The Dream Begins to Fade

27 Dec

It has been 2 weeks since my IT band staged a revolt 9.5 miles into the Sugar Land 30K.  I dutifully followed my orthopedist’s orders to rest for the entire first week following my injury and to ice the area daily.  With each passing day, my pain and mobility improved, leaving me hopeful about last week.

Last week, I ran 2 miles on Tuesday morning, but my leg started to ache after about 1.5 miles.  On Thursday, I ran 3 miles.  My IT band felt a little tight by the end, but no pain.  I took that as a sign of improvement and decided that I would rest until Sunday before attempting a long run.

The schedule called for 21 miles this weekend.  That was obviously out of the question, but I thought I’d shoot for 14.  The nice thing about our 14-mile route is that there is a crossroads at mile 7.  You can turn left and run two miles back home in the event things aren’t going well.  Or you can turn right, run for 2.5 miles, then turn around and go home to complete the entire 14-mile course.

I headed out into the cold at 6 a.m. yesterday.  I went very easy on my pace, just telling myself that I wanted to cover the distance, no matter how slowly.  I was feeling good and all my thoughts focused around completing the 14 miles. 

That is, until around mile 6, when my IT band started to tighten up. 

Like my 3-mile run last week, it was tight but not painful, so I kept running.  By the time I reached the decision point at mile 7, however, my leg had started to ache.  I thought about turning right and trying to gut it out, but my orthopedist’s words echoed in my head:

I know it’s hard not to panic with the marathon just 7 weeks away, but I guarantee you that if you don’t let this heal, you won’t even cross the starting line.

So, I decided to turn left and head home.  A half-mile later, I couldn’t run anymore, so had to walk the last 1.5 miles home.  Nonetheless, I wasn’t in pain while I walked and was able to keep a decent walking pace.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t make the whole distance, but still hopeful that my leg was on the mend.

By midday, however, the pain had returned.  I couldn’t bend my knee and felt like I was right back where I started two weeks before.  That forced me to start coming to grips with the fact that it appears unlikely I’ll be able to run the Houston Marathon. 

To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.  I was so pleased to have won a spot in the new lottery system and the fact that Hubby also got in seemed to good to be true.  I know that there are other marathons and this isn’t the end of the world.  But when you’ve been working hard toward a goal and looking forward to it for so long, it’s a bit painful to see it slip away.

I will continue trying to heal my injury and to see if by some miracle I can make it to the starting line on January 30th.  However, I also want to be smart and not make things worse by being stubborn and bullheaded.  I have 5 more weeks, so we’ll see how things progress…


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