Monday, August 14, 2006
Reining It In
Quitting is SO hard. But this is a situation in which I think dropping out is a good idea. I'm signed up for America's Finest City 1/2 Marathon. I was doing really well with my training. I had been running 3x/week, spacing it out, including 1 long run on the weekends. I was up to 10 miles, which I had done twice without any problems (surprisingly). I was feeling strong and proud of myself.
Then, I got my interesting stomach bug + fever-virus-thingie, and was laid up for almost 3 weeks. I went for a run for the first time since then this weekend. 4 miles. Felt great. Felt awesome, in fact. I'm amazed at how much I still have in me.
Now that the adrenaline is pumping, I'm frothing at the bit. I know I could probably do the 1/2 marathon next weekend. The plan was to try to do another 10 mile run this weekend, assess how it went, and then if all went well, do the 1/2 marathon next weekend verrrry slowly, maybe even walking the first few miles.
Sunday, we mapped out a 10-mile run. I have my new orthotics readjusted and put into a fresh pair of running shoes. Problem is, I'm having some pain in my outer right knee. Kind of odd b/c it started when I stopped training, which surprised me. I think it might be accumulated stress from doing the long runs the day after a race so many weeks in a row. I just didn't start noticing it until it stiffened up during the time off. It probably is an IT band issue since the pain is right on the outside knob of the knee that the tendons run over. I've had this before and I know exactly what I need to do: stretching, appropriate, targeted weight training, massage, new running shoes (yup), ice, NSAIDs, etc. So I know what to do with it.
However, my knee has convinced me it's not a good idea to do a half-marathon next weekend. I probably could do it. I know I could do it. And I want to really badly. But I just know if I do, I will need even more time off afterwards to heal from a running injury. If not my knee, something else. It's just not worth it. For the first time in my life, I'm going to hold back, and drop out of the race. I've never done this before. I hate it. I feel like I'm giving up. Like I'm quitting. But I know, in my gut, I'm doing the right thing. My body will thank me later for it. Did I make the right decision?