Preface: I don't have any "real" stress like health, family or other real world stresses. I have running and fitness related stress, which isn't as bad but still sucks.
Essentially, I'm a mess. I have two huge goals for the fall:
1. Run my first marathon
2. Finish the Appalachian Trail
The success of both of these goals are directly related to my health and fitness. And health and fitness have never really been my strong suits. You know the kid the neighborhood who always gets hurt? That's me. And right now, I'm really worried. Things have gone downhill in a hurry. I'm seriously considering pulling the plug on this whole marathon thing.
This is the point where D says: "Don't be stressed. You're doing great. Don't worry." She's right, but I'm not listening. I'm a wreck.
I've basically felt like boo boo since the 19-mile fiasco on Monday. Both physically and mentally. My left knee hurt on Tuesday, but felt fine today. Just tightness, and a feeling I remember from a long time ago when D and I would go backpack in the White Mountains off of no training. I'd carry 50 pounds and barely survive. I can stretch that out and it subsides. I also developed a strange almost pain in my left foot. It's just below my ankle, and slightly forward of it. It's not sharp and comes and goes. WTF?!?!?
Today, the plan called for 5 miles. I headed out the door unsure of what I was going to do. I could feel the pain in my foot off and on, but it was barely there. The rest of my body felt like crap. OK, not crap, but not good. I was really hoping that a short, easy run would make all the badness float away. Not so much. I decided to run a shorter loop. I ended up with 3.3 miles in 28:59.
Now I know that running a little shorter was probably a good call. In the long run 3.3 vs. 5 today isn't really going to make much of a difference. But it killed me that I was deviating from the plan. I was supposed to run 5, and I couldn't really. Kevin had a great post about this. (I met Kevin at the Bradbury Scuffle. We parked next to each other, and we debated together whether it was time to go out in the rain. Real nice guy.) I know just how he feels. What the hell am I doing? My last two runs have not been fun. Isn't this supposed to be fun? As I was running my less than 5 all I could think about was that I was running less. That just made me feel worse.
Perhaps, I need rest. Well, let's talk about goal #2. This weekend, D and I are attempting the hardest backpack of the summer. It's the last weekend we have available before our vacation in September, in which we'll be hiking the final 100 miles of the AT. So, obviously, we want to have all the sections done before our vacation. We can then stand on Katahdin knowing we've passed every white blaze from there to Springer Mountain in Georgia. (Damn, that sounds cool.) But, what if I'm not feeling good and we can't finish it? What if my foot is really effed up? A 33+ mile backpack over 2 days will certainly let me know what the status of my foot is. And, I do not want to be injured on the AT again. That really sucks. And, obviously, I don't want to screw it up (again) for D. Feeling some pressure. Of course, none of it from her because she's always super-supportive of me in my attempts at athletic endeavors, but I still feel pressure.
So, yeah, I'm really stressed. Being stressed is also a sure fire way to feel worse. It's a vicious cycle. What's worse is that this post (if you've actually stayed with it) is really long and I haven't said anything funny. Sorry on both accounts. See...more pressure. Maybe I need a shrink.