Friday, September 30, 2011

30 Days

Well, the Marine Corps Marathon is 30 days away, and, the uncertainty of whether or not I will be able to participate is growing with each day that passes. I've got 2 weeks of physical therapy under my belt, and while I have been seeing some improvements, progress is still slow and frustrating, especially for a Type A personality.

My therapist told me I could run 5-6 miles last weekend, certainly nowhere near the 18-20 I originally had down on my training plan. I planned on 6, and if I felt good after that, I'd do 2 more for a total of 8. I am registered for a half marathon tomorrow, and needed to test out my body to see if 13.1 would even be possible. I had 5 pain free miles. As a result, I am spending this weekend at home rather than running through the hills of West Virginia. This was a race I have been trying to plan for for 2 years now, so to say I'm disappointed about having to cancel is an understatement.

To say that barely making it through 6 miles was a reality check is an even bigger understatement. While neither the podiatrist nor therapist has outright told me that MCM is out of the question, I am beginning to accept that it probably is. I'm beginning almost a mourning process so to speak. My emotions are still too raw - I can barely talk about it without tearing up because of the disappointment I feel so deep down. To know how close I was to being done with my training, I did get all the way up to 18 miles, and see it all go to waste is frustrating.  The early early hours, the pushing myself to my limit in 90+ degree temps and horrific humidity, all seem for naught now.

I am beginning to come around to the fact that even if my foot is feeling better by late October, is it really going to be worth it go through with my race plans? A friend asked me the other day why I feel the need to keep doing marathons. My response "because I want to do them better." Going into a marathon 7 weeks after my longest run and dealing with an injury is certainly not doing it better. Perhaps this is where the experience of having 2 fulls already under my belt is a good thing - I know how hard and painful it would be to begin with, dealing with these factors would certainly be worse.

So, I have not canceled any plans as of yet. I've missed the window to transfer my registration to another runner, but I can still transfer from the full marathon to the 10K, which I would certainly be capable of completing by that point. But, would I feel like I'm settling? Is it an all of nothing for me now? Am I admitting defeat? If I can't do the full, I'm not even sure I want to step foot into the expo. It would just be too painful.


  1. I'm so sad for you :( That's so disappointing. Marathons are so tough because it's like you plan and plan for them FOREVER and just a small side track totally messes everything up.

    That being said, my MCM runners are running their longest runs tomorrow, and so I am not sure if pushing it at MCM is the right thing to do. Have you considered picking up your training when you're ready and picking a different marathon? I know it's disappointing to miss Marine Corps, but the good news is that you've done Marine Corps before and maybe God or fate is telling you that maybe this is a year for a different race...

    Richmond is supposed to be awesome and it's 11/12. One of my group members is running it and would probably love to meet you. Or Space Coast, 11/27. There are probably more, but those are the only two that are coming to my mind right now.

    I mean, Marine corps might be out of the question, but that doesn't mean you can't still run a marathon!

  2. Thanks so much, Kim. Yes, I have been considering doing either Richmond or Philly (11/19) instead of MCM, but am also considering just forgoing a full this fall rather than rushing my healing even to make those. As a result, I'm currently considering the Shamrock full in early Spring. If I do it, it will be my only full in 2012. I don't think I have the energy or ambition to train for a full for a third summer in a row.

  3. Hang in there, Jen. It is a setback, but not one you can't overcome.

    Allow your body to heal, even when progress seems slow. I know from personal trials of a different kind how bad things can backfire when you are impatient with your body.

    You can choose to be your body's ally or always be at battle with it. I have been a lot happier as a person since I became friends with my body and decided to cut it some slack as I would a close friend.

  4. Aw. Sorry this is going so badly right now. Believe me, I know how it is.
    I couldn't run my Flying Pig Marathon in 2007. And I am worried about my upcoming Baltimore Marathon, in less than 2 weeks now.
    Hang in there. This too shall pass.