This week was the week that….wasn’t.
On Monday, I wrote about how I’m feeling pretty high maintenance lately. After some weird aches and pains started to creep up on me last Friday, I had a feeling that something was ‘off’. The chiro told me that my left hip is almost an inch higher than the right (due to muscle tightness, not anatomical) on Monday morning. She’s confident that a few adjustments and light massage therapy will help loosen it up and align them again. At the time, I still thought I’d be able to run my two big workouts for the week as well as Saturday morning’s 20-21 mile long run. Sure, I was sore and there were certain muscles that were giving me more trouble than they normally do but that’s just a given during marathon training. You control what you can and try to fix little problems as you go.
I ran 5.5 creaky miles on Monday night at Fleet Feet’s Pint Night. I wasn’t comfortable after a chiro adjustment and mini-massage on Monday morning. I was sore, but I figured the shakeout would do me some good, regardless of how it actually felt at the time. Tuesday rolled around and I knew a workout just wasn’t going to happen. I had an 11 mile steady state run on the schedule and after consulting with Coach, we decided to bag it and run easy. If the quad/IT band/adductor loosened up in the first few miles, I was free to run 6-8 very easy miles. If it didn’t, however, the plan was to stop and walk home. I ended up running less than 3 miles before walking 1.5 miles home. A whole new meaning to the walk of shame (much less on a busy street during rush hour).
I’ve never done that before. And while I’ve had little aches and pains that have prompted me to rest when I don’t want to in the past (minor peroneal tendonitis and left glute strengthening with some PT), I’ve never had to stop and walk home. Wednesday is always a rest day for me and on Tuesday evening, I was still optimistic that I would be able to do some kind of workout on Thursday morning (even if it wasn’t the 12 x 400 that was already on the schedule).
Thursday, same thing. I woke up and just knew it wasn’t going to happen. I went out for an easy run and, if it loosened up, I was free to run 6-8 easy miles. (At this point, I’m calculating how many total miles I’d be missing out on for the week. Once you go down that road, you can’t really go back.) I ran a 3.5 mile loop around the neighborhood and, while I could have gone for a 2nd one to make it a total of 7 miles, there was no point. The 3.5 didn’t feel comfortable and I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where something actually snaps or breaks or gives out, miles from home. For now, the discomfort is enough to make me slow down and be cautious before it *really* becomes a big problem.
Then, Friday morning. I decided on 45 minutes on the elliptical just to get the cardio I’d been missing all week. No pain or discomfort in the left leg at all. It felt good just to MOVE. I hopped off the elliptical and decided I’d try 2 easy miles on the treadmill just to see what the leg would do. Not even one mile in, I stopped.
Any kind of movement with impact makes the left quad lock up and the inner adductor starts screaming. I don’t really feel any soreness or tenderness when I walk. But the impact of landing on my left foot makes me feel like I’m running on a flat tire. So while the elliptical workout felt great, I walked home from the gym feeling even more frustrated because my leg won’t let me run one measly mile.
Needless to say, Saturday’s 20-miler didn’t happen and I did absolutely ZERO cross-training or running this weekend. And honestly it feels like I’m going through taper pains because both of my legs just hurt. They just want to GO. I’m restless and I seriously didn’t even know what to do with myself when I knew practically the entire city of Chicago was out on the lakefront running 20-milers before the Chicago Marathon or another fall race.
Between missing out on 3 key workouts and almost 40 miles for the week (only ran a total of 11), I may have to reconsider Grand Rapids.
I’m not giving up on the leg just yet but I’d like to go into the race feeling confident that my body can handle it, rather than push through these next 2 weeks of training before taper and wonder whether or not it’s going to be a good effort. There’s no point in suffering through 26.2 miles.
If it’s in the cards and the leg decides to love running again, then Grand Rapids will happen. (And if Grand Rapids doesn’t happen, I’ll still be there to cheer for Hillary, Manny, Jeff, and Chris. They deserve ALL THE BEER at the finish line and it would be fun to personally hand it to them.)
If all it needs is time before I get another couple of weeks’ work in, then I’ll run an alternate race this fall (not sure of which one yet).
And if neither of those options is going to happen, then I plan to have fun resting, cross-training, and getting strong for the winter cycle before Boston 2014.
I was feeling so frustrated last week about the fact that I can’t even run easy right now. Now I’m (kind of) comfortable with the fact that I just have to be patient and what will be, will be.