I attempted my last long run of marathon training on Monday. I say attempted, because my ITB flared up and I cut the run short – 11 miles instead of the 20 I had planned. My reaction to this setback was surprising to me on many levels.
- I didn’t panic or immediately sink into a pit of despair – during or after the run. This is a biggie. I’m at a critical point in marathon training. Not getting this last long run in means that, on race day, 5 weeks will have passed since my last long run. That’s enough to cause any aspiring marathoner to shake in their Asics. Believe me when I say that I am shaking in my Asics.
- I decided to cut the run short. This is also a biggie, considering I finished my long run the last time this happened and ended up
runninglimping the last 8 miles. I also ended up tweaking my calf, which is just now healed properly. Maybe old dogs can learn new tricks.
- I used the setback to my advantage and tried out some strategies for race day, in case myITB rears its ugly head again. I stopped and stretched myITB and tried walk breaks, both of which provided relief for a window of time. It’s always good to have a Plan B. I hope I don’t have to use Plan B.
I appreciate all the support and advice that I’ve received from my running friends, my chiropractor and my myofascia guy. And even though the nuts and bolts of the advice may differ from person to person, there is a common thread shared by all – listen to your body. This seems like a simple task. I’m sure it is a simple task for normal people. But for me, it is THE biggest challenge in training. To explain this, I must offer a confession: I am an addict – a running addict(try finding a 12-step program for that). As an addict, I am proficient in justifying my actions. In fact, I can justify any ache or pain, convince myself I should still go for a run AND that I should push my pace or add hills to the route. So, listening to my body causes great confusion and dialogue within me (not unlike Gollum/Smeagol in LOTR). I’m trying to quiet that uber-competitive part of me that wants to push through regardless of the consequences. I also get distracted by my goals. For example, I feel very strongly that I need to work that long run in somehow. And while I know this isn’t a good idea, I can’t shake it from my mind no matter how hard I try. Even though I have given voice to letting that run go, I catch myself thinking of ways to “make up for it” in my upcoming lower mileage training runs. But I have come a long way, Baby, so I’ll take whatever progress I can get.
My stubbornness has, however, served me well in the past and earned me quite a reputation. A friend asked yesterday how training was going and when I gave her the Cliff Notes version, replied, “You’re going to run this race held together with spit and baling wire!” (spoken like a TRUE Texan….she is a transplant!) and then, “You’ll do it, if only from sheer will.” That, my friends, made me smile, because I know she is right and I know that I can do this! 🙂
I went for my weekly myofascia appointment yesterday. When he asked me how things were going,
Debbie Downer I replied, “I’m falling apart! My ITB is so mad at me! I don’t even know if I will be able to race!” I proceeded to tell him about the long run and why it didn’t happen and he replied (this is why I LOVE him!), “You aren’t falling apart, this is just a speed bump.” Basically my ITB was GLUED from my hip to my knee – it wouldn’t move at all when I first got there. My guy works with his wife but her client didn’t show yesterday, so she came in to help with my session. At one point, I felt like I was on “The Rack”. She was pulling my arm in one direction and he was pulling my leg in the opposite direction. They did lots of other things, but at the end of the session I felt like a new runner! I’m really very thankful she was able to help out, because I wonder if he could have made that much progress alone within an hour. When I asked him how to approach the remainder of my training – you guessed it – he said “Just listen to your body.” Clear. As. Mud. (I wonder if anyone ever notices my eyes glaze over when they say this to me??)
This morning, I had plans to have coffee with a friend who moved to the Dallas area a couple of years ago. We try to get together in the summer and holiday seasons to keep in touch. We always meet at her house – she is the one who lives in civilization, after all, so I left my house to head her way around 8:30. At 8:45, I got a text from her confirming what I already knew; that she was running about 15 minutes late. But that sounded odd, since I was going to her house! I contacted her and realized that we were each going to the other’s home! I had not understood that she was in town visiting her parents for Thanksgiving. Typical, for this relationship! I turned around and headed back home to meet her. As always, the visit was WONDERFUL, but reminded me how much I miss our little Ya-Ya Sisterhood. And in Cindy fashion, she brought her own coffee mug!
Happy Hump Day & Turkey Eve!