It's been a crazy few weeks of uncertainty and refocusing and finding a rhythm. But I think I'm coming out of the fog.
After finally getting the medication I needed to help my heel recovery, I'm on the upswing. I could kill my insurance company for the delay, but I'm grateful it's in my hands now. The inflammation is definitely improving and I am on a slow return to running and impact exercise. Being able to run again, albeit for short distances, is just beyond wonderful.
Because we are landscaping our backyard right now I've gotten a lot of real world functional strength training lately, and I think that's been good for me both physically and mentally. It feels good to not be tied to a gym or to a structured exercise routine (although I still have done several structured sessions), but to rather just get outside, throw around bags of rock or granite, and create something beautiful that we will be able to enjoy for years. I refuse to minimize the impact this has had on my mental well-being. Although this is a huge project we are undertaking, it's been a joy to do it. I don't mind getting out there, getting dirty, being exhausted, and spending insane amounts of money to do it (although, it's so much cheaper than hiring someone). Allowing our creativity to take shape as we go around the yard, to change our minds if we need to, and to envision the final product has really been a great experience for the family. It's a crazy amount of work and our weekends are consumed by it. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I am beyond excited.
I've gone on a few runs in the last couple weeks, starting at 2 miles with my dogs, and moving up to a very slow 5.6 miles yesterday with the husband and a couple guys from my triathlon group, who are absolute angels for slowing down so much for me and taking the time to find a route on dirt or asphalt to minimize the impact to my heel. I am blessed to have supportive people around me, that's for sure. I'm frustrated by how slow I am and how hard it is for me to do endurance right now, but I know my struggles are temporary. I have to have patience. I can't push myself too hard or it will blow up in my face.
Yesterday I tracked many of my friends competing in the Austin Marathon and Half and it definitely gave me inspiration to not give up hope I can be a marathoner again. I want to run another marathon. I want to be successful in endurance sports again. But I know that it needs to be a long term goal, and I have been researching just which race I'd like to register for.
My search turned up the Louisiana Marathon. It's on my 43rd birthday in January and because it's a close enough drive for me, I have options on travel. It doesn't have to be an expensive weekend, which is a consideration for me since we are spending so much money on our backyard renovation. It's a race that gets incredible reviews every year, it's flat, and it has a dual-race option (5k or 1/4 marathon day before). Plus, it's a different race than I've done, which for me will be good mentally. I need something different, something fun, and something I'm excited to work towards. Besides, HELLO BIRTHDAY RACE. Registration doesn't open for a couple more weeks so I have plenty of time to make my decision.
Lastly, it appears as if my other medical problems are improving as well. I have a couple more doctor appointments in the near future, and a surgery to schedule, but I'm happy that it all doesn't seem so overwhelming anymore. The beginning of the year was just so rough for me. To have to take the reigns to turn around several negatives issues was overwhelming and confusing many days. But I have to remain thankful that all of these issues have resolutions that I'm in control over. I have friends battling much bigger health problems that are uncertain and scary, so I have to count my blessings and find the positive in all of this.
It's still an uphill climb, but I have faith I can summit and see the beauty again.