way around the lake, uphill through the woods, around a field, back down through the woods and then the other part of the lake.
This was a good plan, except that the woods were really muddy, and my sneakers got soaked. My feet didn't hurt, though. Maybe the mud bath was therapeutic.
That was supposed to be it for the week – my resting period before the St. Pat's race Saturday – but I got offered a spot in a doubles game today, and of course I couldn't refuse. My feet felt fine during the game, but when I am walking or even sitting around the house, I can feel a little throbbing in my right heel (the old plantar fasciitis spot) and soreness around the bottom of my left leg.
A tutoring friend who runs a lot said I probably got a little shin splint in my left leg because I started favoring it to head off pain in the right. She said if she was trying to decide about the race, she would pick up her T-shirt, go to the post-race party and call it a day.
This would be very hard for me to do.
Katie didn't tell me not to run, but she lectured me on the absolute need of stopping if I'm in pain and reminded me I have nothing to prove. "You're already a winner," she said.
"Do you want to get another stress fracture and be out again for six weeks?" she asked.
"Well, that's more interesting than just dropping out," said maddening mother.
Joe weighed in too: "Just don't fall!"
After tennis today, I came up with a brilliant idea: Put a tennis court on top of a truck and have someone drive it to the finish while I run around the court. That would suit me better.
I have to admit that I did not come up with this kind of solution all on my own.
Before our 10-miler last May, Emily had been training on a treadmill, and she said she wished she could just put a treadmill on top of a car and run the race that way.
She ended up running all the way on the ground and finishing.
So, alas, no moving tennis court. No way I'm going to skip the race, but if my feet hurt a lot during it, I'll think seriously about stopping. And if the crowds move me along, then, so be it, if I get injured it wasn't my fault.