Last weekend, during the last 5 miles of my 15-mile run, my right knee started hurting. It wasn't unbearable, just hurt a bit. I was able to finish, no problem. But it was sore as heck for the rest of the day. But by evening... all better!
All last week... no problem at all with the knee.
Yesterday, I got 3 miles into my last 15-mile run before the big marathon next Sunday and my knee starts hurting. So, not wanting to push it too hard, I started speed walking. It felt much better. After another couple of miles, it started hurting again. So I started walking at a regular pace. It got worse.
After 7 miles I had to call my husband to come pick me up because it was excruciating. I was limping like a cripple.
I went home, kicked my feet up and it got better. Just a slight twinge of pain. This morning, no pain at all.
I went to the doctor this afternoon, though, just to make sure it was okay and that I'd still be able to run the marathon next Sunday.
The doctor said no.
No running for two to three months.
(Pause while I wipe the tears away and compose myself.)
I ... can't ... run ... my ... marathon.
He sent me to get an X-ray done but he suspects I've torn a tendon or ligament. Either way, he said if I keep running on it, it'll only get worse.
I do not want it to get worse. I want to be able to run for the rest of my life.
I don't even know what to type next. I'm just so beside myself with sadness. I don't know how to type tears. I can't believe I can't run my marathon...
I asked him if I could see if I could switch to the half marathon and just walk it. I didn't figure they'd let me walk a full marathon, but maybe a half marathon. He said he'd rather me not push it but that decision was up to me.
I got to talking about it with my husband tonight and he's right, I won't be happy with walking a half marathon. I've already proven I can run the distance of a half marathon so walking it would only be like putting an ballerina on stage, starting the music, but telling her not to dance. What would be the point? So I walked a half marathon. I could do that any weekend.
The doctor said I pushed too hard too fast. I really did try to take it easy. I started out with only 4 miles at a time, then 6, then 8, then 10, etc. I had no intentions of ever running 26 miles before the marathon. I had hoped that the most I would run would be maybe 16 or 18 miles. And I only made it up to 15 miles. So I really didn't push too hard. And whenever I felt too tired or sore or over exerted, I'd stop running or I would take a rest for a while.
But what the doctor said made sense. He said, "first of all, you're not a spring chicken any more. You're over 40. Now, there are plenty of marathon runners over 40, but runners don't have that much weight on them." He said, "now, don't get me wrong, I know you've lost over a hundred pounds (which is commendable and I'm so proud of you for losing) and I know you're still trying to lose the last 20-30 pounds, but you still have those extra pounds hanging around that put extra stress on your body that healthy runners don't have."
He's right, you know. It makes total sense. I was always perplexed as to why I couldn't get my pace up any faster. I think I always knew but I just didn't want to admit it. It was the extra pounds that I have hanging around that are slowing me down. That, coupled with the fact that I've never run like this in my life. The last time I was "active" I was a teenager. And on top of that, I've only been running long distance since the beginning of December. Put all those things together and you get someone who isn't prepared for a marathon. And that's where I am right now.
I just don't know what to do now. As soon as I'm done typing this, I'm going to see if I can get a refund for the entry fee and cancel the hotel reservations. Its the last thing I want to do, but there's no sense wasting the money on something I KNOW I won't enjoy doing—walking, that is.
I asked the doctor if it was okay if I started running again in June, when the marathon training starts. He said definitely. June is perfect. He said to take it slow this time, though.
So, dear marathon, I'll race you one day, I promise I will, but it'll have to wait until my body is ready. Maybe next year.