Headsweats is proud to sponsor Penny Comins and wishes her the best of luck in Boston. Please read on to learn about her preparations and training for the big race.
Changing Goal Posts
With a foot that I could barely walk on over the Christmas break the outlook for 2012 was bleak. My pre-determined goals that I had set on reflection from 2011 were slowly slipping away. Not only was I unable to hit the monthly goals of speed, distance, and time I didn’t have a solution on how to get my foot back on track.
It is the harsh reality that goals change throughout the year and you have to work with them to get the best out of what you can control. I could control my treatment and advice. SpiroHealth’s Dr. Nicole Paine was instrumental in starting the diagnosis. It was whittled down from a terrifying heel fracture to a heel spur to a serious case of degenerative plantar fasciitis.
Treatment was my worst fear – complete rest. No running for five weeks. It nearly tore me apart not to be doing the thing I love. My mind-set had to change and so did my eating habits. Due to the lack of exercise I took advantage of Maxifuels sister brand Maxitone and used their protein based meal products to have healthy snacks such as Sculptress diet bar. This helped to keep my weight in check and support my muscles.
My first run back was bliss. Yes my foot still hurt but is was a dull pain, not searing. I could walk after and not limp. It was a 15 minute run. The goal was a sub three-hour Boston Marathon in three months time. I needed to re-evaluate that goal and make sure it still excited me.
On a new path with the pure solace that I could run again I chipped away at the mileage each week. Speed sessions were pretty sluggish and a time-orientated goal was not an option for this race. Progress was slow, as was loosing the extra kilos but I was ever determined to get to Boston and at least finish it.
Swapping out my Headsweats beanie for visors as the sun shone in London was a real lift to my spirits. I decided to race the Breakfast Run, a 16 mile loop past the gorgeous Hampton Court Palace. Starting on the elite line was a real buzz, which held me strong to the end. I finished 15th in the woman’s race and third in my age group. My foot was at minimal pain; all of a sudden the goal post of just finishing Boston had changed again.
My training diary looks more like a children’s writing book now with cross outs and comments all over my race plan. Being able to deal with moving goal posts has been a challenge for me, as I like structure. I believe I am ready for the 116th Boston Marathon and will be toeing the line with 27, 000 other athletes on Monday April 16 as number 6748. I cannot wait and appreciate the fact I can run again. Love running.