This September's Omaha Marathon was the third time I've set a tangible goal for a specific marathon and embarked on a training plan. The first time, I quit training (oops) when I found out we were moving the same weekend as the 2009 Chicago Marathon, so that was out. The second time was this past February's Cowtown Marathon in Ft. Worth and I spent all fall and winter dealing with asthma exacerbations. I remained active, but certainly was in no condition to test and improve my endurance. And this time I've been foiled by my IT band.
My knee started hurting after my half marathon last month, but it did the same thing after my first 10k last year. I took a week off and iced for a few days, and they used heat and stretched with my foam roller. I did a trial run around the track later that week and it felt okay- pretty good, actually. So I kept stretching and planned to continue my marathon training with a long run in (blessedly flat) Amarillo, TX. Terrible. My 10 mile run turned into a 3 mile run with a 1 mile walk back to Ross' parent's house. So I took another week off and then tried to run with some coworkers before the 4th of July. Miserable. I felt like such a failure. Why wasn't my knee pain going away?! So I took an unprecedented three weeks off running and stuck to swimming and yoga. Yesterday I tried a very easy run and the sharp knee pain came back, and still hurts today (read: I ran a half marathon last month and yesterday I did the Couch to 5k Week 1 Workout 1 and it was painful).
Needless to say, the marathon is out. Again. This morning I finally went to my long-awaited orthopedic doctor's appointment. I waited 2 hours in the waiting room to spend less than 5 minutes with the doctor-- who told me I had IT band syndrome, which I had already guessed. Boo. I was hoping to spend a bit more time talking to him, but at least he prescribed physical therapy, which is what I wanted anyway.
Every time I start to train, I learn something new. This last time around, I was getting easily discouraged with my long runs due to location, weather, and running solo. I reached out to blog friends and co-workers in the last 2 months, but then got sidelined with me knee. It's so frustrating to me that NOW people are calling and texting me to see if I want to run with them, and I can't! I only hope they're still around this winter and spring when I'm ready to try again. Or else I'm going to have to bite the bullet and run with Team in Training. (Which is embarrassing because I collected money for a race in college thanks to my generous family and friends, but then could barely even train because I got shingles and a viral throat infection, so this time I'll find the cheapest race and donate all the money myself. But pre-planned routes and water stops sound amazing when I've been training alone all this time.)
I know you don't have to run a marathon to be a runner, and I firmly believe that. Yet a marathon has been a goal of mine since high school and I'm not quite ready to give up on it yet.
So that's my story. I start physical therapy next week and I probably won't tell y'all I'm training for a marathon again until I actually cross the finish line!