When You Have to Sit Out Your Goal Race

Like many runners, this past Spring I plotted my Fall racing season. My training would culminate in a trifecta in October and November: Market to Market Relay Race, followed by my A-race of the Kansas City Marathon, then a recovery fun-run of the Good Life Halfsy.

That kind of happened. In August, I felt a twinge in my IT band during a training run. pool.jpgIt felt a little hinky at spin class. I babied it a little. Apparently not enough. During a 17-mile training run, at about mile 7, a little before the turnaround point on my out and back route, it started to hurt. Like, really hurt. I should have stopped. I should have called my husband to come get me. I should have immediately gone home and iced it. But I’m a stubborn runner. Did I do any of that? No. I decided to push through, to see if it felt better (it did), so I chalked it up to a fluke.  That was a Sunday. Monday was a rest day. Tuesday I rose before dawn for a 4-miler. No go.

So, I rested. And I foam rolled. And I did lots of spin class. Still no running. I went to the doctor who shockingly said, “you have IT band syndrome. You should rest and foam roll and ice until it’s better.”

So I did. I joined the gym so I could also swim and weight train and sweat it out on the elliptical. And then I had to make a choice. At this point, I was well into September, and the October 15 race day was fast approaching. So I had to decline it. I found another bird who wanted to run it, and transferred my entry to her. I cancelled our hotel reservations. I made the mental switch from “in marathon training cycle” to “let’s see if I can make it through the other races I’d planned on.”

m2m.jpgAnd I suppose I should be happy that I did. I managed Market to Market with no pain, though I took one of the shorter legs. And I did the Halfsy pretty much completely untrained, while fighting off the tail end of a sinus infection.

So for next year, I’m going to plan on another fall marathon. I entered the lottery for Chicago. If I don’t get in there, I may do Twin Cities. Mostly, September and October were kind of crappy months in a lot of ways. I’m glad to be moving past them, into the holidays and cheer and our second anniversary and some good old-fashioned frigid weather running.


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