What Happens When Everything in Half Marathon Training Goes Wrong

“There’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re traveling with me

Hey now, hey now, don’t dream it’s over.”

Um, yes. 

Less than a week until Rock n’ Roll Arizona.  

Meanwhile I am sitting here hoping that this nagging pain in my glute/hip/ lower back isn’t what WebMD tells me it is…Sciatica (not that I believe everything I think I have on WebMD…ok, I do).  Whatever this is hurts me when I sit, hurts me when I stand, and hurts me when I lay down, and hasn’t improved over the last week.

So, for anyone keeping score: signing up for a half marathon 8 weeks in advance immediately following two subsequent other half marathons  +  not following a training plan + subfreezing temperatures + too much holiday fun and food+ getting a cold + weird back muscle/nerve issue = what not to do.

Coach Aaron has ordered me to limit exercise to shorter easier runs to make sure whatever is going on doesn’t get worse (where was he a couple of years ago when I would have died to be ordered to exercise less?).  I’m not supposed to be wearing high heels (which in all honesty won’t happen because I don’t own shoes that aren’t high heels).  I’ve been doing lots of “pigeon” stretches, rolling out with the massage stick, soaking in warm water, and applying heat to the area. 

I did buy new running shoes (Asics Gel 2160) because I think my Mizuno Wave Inspire 7’s were breaking down which is possibly the root of the problem.  We also bought a new mattress on Saturday because ours was old and sad and probably not helping the lower back pain either.  (We had a Groupon that expired next week, so we were planning on buying a new mattress anyway).   And then I did some low impact mattress jumping for my work-out.

So, I’m officially going to stop worrying about the race right now.  Arizona is going to be a nice warm place with palm trees.  I will eat In and Out Burger.  I will go swimming in the pool.   I will see college friends.  I will rock out at the B-52’s Post-Race concert. And I will shop my little heart out at Ikea and H+M.

And I will finish the race.  I don’t think I’ll do too terribly, I just know that I won’t meet my goal, and I won’t improve my time by 5 minutes like I wanted to.  But that’s ok. There will be other races and other chances to train. I’m obviously frustrated that I didn’t try harder over the last 7 weeks.  But too late to worry about that now. I’m not necessarily giving up (and I’ve promised myself a nice present if I manage to beat my San Francisco time and a VERY nice present if I PR) but I am going to chill out.  After all, I did manage to ace some college exams with minimal studying, so there is still hope!

Not every race can be my best.  I can’t always reach a PR.  All I can do is go in and enjoy running through the desert and be grateful that I have the physical ability to do so.  #firstworldproblems.

This week I will eat well, I will stay hydrated, and I will get plenty of sleep. I will stretch, I will not push myself, and I will mentally prepare for running 13.1 miles. And I will watch The Today Show because they are celebrating their 60th Anniversary this week! Matt and Katie will always be my favorites.


And then next week I can start working toward another goal.

In other news: Happy 30th Birthday to my girl, Kate!

4 thoughts on “What Happens When Everything in Half Marathon Training Goes Wrong

  1. Not sure if you practice yoga, but it has saved my hips/glutes/hamstrings/lower back. It is part of my training, and I don’t think I could run the mileage I do without it. Acupuncture also has helped. No matter what, I am sure you will do great. Schedule a 90 minute massage for AFTER the race, and go kick butt! Can’t wait to hear how you do. Good luck. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement! You have no idea how much I need it!

      We’ve been doing yoga for a couple of months, but I think we need to find a new studio because the teachers at the one we go assume that everyone knows what they’re doing. I think part of this problem was due to a pose I attempted incorrectly last week because the pain became intense right after a yoga class.

      I’ve heard good things about acupuncture. Now that I’m running so much I’m seeing a definite need to treat my muscles and body well with things like acupuncture and massage! One of my friends also suggested going to a chiropractor which I will probably look into for after the race. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Pingback: Snap, Crackle, Pop (or, weird Jedi Chiropractor magic) | LAVENDER PARKING

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