The month of September has not been ideal for me, running wise. I started off the month running an 11 mile mid-week mid-LR and felt like I was flyyyyyying. By the time I showered from the run and headed off to work, my back was killing me. I took the rest of the week off in hopes that I could just complete my 10th consecutive Sioux Falls half marathon. I maxed out in icy hot back patches and daily ibuprofen dosage.
I made it through the race and felt great! I was my normal amount of sore after the race, got a massage immediately after the race, and spent some significant time foam rolling so I could jump back into peak marathon training. My IT bands gave me trouble longer than I had hoped, and I had a random ouchy in my left ankle. So I gave myself an extra day of rest.
And then I set out for my 2nd to last major long run two Sundays ago, and I didn't make it a full minute of running. Knee pain. NBD. I assumed I had some residual tightness in my IT bands pulling my knee out of whack. I'd get a massage Monday and be back on track.
Well last Monday I had a massage, and you know how that went. And I was out of commission the whole week. I attempted my long run Friday. I set out hoping to get in 3 hours/18 miles/20 miles depending on how the legs felt and what my pace was. Once upon a time I heard that runs over 3 hours do more harm then good for slower runners/injury prone folk, so being on the cusp of the 'I' word, I didn't want to overdo it.
My quads felt trashed from the get go. Which is bizarre because they were one of the areas not really worked during the massage. They felt like that tightness you get after attacking downhills (improperly in my case) or that tightness that sets in around mile 20 of the marathon. Not mile zero. Ugh. My pace was slow, but I didn't have any pain, so I was thankful.
I hit 9 miles right around 1:39 and decided 18 would be my mileage for the day. But then my hips started getting increasingly tighter. I stopped to stretch them pretty frequently. My left one was being a huge bear. And then my knee started feeling wonky. And then my stomach started getting pissy (I think I was drinking too much water when I was stopping to stretch). I told myself to just walk/run to get it done. Finally at 16.25 miles and just over 3 hours, I realized I was doing my harm then good because my form was so off. So I walked it in.
Ugh. New walk of shame.
I had a LONG time to think about what I'm going to do for Bemidji, and it's safe to say I had every thought from "this is NBD, I'll still destroy 26.2 miles!" to "I should just eat the $70 entry fee and focus on healing up and being ready for Houston in January."
I emailed the race director on Saturday to check the race transfer policy. I can transfer up until the 30th, but the half is full, so I'd have to do the 26k or the 10k. So I'm glad I have some time to figure it out.
I have another massage (insert the emoji with the teeth in a grimace here) scheduled for Monday morning, and I'm hoping he'll be able to give me some stretching suggestions and be able to tell what's realistic for Bemidji. I know a PR race is out of the question, but I would like to still go and complete the marathon, but only if I can do it mostly painfree. A marathon is painful enough without your joints giving you problems!
So TBD on the race I've spent 14 weeks training for. Ugh. Feel free to send me all your healthy vibes and any stretching/rehab exercises you've done for weak hips/tight hip flexors/tight adductors (my current personal diagnosis...we'll see if I'm right I guess!)