I absolutely can not wait to run the Boston Marathon in April. Beyond excited! I’m sure you are all looking forward to hearing me to talk about it for the next 171 days.
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As with every training season, I got injured again this time. It was 4 weeks prior to marathon day and man, I was on it. I was hitting 7:45 pace for my 22 mile runs. I was peaking; at the top of my game. I was looking at another BQ for 2015 and a PR in the marathon. Then I fell and hurt my ribs. This is the type of injury you can’t just bounce back from. You can’t put ice on it and hope for the best. It took me fully out of commission for awhile. And I hated it. As each day went by, I realized that the likelihood of me seeing the starting line on 10/27 was not good. It took me a bit before I finally gave in and cancelled my hotel room. I’ll admit, I help out hope that I would wake up one day and feel 100% and be able to go out and do one last long run. But that day didn’t come. I felt as if I let everyone down, but most of all myself. The next few days I had to come to grips with not being able to compete this fall. My friends heard about it and they are saints to put up with me.
As marathon day came and went, I found myself reflecting on the past few weeks and how I wish I would’ve handled things differently. Here’s what I learned from this experience:
1. There will always be another race. It may not be the race you envisioned or the one all of your friends are doing; but there will be others, I promise.
2. Your life will not end because you can’t race. Get some fro-yo and slap on a smile.
3. Look at the down time as a time to refocus and pick up a new hobby; perhaps coin collecting (only a few injuries a year from that hobby).
4. Focus on making others a priority instead of running. I focused on others racing and how I can help them. I focused on making my friendships stronger, being a better girlfriend, sister, and daughter.
I feel for all runners who are on the injured list. I know what it’s like; it’s not pretty. It’s gonna be hard but you’re strong and you’ll get through this.
July kicked off my unofficial marathon training for the Marine Corps Marathon. I say unofficial because I don’t ever really follow a plan 100% or even 80%. And in the beginning of training I just wing it. Lately, I’ve had a lot of social/personal commitments that have kept me from doing my normal long runs on Saturday mornings (and a lot of mid week runs). I’ve had to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. By that I mean, skipping runs or cutting them short or not being able to fit them in at all. Last weekend, I had a 3 hour window to run in West Virginia. It was 2pm and a downpour outside. Still, I had to get it in. I had to modify my route and break my run up into pieces just to get it done. I was all sorts of anxious about it driving to the trail in the rain. But when I was done, I was proud that I went outside the comfort zone. Also, some spectacular that happened on last weeks long run (brace yourself) – I ran Garmin-less for the 2nd half of the run! What?! I know! I never run Garmin-less, I feel like days could pass by and I’d still be running if I wasn’t wearing it. But because of the torrential downpours; I had to return to my car and leave the Garmin behind so it wouldn’t get soaked. And let me tell you – I ran really well without it. I did note when I left and when I returned and luckily my trail had mile markers so afterwards I was able to calculate my pace. And I used mapmyrun for elevation and exact mileage. Not bad at all being with the Garmin. No stress over pace or heart rate. Now, I won’t be doing that again anytime soon (lets not get carried away). But now I know that I can do it. And perhaps I’ll try to make one long run a month Garmin-less.