I am officially into taper. But I might be injured and my hopes might be dashed for the second year in a row. Honestly, I think I am nervously assuming a worst case scenario. Only time will tell.
Let me rewind. Friday night I am on my way home from work and pick up a couple of bottles of wine for some company we were having that night. There is construction going on at our front door so I attempt to enter the house from the rear deck. I was walking on the side slope and stepped on some small rocks that caused my feet to go out from under me. I fell pretty hard and the bottom of the wine bottles connected with my ribs. Before you ask, I had not had a sip of wine yet and the bottles did not break. Right away I was sore but no bruising or bleeding. I thought my last long run of 20 miles was in danger.
I decide to test it out with a short four miler on Saturday. While I was sore there was nothing preventing me from running. On Sunday, I hooked up with two other runners and we ran the supported CARA Ready to Run 20 miler. They send you off in large groups every 30 seconds and they have water stops and port-o-lets along the run from Montrose Beach to the South Shore Cultural Center. I ran with Tom most of the way. Tom is trying to break 4 hours in his fifth attempt and we settle into a 9 minute pace for about 13-14 miles. I feel great. I run ahead of Tom and post the next mile in 7:58. I varied my pace for the remainder. I never felt pain and it was probably the easiest 20 miles I've ever done. Every runner gets some free food samples at the end plus two free beers. I've dodged a bullet after the fall.
Until I wake up in pain on Monday morning. I cannot cough or sneeze without screaming the word ouch. I cannot sleep or sit in certain positions. It hurts too much. I better not be injured to the point where I cannot run my race! Obviously, the 20 miler aggravated my injury. But it can't be that serious if I can run 20 miles without a hint of pain right? I refuse to spend money at a doctor because there is not a lot they can do for a fractured rib if that is what it is. Those injuries heal themselves with rest. They do not even treat that injury with taping or wrapping anymore. So now what do I do?
The good news is that I have three weeks to heal up. I have skipped two runs of 8 and 5 miles. I shouldn't lose too much fitness. I will continue to take the NSAID to help with the pain. It has improved but not exactly perfect. How in the world can I run 20 miles without pain and have it get worse the next day? Must be a soft tissue problem? I am shutting it down temporarily. I'll give it a few more days...and pray