Ouch..... Re-evaluating the marathon?

This is totally one of those "thinking-out-loud" posts where I'm trying to work through some stuff. Bear with me.

So, I'm in marathon #3 training week 6 (I think) and things are not going exactly as planned. My 11-miler scheduled for Saturday turned into a ....... 5-miler.

My left leg is not cooperating. The pain starts in my butt (piriformis) and travels down the back of my leg, behind my knee and occasionally into my calf. I think my sciatic nerve runs from buttock to heel, so it may be involved. (You got to love an arm-chair doc like myself!) I haven't gone to the doc..... yet.

Note: That's not really my butt. :-)

I'll have to look back at my training log on Daily Mile, but I think it started when I did a Crossfit workout a week or two ago. I did around 80 thrusters (or squats with push press at the top... not sure which since they are so similar) holding 40 lbs of weight. It was a Tabata interval, so it was quick and dirty. A couple of days later, I noticed my behind and hamstring hurting when sitting at the computer. Then that Saturday on my 10-miler, it really bugged me. It hurt after about 4 miles, but I refused to stop and stretch because my goal was to run 8 miles nonstop (which I did--- in pain).

I took a few days easy, stretched, foam-rolled and felt better. Then I did a fairly hard circuit workout last Thursday of a 6.5 mile run with about 30 kettlebell swings and 45 walking lunges holding the 20# kettlebell. Again, after about mile 4 or 5 of 6.5, it felt off. I rested on Friday, and then Saturday had a windchill of 11, so I moved my long run indoors. I only made it 5 miles on the treadmill (including stopping and stretching and running incredibly slow) before calling it quits.

I spent the rest of the day depressed and comforting myself with bad food. That night hubby and I had a date night at the movies, and I ate my weight in popcorn (for dinner) and started to feel a little better. We saw The Fighter. It was gritty, raw, and perfect for the way I was feeling. Somehow, it was cathartic seeing the struggles that athlete went through before triumphing over adversity. I love me a good "triumph-over-adversity" movie, especially based on a true story.

I have finally gotten to the point where I don't base my identity on how well or poorly my runs are going. I got there last summer when I was injured and realized, "I'm MORE than a runner." It's strange how running can be so all-encompassing those first few years. Now, I consider myself an athletic person in general. I really enjoy weight training (even though it apparently does NOT agree with me) and cross training. Rowing is awesome, and I'm saving for a road bike for next summer. I like getting stronger---"real" push ups and pull ups are so empowering. Last week I did some decline push ups and felt like a rock star (my feet were up on a bench--not that much harder, honestly) and my pull ups are coming along as well--I can do more good form ones than I could two months ago.

Despite my identity being firmer, it's just DEPRESSING when you are training for a marathon and you miss several short runs plus a long run and your leg hurts for 2 weeks. It makes the marathon feel out of reach-- like you'll never get caught up. I am missing miles of training that I really need to have a good performance during the race. And what if the injury gets better but flares up dring the race? Yikes---26.2 in pain does not sound pleasant. The marathon is in 12 weeks and I'm only at a max of 20 miles per week (last week and those last ones really hurt!). That's really not where I need to be.

It may be time to re-evaluate.


Hi! I was looking for a contact e-mail, but couldn't find one... my question is regarding your comment on another blog, not this post... Would you mind, pretty please, e-mailing me at racingitoff@gmail.com ???? THANKS!!!
mindysmarathon said…
Hope your leg starts to feel better!
Twila said…
Hope it is nothing serious! It is good to know the running obsession does die down. I am a new runner and I think it is all I think about : )
RunnerMom said…
Twila, it was all I talked about, thought about, and blogged about for a couple of years. It does get better, but it takes a while!