Monday, June 11, 2012
Pre-race panic has officially set in. I'm two weeks away from my Half and feeling VERY under-trained. How did I get here? I was doing so well!
More challenges this week in my distance training - I was able to bounce back pretty quick from my minor surgery last weekend and was up to running 5 miles again on Friday, but I did something stupid in the process that has ended up costing me a lot of time and physical angst. My back has been bothering me for a bit - understandable given my mileage increases and the amount of (self-inflicted) stress that I've been under. Despite seeing my chiropractor and massage therapist regularly, this particular knot has been an ongoing issue and until Wednesday of this week I was feeling pretty "out". Went in for my Wednesday morning adjustment and she finally found the spot, cracked me good and low and behold I was pain-free for one entire day! Until I went out running that night because I felt so great, tripped a curb and threw my entire body out of alignment again. Oh good grief Charlie Brown. I could barely walk home. My left leg refused to move without searing pain up my entire left side and down my entire left leg - no bueno. I was finally able to make it home and stretch it out a bit, pop SOMETHING back into place enough to deal with the sharpness of the pain, and send off an apology email to my chiropractor for being a clutz, asking if she had any room for me again on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, she couldn't see me Thursday, but she did have a Friday morning appointment, so I gratefully took that and proceeded to ice and heat for the day on Thursday.
Friday morning I felt ok enough to assume that I could run again. Here was my mistake. As stupid as I felt for tripping the curb, throwing myself out again was not the issue. Deciding to run on an "out" back is not a good recommendation. But I was so afraid to have an adjustment and re-damage it again by running later that night or Saturday morning, that I decided the best thing to do would be to run my 5 miles in the morning before my appointment, get my adjustment and then rest for a couple of days to recover. So I ran an uncomfortable 5 miles on Friday morning. By the time I reached the doctors office, the muscles in my back were so tight that I couldn't stand up straight. And try as she might to loosen them, the big crack that I needed to set me right again was out of the question. She ended up working on me for a half hour, using every drop procedure in the book. In short - she basically beat the crap out of me, and it still didn't fix the issue. I left with the instruction to ice, heat, stretch, drink LOTS of water and take Advil if I needed it - but that overall, I was going to be very sore for a couple of days. She also told me she didn't want me to run over the weekend - to which I balked, knowing that a 15K was on my weekend schedule. She gave me a fair warning that said I could do what I wanted to, but that skipping a 15K was not going to kill me in the long run, and that even if I had to run/walk the race, at least I would be able to compete - whereas if I went out and re-injured myself, chances are good that I could put myself out completely and be forced to forfeit the race.
I get it. I do. But now I'm scared. I've skipped so many long runs over the past few weeks that I'm terribly nervous about covering the mileage. I know run/walking the race is ok - but it's not my goal. And in the long run of things, I need a success right now to keep me on track for the Full and to feel like I really can do this. I'm starting to get in my head and my nerves are more like Jello than steel.
You don't mess around with injuries. And I know this is my body's way of telling me that it's under duress and that I need to slow down a bit. But now is NOT the time. I did manage to get a 5 mile run in yesterday on the treadmill, but even after that my back is sore and I'm still not standing straight. I was going to run the other 4 of my scheduled 9.3 tonight, but instead I'm sitting here writing this blog because in all honesty, it just doesn't feel good enough to run.
I'm sure every marathoner experiences this at one time or another. The negative feelings are telling me that I can't do this and that I'm making excuses for my injuries which really aren't that bad and if I REALLY wanted this, I would just power through the pain. The positive feelings are trying to be supportive of my body's needs and talk myself into believing that even though I'm feeling inadequate, that I'm still going to be able to pull it out on race day and meet my goals. This is the mental see-saw of marathon training, and it's only going to get worse from this point on. But I'm determined to beat it down, because really, I have no other choice.
So to end on a positive note, I'm still WAY ahead of the game. Chicago Marathon training officially starts June 18th. That's still a week away. And the first week of training involves running about 10 miles total, split over multiple runs. I'm currently capable of running 28+ miles in a week and I CAN do the 13 mile distance. So, really, I'm already half way there and we haven't even started yet. This too shall pass, but I won't lie and say I'm not looking forward to feeling "normal" again - whatever that means. Rest assured - I'll keep you posted!
Week 9 Schedule (Completed):
Mon - 2.5 mile walk
Tue - Rest
Wed - 3 mile run (on which I tripped the curb and re-injured my back...doh!)
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 mile run (worked through the pain, and paid for it later)
Sat - Rest
Sun - 5 mile run (not what I aimed for, but better than nothing)
Total Weekly Miles: 13
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 1428 (just below my goal of 1500/week)
Weekly Weigh-In: 184.4 (post-run, but it stuck over the weekend)
Week 10 Schedule:
Mon - Rest
Tue - 15K (I just have to get a distance run in!)
Wed - Rest
Thu - 3 miles
Fri - 2 miles
Sat - Rest
Sun - 11 miles (final long run before race taper)