This is a hard post to right, especially after Saturday’s post.
It started several hours after writing that post and after recovering from the “excitement” that was losing my license. (God ordained that an acquaintance be the one who picked it up on the Swamp Rabbit Trail and returned it that same day.) I was relaxing in my comfy chair, an hour or so away from bed, when my right knee started to tighten.
I’ve experienced this before at random times. Once I was brushing my teeth before bed and it just hit. Usually it’s been no big deal to shake it off, go to bed and wake up in the morning just fine. Looking back I know that I should have taken steps then to strengthen my legs and prevent my IT band from flipping out.
Of course, being a week out from the marathon I started to get nervous and went to bed hoping that my knee would feel fine in the morning. Even though it did, the tightness (and some mild pain) returned a couple hours after I woke up. Full on panic mode started to set in. That mindset got worse when the knee tightened up again as I taught the Sunday school lesson.
I spent the entire car ride to the grocery store after church finger massaging my right IT band, hoping for relief and praying for a miracle.
God chose to not give me the miracle in the form that I prefer. Instead, He showed me that I had placed running on a pedestal, made running my idol. That has to change.
For the rest of Sunday, I did not feel any tightness but I was hyperaware of every sensation in my right leg. Monday, I woke up around 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep for 30 min because I was obsessing over my knee. (I’m thickheaded. It takes a while for things to get through.)
When I woke up to my alarm an hour later, my knee felt fine but I was still hyperaware of every sensation. That run was miserable. I couldn’t get out of my head. I felt fine, okay to run, but mentally was a mess.
Then, right before I started stretching after the run, my knee started to tighten again. Since I’m still working on this whole not-panicking thing, I have to admit that I got a bit depressed.
Later yesterday as I played google doctor (BAD IDEA!) I started to get worked up and as I got more anxious my knee started tightening again. I left my desk and headed to the restroom so I could take some time to calm down and pray. I wanted that sense of peace back. That sense of God-given peace that whatever happens, He is in control.
My God is a gracious God. He gave me that peace.
Since around lunchtime yesterday, my knee (and IT band) have felt normal. I took this morning off and know that it’s the right decision.
So, what do I think it is? After talking everything over with my sister last night, she hypothesized that it’s a mild overuse injury that has been set off by the sudden chilly weather and, of course, my anxiety. She’s very wise.
What does that mean (for MCM and beyond)?
Well, I may take the rest of the week off. I may not. I’m going to play it day by day.
For the race? 3:45 is out.
It took me a while to be okay with that decision. Now I’m confident that it is. On Sunday I will run this marathon with no time goal. I will take in the sights and appreciate the spectators. I feel free from the pressure to perform.
For after the race?
I’m taking the week off. I’m also backing off from my BQ goal at Hilton Head. It’s too much, too fast. I may love the marathon but I’ve stacked these marathons way too close.
It means that I am likely not going to race Bayshore, not next year at least. My body needs a break from the marathon.
It means that Boston will have to wait a year or two.
It means that I’ll have the spring to focus on shorter distances and cross-training to build up to another journey towards Boston.
This may seem to be a drastic reaction to a mild injury but I know that it’s appropriate. I made running my idol. I let it consume my thoughts. I’m not giving it up, I’m just changing my focus. Instead of seeking to glorify myself through accruing faster times and more accolades, I want to glorify God through my running, aka make running secondary.
So, there you have it. Thanks for sticking with me through to the end of this entry.