For those few who follow my blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted a training recap for the past two weeks. The reason for that is that I will not be running Chicago as previously planned. I had intended to have this post up sooner because I made the decision last Sunday. However, I wanted to wait until after I met with the PT that my coach recommended. (I would also recommend him but he’s already so popular that getting an appointment can be a challenge.)
This is my first real DNS. (There was a 5k many years ago that I bailed on because I wanted to sleep in. I don’t recognize that girl either. I also deferred on the Harbison 50k and didn’t run it that next year but I don’t really count that.) I am 100% at peace with that decision. Here’s what lead to that.
It all has to do with my right leg. That should be no surprise. I actually can’t remember the last time the leg felt completely normal. When I would feel weird twinges/other sensation, I backed off from my daily hamstring strengthening exercises something I started doing after meeting with a different PT before Twin Cities last year. I stretched. I foam rolled. I kept trucking right along with the training plan as prescribed.
I should have known something was off long before I did. Other people noticed before I did. At the beach someone asked me if I was limping. I didn’t think I was. I kept trucking. Meanwhile, the problem kept growing.
Then I got knocked for a loop by the stomach bug and a clutzy fall on an easy run. (My left foot missed the sidewalk which caused me to land hard on the right. I took Tuesday off that week but kept trucking albeit with diminishing BQ hopes. The rest of the runs never felt good. Saturday’s run was horrible. I knew then that I had done something to the hamstring with how tight and sore it was.
Before I get to the “diagnosis” I want to talk about the mental aspect. I felt really low last weekend. There’s no sugar coating it. Injury sucks, especially when you don’t know what’s wrong, as I didn’t for much longer than I wanted.
What surprised me was how disconnected I felt from the Chicago Marathon. It’s hard to describe but I don’t think I ever really got excited about running this marathon. It was just another step in the journey to Boston. I think I had reached the point where I was ready to be done with the hard workouts and take a break. I also got distracted from researching and prepping for teh race by other projects.
Thus the decision to cancel the trip came fairly easily. The pros were as follows. We had free hotel reservation cancellation. That’s $600 saved. We used points on the airline tickets so we were out only $6. Also, the tickets were nonrefundable but Southwest will let us use those funds within the next year on another flight so the points weren’t lost either. I can start rehab and recovery two weeks sooner and not have to climb out of the hole that “just jogging” the marathon would have dug. I’ll avoid the miserable experience that was Marine Corps two years ago. (I “just ran” that one.) I can run Chicago at a later date when I’m able to give it my all and enjoy the experience.
The only con that I can think of is the fact that I will lose the money that I spent on the entry. I entered based on time qualifications. Only those who gained entry via the lottery could defer.
So here’s the diagnosis: distal hamstring/tendon strain cause by incomplete hip extension motion and gluteal weakness. Basically, my hips and glutes are week and my hamstring had to pick up the slack. This makes so much more sense than the diagnosis of “weak hamstrings” that I got last year. The frustrating thing about this is the fact that I’ve known for a while that I need to work on my hip and core strength but did I? Nope. Lesson learned.
Here’s how I feel about the whole thing now. I’m actually excited. I’m excited about being able to get a fresh start. I’m excited about doing it the right way from the get go. For the first time in a while, I’m excited about training again and going for that BQ I know will be mine.