Last week I had to cut my planned 15 mile long run to 10 when I experienced some pain in my left hamstring and knee. I did all the right things, RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), stayed off it 2 days, then tried out 2 shorter runs which felt fine, before tackling my planned 18-miler on Sunday.
The 18 miles is actually a NYRR scheduled race, used as a tune-up run for the NYC marathon. It was perfect weather, I felt great, I warmed up, and the first 5 miles I was running at marathon pace and felt like I was going for a gentle stroll. Then the pain began. I stopped, massaged, walked, did leg swings, and continued. Pain again. Repeat twice. At mile 8, I realized I couldn’t go on. I had to walk back to baggage, which became excruciating. I was sobbing as I hobbled, a little from the pain, but mainly because of the following thoughts and emotions running through my mind:
“I’m a failure”.
“I just quit”.
“I’m not going to be able to continue training”.
“I have to quit the marathon”.
I love running, I run for fun, stress relief, and socializing with friends even if I’m not training for anything. And of course I’m competitive, so I love training to do my best in an event. I’m always striving for a personal record. So I feel like a lot has been taken from me. My pride is wounded. I’m a trainer, I’m in great shape, I’m doing everything safely and by the book, so why did I get injured? And a whole lot of fear. What if I never run again?
Injuries hurt. They make you feel less than. They are scary. And the best advice is to not listen to yourself! All my support team are telling me, plenty of time, base fitness, treat the cause, allow yourself to rest, you’ll be okay. They’re right.