Running Update: 18 Days Until Boston

Hi friends!

So, I’ve been kind of holding off on this post because 1) I haven’t had very much spare time recently (I feel like I haven’t had spare time since January), and 2) I was trying to wait until I wasn’t angry about this dumb leg and its dumb inability to move without pain (just like I was trying to wait to run until after I could walk up the stairs without hurting, but since neither of those things have happened, here we are).

I am angry about my dumb leg and its dumb inability to move without pain.

Since last we spoke about marathon training, I had just completed an uneventful 20 miler 2.5 weeks ago.  YAY! 20 miler complete, ability to complete marathon verified.

Then I attempted some mile repeats (finally running a sub-7 minute mile for the first time this training cycle) which caused massive shin splints.  Annoying, but not a big deal. I rested for a couple of days, and everything was ok. BUT THEN, when the shin splints were not bothering me any more, the dumb calf thing appeared out of nowhere (during a rest day) AGAIN and started hurting AGAIN.

More rest. More annoyance.  Mild panic over the fact that my most crucial training weeks were rapidly being wasted.  I did however buy a bag of Easter egg Reese’s cups (they were on sale at Target!), and eat them.

Then, last weekend, I ran Bataan (bad Amy) but at a slower pace than I wanted, not because I was being cautious, but because I hurt so bad.  When I caught up to my dad, he asked me if everything was ok since he was expecting me to pass him long before.  I said no, as a matter of fact, I wasn’t ok.  But, as I mentioned in that epically long Bataan post, that particular race really changes one’s perception of “discomfort.” And, at mile 10 my body just stopped caring and the pain went away.  Until I crossed the finish line and remembered it.  Then it came back.

MORE rest.

I didn’t run all week.  I tried once, but I got less than 2 miles in before having to stop.

Sunday was scheduled as our final long run.  We had chosen the course weeks ago as a ridiculously challenging 22 miler with a steep uphill and a steep downhill, up and down until mileage was complete.  A 10K is actually run on this course…it is called, “The World’s Toughest 10-K.”  My goal was to mimic the long downhill stretches followed by long uphill stretches of the Boston course.

Tramway Elevation

It sucked for the following reasons:

1) I was throw-up sick both Friday and Saturday (this happens for no apparent reason every once in awhile, and no, I’m absolutely not pregnant), so most of what I ate didn’t stick around long enough to provide energy or nutrients,

2) The course included almost 1,000 feet of elevation gain over 4.5 miles (meant to make the Newton Hills look easy),

3) Intense spring winds made downhills feel like work (even Aaron said so!).  My average pace was 10:20 which was not confidence boosting.

Thanks to a fabulous bacon themed party the night before, we stayed up past our bedtime and woke up late/got a later start than planned, and I ran out of time.  I only got in 19.6 miles instead of the 22 I had wanted to run.

Luckily, the course ended at a resort (we’re so clever!), and we headed straight into a massage (slightly ironic that the massage was the cause of my run being cut short).  It simultaneously felt amazing and painful.  I told the masseuse to let out her life frustrations on my calf, and she did.

But I still hurt.

It isn’t an injury.  Nothing is broken.  It just hurts.  I’m making an appointment with a sports chiropractor (thanks, Beth!), and I’m hoping he doubles as a miracle worker.

I’m able to run, but not fast.  I’ve lost 2 weeks of training and my last long run wasn’t long enough to satisfy me (I considered attempting 20 miles again this weekend but I have decided against it).  And we are EIGHTEEN DAYS AWAY from Boston.

So, my training isn’t suggesting that I’ll hit 3:30 much less even match my Chicago time (not that I won’t fight to the death to try). But I am excited nonetheless.

My Runner’s Passport and welcome brochure came in the mail this week which was comparable in excitement level to getting my first college dorm and roommate assignment. In just a few short weeks, I’ll be lining up in Hopkington and running this amazing race.  IMG_6120

Also, thanks again for all of your kind words regarding the Bataan Memorial Death March! I shared a photo album (from someone else) on the blog’s facebook page if you want a better idea of what that race looked like!

I hope everyone is having a good week!

20 thoughts on “Running Update: 18 Days Until Boston

  1. I know it’s not the way you wanted to get to Boston, but man what an experience you are going to have regardless, because Hey, you made it to the Boston Marathon! Rest up, heal up and run hard and fast when you can. You are going to do great!

    • Thank you! Definitely not the way I wanted to go, but it seems to be the consensus that Boston is the victory lap as opposed to a goal race, so I’m trying to keep that in mind!

  2. I was expecting to read that you didn’t run at all but then I realized it was you and saw 19+. I don’t think those 2.5 miles are going to kill you but stick to your plan, let yourself start to taper and rebuild. Im excited for you, what an experience…don’t forget, you earned it.

  3. Well, the good news (if there is any good news here!) is that you got that last long run in. I really hope that Dr. Hightower can help you out quickly. Also, I like how you said “not that I won’t fight to the death to try”, because I have been struggling with the mental aspect of running in Boston with a less than ideal training cycle, and have been giving myself an excuse in my head to take it easy and not run hard. You have given me a kick in the butt (or head) to still go and fight for this marathon that I have dreamed about for so long!

    • For the past two weeks, I’ve been saying the same thing as far as taking it easy. I had such a fighter instinct for the last marathon, and I’ve really been a bit defeatist recently. I have 2 weeks to convince myself that I should really just go for it! Good luck with your final preparations!

  4. Have a relaxing taper (easier said than done!). And as my hippie neighbor used to say, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” Enjoy your time in Boston!!

  5. Hang in there! An unidentified injury is just so frustrating. I hope all goes well with the sports chiro and that you enjoy all of the Boston fun. I’ll be cheering you on from Chicago!

    • Thank you! And it is so frustrating. I hate making such a big deal out of what appears to be muscle tightness, but at the same time, I know running on it won’t help matters.

  6. Oh Amy! Maybe another massage is in order, just ’cause?

    Sometimes our level of fitness surprises us, and it’s still too far out from race day to predict what will happen. 🙂 Sending motivational vibes your way!

  7. Argh, isn’t it crazy how those tender/sore areas pop up in the taper? I’m glad you have an awesome chiro you love. And as Kelly said, it’s still Boston. Have an amazing experience!

    • Thank you! The chiro is a new guy, and so far he’s been very informative. He’s a sports specific guy, so he’s full of information. And I agree…even though I won’t go in as prepared as I want, it is still Boston!

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