Marathon Madness

It’s no secret to anyone that pays attention to distance running that the fall is prime marathon running season. There’s a marathon every weekend, and you probably know of at least one person participating. I was supposed to be one of those runners, gunning for a big PR. But I suppose it’s time for me to admit to myself (and the Internet, obviously), that I won’t be running a fall marathon.

When I first started having ankle issues, I thought I could still toe the line at Richmond in November. But as the discomfort and inconsistent training continued, I realized I would only be setting myself up for frustration, and possible injury. I switched from the full to the half, and after three weeks of pain-free running at the beginning of September, thought I could squeeze in an early December marathon instead. I eagerly signed up for Rehoboth Beach and got to work on a new training plan.

A week into my new training plan brought me an inflamed tendon in my foot, and another week not running. After some cursing, crying, and a little back-and-forth, I realized it was time to graciously bow out of the marathon training game. It was hard for me to admit at first; I had a fast and effortless spring racing season, and had every intention of crushing all my shorter distance PR’s this summer. When that didn’t happen, I figured I would still have time to come back for late fall and early winter. But after DNS-ing four different races since the middle of July due to all these issues with my right foot & ankle, I knew it wasn’t realistic.

Am I disappointed? Absolutely. All of my friends are out there crushing long runs and PR’s, while I sit idly hoping to get through each short run without a new ache or pain. But I know that I need to be “slow and steady” with my training right now, and if I can get a few months of quality runs under my belt without issue, I’ll have a much better chance at a successful marathon training cycle, and ultimately, marathon race.

I have every intention of continuing to run, and racing when I feel up to it. I think part of my problem has always been I have a quick and heavy trigger finger when it comes to signing up for races. It seems as though the further away the race, the more likely I’ll be unable to run it. So for now, I’m going to sign up for races only a few days before they happen (or gasp, maybe even that morning). I think my brain, and more importantly my wallet, will thank me in the long run. And I’m going to keep up with my cross-training! I’ve been trying to do as many foot strengthening exercises as I can, along with calf stretching and strengthening. Here’s to hoping I’m well on the recovery train and can get back to loving running, and not dreading each run in fear of finding something that hurts!

Any advice for me?
Know of any late-spring marathons I can eye up?

11 Comments

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11 Responses to Marathon Madness

  1. More like early summer but….SAN FRANCISCO MARATHONNNNNNN 😉 Or Paris marathon, that’s in April 😉

  2. Do Eugene with me in July!!! We can do long runs together. Are you still going to Richmond for the half?

  3. We’re having scary similar experiences, lady! it sounds like you’ve gone through the same emotions over the past couple of weeks—from disappointment to anger to some kind of “calm”. Hope the foot gets its act together so you can get a strong base! That’s my plan this winter anyway (and to be honest, now I feel relieved that I’m not trying to meet some kind of silly deadline). Cheers!

  4. So sorry that you are still struggling with your foot! Obviously, I am sad that you won’t be at Rehoboth, but it sounds like you made the right decision. Focus on healing and getting back in the game slowly.

    Vermont is a fantastic Spring marathon in May! I did it last year and had a shitty race, but I still loved it and it’s really well organized!

  5. Sorry to hear about all those lingering problems. I can completely understand (as someone who has been knocked down by multiple injuries). The Shamrock full marathon in VA Beach is pretty flat and nice (March). I’ll be doing the half and we could probably carpool down there. 🙂

  6. Very sorry to hear about injuries/issues. I think that waiting to sign up for anything until close to the race is a smart move right now. Take it day by day or week by week. Focus on getting stronger and healthier now so that next year you can come back full force and crush races!

    I think you should do Buffalo Marathon, memorial day weekend. You could visit your sister in Rochester…and then go to Buffalo…and ILL BE THERE! LOL, I’ll be running the half but probably out on my bike cheering after for the marathoners as I know a few people already doing it 🙂

    • Oh man, that’s the week after she graduates! But, do you know of any races (any distance) in the area the weekend before? I’ll be there from May 16th to 19th. If there aren’t any races, we should meet up for a run at the very least! 🙂

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