Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sometimes Life Happens

As many of you know, I have spent the better part of the last 8 months in training for next weekend's race. The 2010 Columbus Marathon.

I have had an incredible spring, summer, and early early fall of training. My mileage peaked in mid September at 80 miles per week with my longest runs nearing 23/24 miles. I have spent countless hours training and hundreds of miles running in preparation for what I have intended to be my fastest marathon to date.

Along with the overall accomplishment of having simply put in the mileage that I have, I am also walking away from this season of training with some new personal bests. Most notably, a new 10-mile time of 51:30, averaging a 5:09 pace.

As race day approaches and with nearly all of my training behind me, I have set my goal time as 2:28. This requires a pace of 5 minutes and 40 seconds per mile.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to compete in the Columbus Marathon. On Thursday, September 30 I went out for a routine 10 mile run during recovery from a long-distance interval workout from the day before. After about 400 yards into the run, I noticed some discomfort on the medial (inside) side of my left knee. I am accustomed to the aches and pains that come with distance running and so I did not think much more of the irritation for the remainder of the run. The next day I went out for another workout and made it all of two blocks before the once-mild pain now became sheer agony. I ended the run and walked home. After taking a couple days off, I went out to see if some R&R was what my body needed. It wasn't. After 2 miles, I walked home.

I saw my sports medicine doctor the next day (Monday) where she then ordered an MRI. The scan came back fine and I was therefore prescribed some anti inflammatory medication and took a few more days off. I resumed running after 7 days of rest. I began with a shorter run, then a mid-distance run, and today attempted a longer workout. After 12 miles, my body had enough.

While the medications have eliminated the pain, the problem is still there. My body's natural compensation has caused an alteration of weight distribution to the knee. My Ileotibial bands (IT bands) and posterior (back of the knee) muscles and ligaments were tightening up severely. So, with my future running career in mind, I have decided that running Columbus next weekend would be a very unwise decision.

So, yes, this is a major disappointment. At the same time, however, I have 10 years of distance running experience and know that life happens. This is just part of the sport. I will run again and I have learned a lot from this training. I am walking away from this season with new knowledge and wisdom to incorporate into the training for my next marathon.

Therefore, in conclusion, even though I will not be crossing the finish line next weekend I still know who I am. I have trained like a champion and have no regret for giving my best effort every day I laced up my shoes. I put in the miles, I endured the distance, I will run again. It's the journey, not always the destination that determines a runner. It is the former that has made me the distance athlete that I am. One race can't take that away from me.

I appreciate everyone's support and understanding through my training and now through my altered plans. Thank You.