Hello! Sorry its been so long since my last blog- I have no excuse accept laziness. The longer I go in between blogs, the harder it is to get back into blogging. But anyway, here I am blogging again.
So what's new since my last blog in January? Well it's been a bit of a tough go for this lady. After the marathon in October, I took 6 days of absolutely no running, then jumped back into training for Canadian Cross Country Championships that were at the end of November. I had a few minor injuries popping up that month, but I trained through and ended up running well at XC champs. I continued on training through December, but was really struggling with consistency. I would get about 7-10 days of good running in, then feel really fatigued/sore/like a bag of shit, and need to take a few days off, or skip a hard workout. I just wasn't recovering.
When January came, I just wasn't feeling like myself, physically or emotionally. I had some pretty heavy personal/health stuff to deal with, and it was affecting my running. I raced twice, and both results not what I wanted. So I backed off the workouts in January and just ran. No track stuff, no pressure. It was exactly what I needed. In mid February I was starting to feel good again, and getting in some consistency. Then I strained my left hamstring during a local half marathon (First half half marathon). This was the beginning of the nightmare that is the left side of my body. Since then, I've really been struggling with pain and tightness in my left glute, SI joint, piriformis, ect. Basically my entire bum, hip, groin, lower back area on the left side. It wasn't sidelining me, and I was still able to run my hard workouts, but my off day runs were often quite painful and I not so much fun. Regular massage, and my savior of a physio Chris Napier were holding me together. My massage therapist compared me to a someone in a sinking ship constantly just bailing out the water to stay a float. I totally related to that! But that's all a part of training for a marathon. It's a grind and it's gonna hurt. You need to know when to push and when to rest. It's a fine line. One I'm still trying to figure out.
I pushed through and by the end of March I was finally feeling fit and ready to run fast. I raced the Modo 8km at Stanley park on March 24th during a somewhat high week of mileage and managed to pull out a pretty good time of 26:38. I was very happy with that, and felt good doing it. I knew I was ready to run a fast 10km, probably a PR, and was excited to get to race one in Stanford on the track only 2 weeks later. However, things didn't end up working out the way I had hoped.
The day after the Modo 8km, I noticed that my right heel was a bit sore. I just figured it was from racing the day before, then working 7 hours serving right after. Either way, I pool ran instead of running and all was good on Tuesday when I threw down a pretty decent track workout with Rachel Cliff. The pain seemed to be gone. Saturday morning, the 28th, I went out to do an easy 10k before my flight to California and was surprised with how much my heel was hurting.
I arrived in Santa Cruz with the rest of the BC Endurance Project for our 2 week training camp. I mentioned to the team that my right heel was really hurting. They were all like “uh oh....that is NOT good. Probably Plantar Fasciitis”. Something I knew almost nothing about. I have never had problems with my feet. They went on to tell me what a bitch it is, and how hard it is to go away. I was not happy, but was sure that it would be something I could deal with and keep under control.
20km the next day was supposed to be awesome as we were running along the cliffs by the ocean. I felt pain. Pain with every damn step. It was getting worse. The next day, we (coach rich) and I decided to give the heel one more run- it wasn't good. But I thought, yes, it hurts, but I can handle this. I really wanted to race on Friday night (only 5 days away). So I decided I would just keep training no matter how much it hurt, then I would rest it after the race. Well, I attempted to do a track workout the next day and it was a disaster. I limped through the warm up, winced through the strides, then hobbled one lap of what was supposed to be a 1k. I wasn't as tough as I thought- it just hurt too damn much. I walked off the track distraught, sad and frustrated.
Decision was made to skip the race and cross train (pool run) for a few days and see if that helped. After 3 days, and lots of rolling and icing, I did a little 6k run. Pain. But it was still a little bit better. So the next day I ran again- this time 14k. Pain, but somewhat manageable. Then I tried 20k the next day. Made it 16km and knew I couldn't continue to run in pain like this. Running in pain is no way to run. I love running, and I was hating it with every step. I knew that day that I couldn't run through this injury- whatever it was (still not sure it was PF). The realization that I would have to take weeks (months?) of no running and only cross training was setting in. I was devastated as I knew this meant that I wouldn't be able to train properly for the Ottawa marathon on May 24th. No Ottawa Marathon also means no chance of making the Commonwealth games team. This was my last (only) opportunity to try and run the standard of 2:35.00. Totally bummed. Withdrawing from the Ottawa marathon really sucked, but I know I will be back to run a fast fall marathon:)
As for the rest of the spring season.....Who knows? I'm taking things day by day, seeing how my heel feels. We aren't sure if it is actually PF. Could be a calcaneus stress fracture (awaiting a bone scan this or next week), or an irritated fat pad. I had not run since April 7th, until yesterday when I ran 12 mins. I was really hoping my heel would feel good, but it was still hurting. Better, but definitely far from good. Pretty disappointing to say the least. I had been holding on to some hope that I would still be able to race the Vancouver Sun Run this weekend. That hope is all but gone now. I would say there is a 1% chance that I will be on that start line. Oh man that is pretty heart breaking for me. That is the one race all year that I really wanted to crush. I must say I'm pretty gutted to have to sit this one out.
I've been working my butt off pool running and biking. I know that if I continue cross training like a champ, I'll be able to stay fit. And when my heel is “healed” and I'm able to run again, I'll be ready. On days when I'm lacking motivation, I think of Lynn Kanuka (Williams)- She spent weeks pool running and biking with an injury, and within a few weeks of being back running was in the best shape of her life- setting the Canadian record in the 3000m. She is my inspiration, and I feel so fortunate to have her giving me advice and guidance with my current injury.
The last few weeks have been pretty tough. I was finally feeling fit and ready to run fast- excited for the spring season of races. And in a matter of days, it all changed. Knowing that my heel could take months to get better means the probability of no races at all. I've cried. I've felt sorry for myself. But that is doing no good (especially not for my teammates, coach, family and boyfriend that have to put up with sad Tasha). I have a good friend who is an elite runner and was very sick resulting in a 10 day hospital stay. A blood infection that now has him on I.V. Antibiotics for weeks. He will not be able to run for who knows how long. I have no right feeling sorry for myself, when someone else is going through something far worse. Really puts things in perspective for me. Suck it up princess- that's what I'm telling myself.
So I'm trying to stay positive. I've been very fortunate with my health up to know. I have had no big injuries for years. And all this cross training has helped my evil left side. It's feeling great! These things happen to all distance runners. I may miss a few races now, but there's lots more to come. I'll be back- and I'll be faster then ever!
Taking the "W" at the Modo 8km
Photo shoot for AQR Sport with Chris Thorn
Fun time taking pics with Chris Thorn in Squamish.
One of the only runs I did in California with my bud Dayna.
Dayna and I met up with Lanni for dinner while she was in Cali to race.
Beauty day taking pics in Squamish.