Feeling Incomplete

I knew the 18 mile run was going to be a challenge, and I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t make it through. And sure enough…I dropped out after not even 2 miles.

I did everything right – I foam rolled and stretched before bed, went to bed early, had my banana and ibuprofen this morning, did more rolling and more stretching…I was ready to go. But even as I was walking from my car to the starting area, I could feel my hip. Once we started running it was just like my beach runs – not so much with the pain, but with a sheer amount of effort. My breathing was so loud and labored – I told my running partner I felt like I’d just run 12 miles, not 12 minutes.

And in my head, over and over again, I kept thinking that maybe I really did need to rest, maybe pushing 18 was a bad idea, maybe the doctor on Tuesday will tell me that the marathon is completely out, etc etc etc – over and over and over again. My running partner tried to get me chatting as a distraction but I couldn’t keep up. It was especially frustrating for me because we were slow to begin with and it felt like I was making some herculean effort to keep going. Running blogs and magazines talk a lot about the perceived rate of exertion – I perceived that I was exerting myself well beyond my capability.

So finally I just knew I had to throw in the towel, and did. I walked over to the water and sat there for awhile, definitely crying and just feeling so frustrated and berating myself for quitting. Then I geared up and decided I was going to try to run it on my own. I got back to the path and started to run…only to stop about 10 seconds later. It just wasn’t happening.

So I turned around and walked back in the direction of my car. The walk took forever – we’d gone north farther than I’d realized; I ended up getting in 4 miles just with all of the walking. And I ran into my group as they were heading southbound – my pace leader was super supportive and said that I just need to keep icing my hip, resting it, and asking my doctor about doing some cross training like cycling. I told her I’d try swimming today – I know for sure it’s an approved exercise because it’s non weight bearing – and she said that was a great idea. So I came home, changed, got to the gym, and did laps for a half hour. I felt tired afterwards, in a good way – I really love to swim but I have to say, the laps can get a little boring! I’ll have to look up some lap swimming guidance if this is something I’m going to commit to.

Anyway, I’m feeling deflated now, of course, but trying to keep it all in perspective – as I said to my mom on the phone a minute ago, one missed long run does not derail a marathon. I had a great 16-mile run; when we get to 20 (in two weeks), it’ll just be four miles longer. Maybe resting today will be the elixir my hip needs, who knows. Maybe the orthopedist guy will tell me the marathon is off the table – I don’t know. But I do know I’ll keep away from running until my appointment on Tuesday, and I’ll compensate with more swimming and probably some upper body stuff, plus my regular stretching and rolling.

Hopefully will have better updates soon…

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