In 2014, I was training hard for the Chicago Marathon. My speeds were exactly where I wanted them to hit, and I felt strong from head to toe.
I was transitioning into a new job during this time, so I had picked up modeling to make ends meet. Then, I made a huge mistake. I picked up a trade show modeling gig a few weeks out from marathon day. I was required to stand in high heels for one week – shifts lasted 7 hours a day with barely an hour break.
Although it hurt, I figured paying my rent was more important than the dull throbbing in my feet. I finished up the week and ran my final 20 miles.
Two days after that long run, I woke up to do some light speed work. Midway through, I felt and heard an audible “ZIP” in my left ankle. I saw stars. Before I knew it, I could barely walk.
Thankfully, I wasn’t too far from home, so I hobbled back and undid my gym shoe. My left ankle was now twice its size. And I was three weeks out from race day. EFF.
For those who haven’t met my family, our obstinacy is boundless. Therefore, I completely ignored the white-hot pain and laced up for marathon day.
I’ll let my Instagram post do the talking:
The last major moment of the marathon that I remember is turning into the aid station at mile 12. As she wrapped and iced my bloated ankle, my nurse told me I really needed to stop. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to sleep that night knowing I ran the whole way.
Spoiler alert: I’m clinically insane. The rest of the race was basically blackness. I’ve repressed the experience because I was in so much pain.
What’s worse is that my parents were in Europe for a week, and I was in too much pain to phone a friend for help. I spent the next week writhing in bed, gritting my teeth, and hating myself for being such a medal whore.
Eventually, I was able to get one of those fancy “boots”, and my ankle slowly returned to normal. Or, normal-ish. Years later, I have to warm up a bit when I get out of bed. I have to make serious decisions when it comes to footwear (i.e. will wearing these flats make me actually want to kill myself?).
On frigid days, I hobble like an old woman. Seriously.
Take my advice: if you have injured yourself to the extent that you can’t run, don’t. Clearly, my running injuries are epic.