Ups and Downs #13in2013

I started the year going great guns with my running and planning to run 13 races in 2013. I logged my first race on January 19th with a race time of 28:36 — within seconds of my last 5K race time in November, which was no small feat.

It was a challenge for several reasons. I’d not been feeling well that week — nothing major, just low energy and sluggish. Then  I woke up on the day of the race to a blustery 24 degrees. (At least the sun was shining, right??) I almost didn’t run, but I had paid for it so I decided I might as well give it a fair shake.

Since I had no big goals for the race (and because it was so dang cold) I didn’t bother warming up; I sat in my car until the last possible second. Cuz did I mention? TWENTY-FOUR degrees?

But when the gun went off and I trotted off to Pink’s Try blasting through my earphones, all my encumbrances melted away and I started flying. The first couple miles were a breeze; I felt great. The third was a challenge, but I pushed through it and pretty much matched my personal best. Here I am with my friends Megan and Andrea after the race.

Since then (actually, it started before that race) I have been having some foot pain. For a while I ran through it, but I finally decided to get my feet looked at when a friend suggested that I might have a stress fracture. I stopped running for a few weeks while I waited for the results of my x-rays.

The good news is… no stress fracture!

The bad news is, I am dealing with bone spurs. And evidently, there’s not a heckuvalot you can do about bone spurs. I hear that it’s more about managing the pain than it is about treating them.

I’m still planning to see a specialist to make sure I’m doing all I can to take care of my feet, but I don’t intend to quit running. In fact, I was thrilled to set out yesterday morning . . . in new shoes — the Saucony Women’s Virrata Running Shoe, which I received for review through the FitFluential blogger ambassador program.

I’ve only run once or twice since I got my diagnosis, and those were easy walk/runs. After determining that my foot pain wasn’t getting worse, I decided to see what kind of time I could get for a 5K. After several weeks of minimal training, I had no great expectations so I was thrilled when I clocked in at 28:34!!!

So far I really like the Virratas.

They have a 0mm heel drop so they are considered minimalist shoes. They are ultra light and quite flexible, although not quite as flexible or cushiony as my Nike Frees. I do feel like I’m getting a bit more support, though, which I like. I also like how they look. They are currently my favorite running shoes purely for the form factor.

I’m looking forward to wearing them more and I’m very excited about the weather getting nicer. Here in the Northeast we still have plenty of winter left, but I’m hoping for more mild days as February eventually gives way to March.

As far as 13 races in 2013? We shall see. I’m still holding out hope. But even if that doesn’t work out, I just hope I can keep running.