Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Yes I can, no I can't, yes I can!

The past few days have been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions about my marathon. On Saturday I ran a speedy fast (for me) 5K with zero knee pain. On Sunday I ran a painfully (literally and figuratively) slow four miles with my running besties. I think I completely under-estimated how taxing racing the 5K would be on my body. After ducking out on the run less than half way in to it, I headed to the gym for an hour of elliptical. I was supposed to have run 10 miles and needed to get all of the workout time in. Afterwards I was just tired and sore. And completely defeated. All I could think was that I haven't run further than four miles in over two weeks, I must be completely kidding myself that I will fix things in time to finish marathon training. I spent a lot of time Sunday sitting with the idea that I will have to DNS (did not start) the marathon. Honestly, the idea felt okay to me. I don't want to be at a place where I run this marathon at all costs. I don't want it to be an awful experience. I began to think that if I didn't run it, maybe I can focus on running more half-marathons and improving my time, and that was kind of exciting, too. 

Then Tuesday morning comes along and I visit with my amazing physical therapist. She has me practice my stance in front of a mirror: lean in to it, chest in front of pelvis, step with the right foot, keep the pelvis level, swing left foot through without collapsing my leg when I land. Over and over we do this. Then I get on the treadmill. I practice increasing my cadence (foot turnover), getting it up to 90 per foot/per minute. I practice landing softly (not THUNK THUNK THUNK). I practice leaning in to it. I practice keeping length on the right side of my trunk. I practice and practice and practice for over three miles on the treadmill as my PT watches and corrects and cheers. By the time I am done I know what my form is supposed to feel like, but it is also very, very hard to keep it up, especially when I am tired. 

At the end of the appointment I ask her the million dollar question: "do you think I can still train for this marathon?" and she answers . . . (wait for it) . . . "yes". Of course, doesn't mean I will definitely be able to run it, but she sees no reason why I can't keep training for it, unless it just becomes too much for my body to handle. 

Okay, then. 

Not that I was ever totally off the idea that I could do this, but I definitely have a renewed excitement about fixing my form, moving forward with my training, and running that marathon on October 7th. 

But, and there is always a big but, I think that if/when the time comes for me to say I just am not quite ready, I will be okay pulling out of the race and setting my sights on another marathon at a later date. 

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