By Nikki Caswell
I was maybe a mile from my favorite part of the half marathon race when the throbbing in my foot became more than a nag – running down Mainstreet Disney and then through Cinderella Castle. Two days prior I was running through Epcot for a little 5K. And the morning before I completed the 10K with some foot nagging, but thought, nah, I’ll finish out this four-day race series. I was attempting RunDisney’s Dopey Challenge. 48.6 miles over 4 days and 4 theme parks. Yep, I was one of those crazy runners.
I finished the half marathon doing the run-hobble. In my head, I knew I couldn’t do the 26.2 miles the next morning. But, my heart kept the possibility open. Later that day, as I limped the half mile to the hotel spa for my recovery massage, reality was kicking in. My body wanted a break. It was demanding a break. And it knew I wouldn’t break on my own.
So, with a heavy heart, I slept in and watched the marathon coverage in the hotel room before heading down to the marathon finish line to cheer on friends. Even though I was disappointed, I knew I needed to listen to my body. So often women are pressured by outside forces to do or be x, y, and z without checking in with ourselves. We know our strengths and our limitations, but we don’t always listen to ourselves. We push and push to meet those external forces, and then our bodies force us to break. We need to pause and listen to what our bodies are telling us. Our bodies hold stories, memories, and emotions, and we should do better to trust our bodies when they tell us something.
After returning from Disney, I went in for X-rays and learned I had a stress reaction. Not quite a stress fracture, yet, same recovery. Two months of no running. I’m glad I listened to my body and didn’t push it through the marathon. I could’ve ended up with a full on foot fracture. I followed doctor’s orders and rested which permissioned my body to spiral into some other inflammation and swelling issues, so I’m still resting. But, I trust and know my body will bounce back and that come February 2020 I’ll be back at my happy place running down Mainstreet Disney for the Princess Half Marathon weekend. Until then, I hope to catch some of you walking the Greenways!
There’s nothing quite like waking up at 2:15am to run a 10K, half marathon, or full marathon in costume. If you have the chance to experience a RunDisney race, I hope you do!