|Boston Marathon Start Line|
Hi! My name is Jill and I am injured.
I will finally admit it. I've been calling it an "issue" and an "impediment" but it's time to call a spade a spade and deal with it face on.
I've been lying to myself a bit for about a year and I think if you find yourself in a similar situation as you were in a YEAR ago, but now worse, it's time to admit that what you are doing to "fix your issue" isn't working.
And that's just the problem, I never took the time to fix the issue. Like so many before me (and I always said I wouldn't do this!!) I kept racing and training hoping that if I put up with enough discomfort it would eventually work itself out. Guess what!?!
My problem is a little tricky to explain... My left hip for various reasons is rotated and tilted back. The chiropractor and massage therapist can put it back in place, but as soon as i swim, run or bike the hips pulls out of place. Add that to a leg that is jammed up in the hip socket and a year of my body working around it. The result is diminished power in my left leg. My body found many different ways around the issue in order to attempt to follow the commands my brain was giving my muscles. So I'm a bit of a mess now with secondary muscles being strong than they should be compared to primary muscles (an adductor trying to do the work of quad and hamstring). For the majority of last year this also caused a dull ache and numbness down the left leg. But no sharp or throbbing pain.
The pain started coming when it pulled so far backward the hamstrings pulled on my calf which is pulling on the place where it attaches just under my heel. This causes a plantar faciatis like pain under my heel. Also my hip is so far out of place that if I sit on a couch when I go to stand up it is stuck forward and I can't stand up straight.
So this is my PSA: Don't get caught up in the I've got to race so I've got to train cycle!! It's going to be okay of you stop racing for a bit and stop working out at the same intensity,
better to make yourself take a brake than wake up one day unable to walk. And then say to yourself, "it sure hurts like hell to walk, but it doesn't hurt as bad when I'm running so I'll just keep running. Who cares of I'm hobbling around like my 92 year old grandma!"
A couple of weekends ago I was heading out for my 18 mile run. A bit about where my head was at... It had been months since I'd had a good run. I blamed it on my job, being so busy I'd not had time to train the way I wanted. But it had been since even before that... As far back as June I was getting frustrated, I was putting in hard work but I wasn't getting any stronger, I wasn't getting any faster. Then around the end of January the pain started. I thought it was residual soreness from Goofy. But I couldn't take time off running I had to start getting ready for Boston!
So I'm frustrated and desperate and frankly scared - what the hell was wrong with me??
Back to that 18 mile run... My heel is causing a lot of pain (as I mentioned before, I'm not able to walk on it, but since I don't land on it when I run, I'm able to still run, so I do). I say to myself give it four miles if it's not feeling better by 4 miles call it a day... Not better by 4 miles but I think just give it another mile... At this point I realize that the only reason I can get my left leg up high enough to run up a hill is by hitching up my hip using my obliques and swinging the leg up the hill. I'm basically running hills on 1 leg with the left just along for the ride and a little stability. By mile 6 I head back to the house. I'm done. No Mas.
That part sucked. Plus I was still in pain with every step I took so there was no solace in "at least the pain is over with"
My massage therapist kept telling me "what I'm doing is just maintenance eventually we will have to really fix this". I guess I never really thought about what that would mean - what "fixing" it would entail.
It turns out fixing it requires: no more running, very light riding, weekly massage and weekly chiropractic adjustments, strength training, core work and YOGA, lots and lots of Yoga, about 60-90 min daily. I've been doing these things for the past week and I am just now feeling like I'm moving in the right direction.
So I haven't had a real run on land in over 4 weeks... not the ideal prep for running a marathon.
But this just isn't any marathon, it's BOSTON...
and I'm going to run it.
I don't care that I haven't trained properly for it, I don't care that I'll most likely be a mess at the end of it...
It's the DURING that is important to me now. I'm going to give it the best shot that I've got in me. I'm going to soak in those crowds, the excitement, the energy!
I've been feeling sorry for myself for the better part of the last 6 weeks, and now 6 days away from one of Marathon's most storied races, I'm saying SCREW THAT! It's time to get out of this experience all the good that I'm able. I'm ready to give it all that I have.
No more excuses.
I show up on race day and I'm going to race, because, it's for me, it's for all those hours I ran in the pool, it's for Boston, it's for all the people that would love to be there someday. I don't want to disrespect this moment. Yes, I wish these last few months had played out differently, but these are the cards I pulled from the deck...
I'm the one that didn't make the time to take better care of myself. I'm the one that put work ahead of training, and so I'll pay for that. I wont have the race I dreamed of, I don't deserve it, I didn't put the work in.
But I'm not going to go up there and boo hoo and piss and moan.
From this point on, I am not injured. I am a runner. I am a racer. and maybe, with the right attitude I can pull out a miracle. and if I don't? It's still Boston... I'll hear the crowds, I'll run Heartbreak hill (Damn it I will RUN that hill) I'll see the Citgo sign, and then however long it takes, I will cross that finish line.
and then I will heal and I'll take care of myself...
and if that means taking some time away from racing, that's what it means. I'll take a page from the Laura M playbook and I'll be the best damn volunteer I can be for Rev3.
So CHEERS! In 3 days I'm Boston bound and by golly I'm going to enjoy it!