I think I'm going to be serious for a minute, but don't worry, it probably won't last.
I had a bit of a scare over the last week or two. I couldn't run. I'd take off running and within a few hundred yards, my Achilles Tendon would seize up. It felt like someone had driven a nail through my ankle. I'd have to stop and stretch, then walk a bit. On our last Lake Hodges brick, we had a four mile run and I couldn't do it. I walked almost the whole thing. The next Tuesday, I fought my way through track practice, but I thought my ankle was just going to tear itself apart.
Anyway, I tried to run on it a couple more times and it just kept getting worse. I finally had to go to the doctor. After a few days on anti-inflammatories and a strict stretching and ice regimen (not to mention a week of no running) I'm almost back to normal. I was beating my pace tonight (one mile in 8:20 or so, which is 15 seconds faster than my race pace), and I only hurt when I lost my concentration and let my stride fall into heel-striking.
The scariest thing about this is not the injury, which turns out to be a minor strain, probably an overuse injury, but rather its proximity to race day. As of tomorrow we are exactly one month from zero-hour. The thought that I might be hindered on race day, or even worse, unable to complete the run, had me anxious and pissed. To have trained this hard and have it slip...
Thankfully, I'm gonna be fine. It does drive home the point that you are only as strong as your weakest link. the smallest crack in the wall can bring you down. This one was my fault. I charged a little too hard and I didn't recover properly between sessions. Add that to the general stress of life lately, with fundraising and all the insanity at work (stupid jobs, getting in the way of training) and you've got a recipe for disaster.
I'm sure my body tried to tell me something was wrong, but I didn't listen. And that's the moral of this story: no matter what you think you are capable of, nothing can run at 100% every hour of every day and not break down.
That's it for now, take care of yourselves, get some rest, eat your vegetables, stay in school, all that stuff. I'm gonna go veg in front of the TV for a while. Maybe I'll be back later to tell you how I spent a few minutes last Saturday on my back, clipped to my pedals, with the bike sticking straight up into the air and my water bottle rolling down the highway.