Monday, March 29, 2010

A Decision

No food in this post...just some thoughts on what I'm dealing with regarding the upcoming marathon.  After running 18 miles last weekend (9 days ago), my knees are still sore.  As in, I took almost an entire week off, ran 4 miles through the pain on Friday, and limped around the mall on Saturday.  I did 30 minutes on the elliptical yesterday and that even bothered my knees.  Needless to say, I skipped my 14 mile run this weekend.  So, I've come to a point where I've got to make a decision on what to do.  I've never considered backing out of the race before, but have dealt with the knee pain throughout my entire training program and it's gotten to the point where it is too painful to run through it anymore.

I  am planning on taking this week off as well, and making a decision by the end of the week for a couple of reasons.  

  1. The race is 3 weeks from this Saturday, so I need to be prepared if I still plan on running it.
  2. I am supposed to run 20 miles this weekend - this is a crucial distance in the training program and I don't feel that I can skip it if I still plan on running.
  3. The hotel we have booked in Nashville runs my card in full on 4/4 and is non-refundable.
Pro's of running the marathon
  1. I will accomplish a life goal
  2. My 3 months of training won't go down the trash can
Con's of running the marathon
  1. I could potentially be causing myself a serious long term injury 
  2. It would hurt really bad
  3. I love running too much to permanently injure my knees and not be able to run 3 - 5 miles on a whim without pain.
So, that's where I stand...advice/thoughts are actually welcome - I've run this by some friends/family and a lot of people say, "Well, I don't want to tell you what to do..." which I understand, but I'm also just interested in hearing what people think on the subject.  So thanks in advance for the advice!  I hope everyone has a great week, and I plan on checking back in with some fun recipes throughout the week!  Spring is here which means grilling out and lighter sides!


  1. Tracy - First off, backing out is not throwing 3 months out the window. Look how far you have gone (LITERALLY)! You have run the longest distance of your life of 18 miles! That is HUGE. Secondly, you have totally learned about how mentally strong you are to get to the 18 mile marker. You have accomplished huge things over the past couple of months including a huge bid at work - perhaps some of your best ideas and thoughts have come through all of your recent runs, etc. I would imagine you think about a lot over 18 miles :) Anyway, give credit to yourself where credit is due. There will always be time and a marathon somewhere to register, but only one set of those knees! Take care of them first, then line the next set of goals up! I think it's very admirable about what you did and you should be super stoked. There's my 2 cents :)

  2. I have a few thoughts...

    First, have you been to the doctor yet about your knees? More specifically, a sports medicine doctor? Might be beneficial/help with your decision to know the extent of the injury.

    Second, 20 is just a nice round number. Even if you don't run 20, your three months of training are still going to get you to the finish. There are plans that exist that never have you run more than 16 or 18.

    Personally, I wouldn't throw in the towel yet. I would take another week of light/no running and see how you're feeling.

    Not that it was smart but I had problems with my achilles tendon while I was training and was in physical therapy the last 6 weeks or so before the race. I just didn't want to give up on the goal or the training I put in. Also, I was never able to run 20 before race day. Just several 16s and 18s.

    More recently though, I was training for the Thunder Road Marathon and got up to 16 and realized that running the marathon was NOT the right thing for my body at the time.

    So I probably just confused you more :) Good luck with your decision.

  3. Jen - that makes me feel a lot better that you didn't get up to 20. I acutally have an appointment with an orthopedic dr. who specializes in knees tomorrow a.m. so will know a lot more at that point. I'm curious if you had to take some time off due to your achilles problems or did you run through it and stick to the training plan?

  4. Tracy - I took about 2 weeks off. I definitely think resting an injury is FAR MORE effective than running through it. This was probably around 6 weeks before the marathon. I had run several 16s and 18s at that point. After I started running again, I maxed out at 14 miles 2 weeks before the race.

    I was really nervous on race day but my achilles held up. Honestly, I feel like I definitely could have been more prepared but I KNEW I could make it through the 26.2 miles and wasn't going to give up.

    So if your knees get better and you can run this race, want to run the Marine Corps Marathon with me in October??? Haha :)