As I look back on my training for my first Boston Marathon, I was pretty surprised to see that half of it is over. I haven’t done any writing about my journey to Boston, because it’s been very typical for the most part, taking it day by day and running the workout that the plan calls for. I’m eight weeks into my sixteen week plan already, and I’m not sure how it went by so fast. It had been going pretty well for the first six weeks, but a bothersome knee issue has made me very aware of how much time I have left, because not only now do I have to get in the remaining weeks of big miles, but I also have to do it without aggravating the injury and having it prevent me from running those important training miles. Or worse yet, not being able to run the race itself.
I have been able to run okay, even with the knee pain. It hurts more afterwards, especially noticeable going up and down stairs. Also, if I sit in a chair with my leg bent at a 90 degree angle, it will start to hurt. The pain is right at the top of the tibia, and I don’t believe the knee cap is affecting it. My son has suggested stretching my leg muscles more, which has given some relief, but I have also dialed back the miles the past two weeks as well, so at this point I’m not sure if the fewer miles or the stretching has been most advantageous. I’ll keep doing the stretching, but I’m afraid to lose too many long, slow weekend runs. I also retired my running shoes that were probably not really that worn out yet, and upgraded to a more cushioned shoe. Today’s 8 mile run in them went okay, but I found them to be very stiff. Not sure if I made a good choice there.
The first eight weeks saw a build to 12 miles in Week 6, but that’s when I started experiencing the knee issue. I dialed it back to a mile or two throughout the last couple of weeks, mostly run on the treadmill. Today was supposed to be a test of speed, with a half-marathon race built into the plan. There was no way I’m ready to race anything right now, and trying to find a 13.1 mile race in the latter part of February in the midwest is nearly impossible. I will now have to adjust my plan and reduce some of the big mile weekend runs that the plan has built into it. I will drop each long run by two miles and skip the speed work in the plan until I feel confident that I can do it without pain or further injuring myself.
The one thing I haven’t resorted to yet is stopping the 3+ year running streak that I have going. I may need to say goodbye to it if it means that I am doing myself more harm than good. I’m not going to jeopardize getting to the start line of my first Boston Marathon. I worked too hard to get there.