Josh and I had a WONDERFUL long weekend in San Diego. The weather was perfect and time together for just the two of us was much, much needed. My days were full with the coaching course, but we spent our early mornings and evenings walking around like teenagers without a care in the world. There is no one I would rather spend time with. It was fantastic.
The RRCA course was good. I met some very nice people and enjoyed the class. There wasn't a whole lot of new information that I didn't know, but there were some good refreshers, a few "nuggets", and some great resources. It was a nice reinforcement that I know what I am doing with the coaching, although nothing is better than getting comments like I did from one of my runners the other night. "Thanks for making me a better runner - I know that I wouldn't be running anywhere near this level without you." THAT is what it is all about. I love this sport!
It came clear to me in San Diego that the plan of sticking to my high mileage and avoiding speedwork for a couple of weeks to let my tendonitis completely heal was not working. My form isn't quite normal, my feet are still tender (although still improving), one hammy got tight (I am sure because of my form being tweaked a bit because of the feet) and I just feel off. I told Coach that I need a reset button.
Coach and I talked and decided to pull the plug on Chicago. It kills me to do it - I don't quit and I don't back out of things - but we both think that in the big picture, it is the smart thing to do. There are 7 weeks and five days until Chicago. We feel confident that I will be fine in time to run Chicago, but with this big of a hole in the training, the chances of a strong race and a big PR are slim. We also don't want to feel pressure to rush the recovery.
Originally the plan was to run Chicago and then take a month break from training (only short and easy running or no running) before picking training back up for a spring marathon. We've decided to take that month break now, let my body recover and get back to 100%, and then start training again for a winter marathon (January-ish). I have a couple races in mind and will let you know when I decide. I want sub-3!
It's one thing to know what the right thing to do is - it's another thing to make yourself do it. I am super grateful for Coach Doug, and for his knowledge, empathy, and guidance in everything. Having him has made all of the decision making a lot easier for me.
I have never taken this long of a break from training, but I know it is the smart thing to do right now, and I know it is what I would tell one of my runners to do. My body is being pretty loud and clear about needing a break. I have asked a whole lot of this body the past four years and am going to continue to ask a lot from it, so I need to treat it well. I am sad to miss Chicago, but keeping the big picture in mind, I know this is the right choice. I usually recover from things quickly, so I am confident that with this break, a month from now I will be 100% healthy, excited, fired up, and ready to get back to work.
Injuries are a part of being an athlete. The best of the best have to deal with injuries, and so do the rest of us. I know I am very lucky that this is my first real injury. I was feeling pretty bummed about things a day or two ago, but now I am embracing this break and looking forward with optimism. As Coach said, this very well could all turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Pushing the reset button...
*** I am definitely going to continue with my big fundraising giveaway for Girls Gotta Run Foundation!
There are over $1,000 worth of prizes and minimum donation is only $10.
Please also help spread the word by posting on blogs, Twitter,
Facebook, etc. Thank you!! :) ***