Welp, I will say that it has been a wee bit of a long 7 weeks and 2 days composed of a lot of bike-time and even more pool-time. But finally, and I say this while throwing the entire shaker of salt over my shoulder and crossing my fingers...light at the end of the tunnel!
The estimated downtime assigned back in December was "4-6 weeks off." I had happily determined this to translate to "2 weeks off", owing to the week I took off after Clubs in combination with fact that I was only running 3 or 4 days a week for the month leading up to Clubs, so that had to add like 3 more weeks in there somewhere, right? Give or take a few days. So one week plus 3 more weeks is already 4 weeks, so if I took off 2 more solid weeks then BOOM I took 6 weeks off. This seemed like completely sound reasoning. Easy peezy lemon squeezy! Silly broken toe.
But apparently it doesn't really work that way.
Whatever. So here we are 7 weeks later, and while it was longer than my initially anticipated Dr.Payne prescribed 2 week layoff, I am pleased to say that I made it through 29 of those days without a single irrational or psychotic thought darkening my psyche, that's a PR by about 28.5 days! But after watching my teammates kick ass at Fast and Flurryous up in Boulder a few weeks ago, for some reason I got back home from the race and went to the pool, started "running", and was suddenly consumed with the unreasonable notion that I would never run again. Ever.
"THIS WILL NEVER HEAL," screamed the voice of Unreason, "NOT EVER. I WILL BE RUNNING IN CIRCLES IN THIS POOL FOR 2 HOURS A DAY EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE UNTIL THE CHLORINE EATS AWAY MY AQUA-JOGGER AND SWIM SUIT AND I, NAKED AND WEAKENED WITH DEPAIR, WILL SINK SADLY INTO THE FAKE-BLUE DEPTHS NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN. Please, no one save me."
Thus ended my 29 day streak.
I don't know how I always seem to forget that this point seems to come with nearly every prolonged setback, yet my worst fears have never actually come to fruition. In retrospect, I'm not actually sure why I ever even bother worrying in the first place. Even though sitting on the sidelines was no less difficult than usual, and even though watching the live-stream of the U.S. Cross Country Champs was something akin to watching a beloved, much-adored pet screeching and writhing in its death throes while dying some kind of terrible, drawn-out, agonizing death from which I could not save it (although I did really enjoy watching our girls and guys and my college coach running around out there. Good job everyone, and thanks Runnerspace.), and even though I learned that I really need to stay off Facebook, Twitter, Letsrun, Runcolo, Flotrack and any/all other forms of social networking/media running-related or otherwise during downtime in an effort to avoid hearing all about everyone else's awesomeness, the healing process did not fail.
There is something about seeing your embarrassingly slow walk-jogs (wogs) gradually transform into actual pain-free running--or what passes for running right now anyway--that suddenly makes me realize that once again, there was no need to fear, it's actually going to be okay, and I did not stop loving it in the meantime.
I'm not 100% sure what's coming up in terms of races, first things first for now. Possibly a St. Pat's day rust-buster race or who knows, maybe I will end up on the track later this spring. Although as previously mentioned, on a track everyone else looks like this:
Meanwhile, I more closely resemble this guy here on the left:
So try not to get too excited.
Thanks for reading! Until next time, in recognition of the upcoming Valentine's Day, I will leave you all with this hug-train of koalas: