I’ve been trying to formulate this post for days – actually weeks now, if I’m being honest. I’ve written it in my head over and over again, and every time I’ve sat down to type it out, I’ve ended up closing out LiveWriter and moving onto something else instead. But I’m tired of putting it off, so I’m just going to word vomit this up on the page and post it.
For those of you that have been longtime HHR readers, you know that I’ve been dealing with a pretty nasty knee injury for the past 11 months. One that took five months and several doctors to diagnose.
Dear Knee, I hate you.
For any new readers, a very short synopsis of what happened was this: I ran the Houston Marathon in January of 2012 . It was [mostly] glorious. Four days after the marathon I experienced my first round of knee pain while running. That snowballed into me going on a very expensive emotional roller coaster for five months as I visiteddoctorafterdoctor trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I finally met my current sports doctor [who has been a serious bright spot in a very bleak year] and we went to work together on making me get better.
Dr. Hinson!! Whaaat uuuupppp!
Things have been [mostly] good since I started seeing him. The recovery process has been slow, but I’ve made serious strides forward – I even PRed at a 10k race – and I’m [mostly] physically pain free now when I run. The operative word being physically.
You know, just running with awesome form. No big deal.
Back in June, I registered for the Houston Marathon for 2013. I was pissed off and defiant towards my injury, and I wanted nothing more than to run the 2013 marathon in January as a big EFF YOU to my knee. I wanted to come back strong and proud, and I wanted to run a PR race. Lofty goal? Maybe. But I was determined.
What I didn’t take into account, however, was not my physical state, but my emotional one. Emotionally, I am completely wiped out. I’ve been trying for months to force myself out on the weekends to get in long runs, and – like with any marathon training cycle – it’s had its ups and downs. I suffered through a particularly nasty 20 mile run a couple weeks ago where I spent over four hours out trying to get through a run… and only three hours running. If you do the math on that one, there’s an entire hour in there where I was sitting on curbs trying to talk myself into finishing. An entire hour where I sent out text messages to Sean, who was an angel and tried to talk me off a ledge, and to my doctor, who assured me I was going to be A-OK.
When I finished that run I figured all I needed was to get past that one huge road block. Accomplishing running that 20 mile run, no matter how desperately I wanted to give up, was going to be the switch that turned the remainder of this training cycle into a breeze… or at least gave me the push I needed to power through it.
Except it wasn’t. The next weekend I had a pretty great 15 mile run, and I was feeling confident going into the next 20 miler I was going to tackle.
And then last Saturday came and I got a mile – ONE MILE – into my 20 mile run and I quit. I never quit long runs. But it was fine, I was just going to run Sunday instead. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday… So Sunday morning I got up early and hit the pavement, determined to get in 20 miles.
By mile two I was mentally done. I struggled through two more miles before walking back to my house, feeling defeated and miserable.
Once I sat down on the bed next to a sleeping Sean and woke him up to talk, I knew exactly what I was going to say.
I’m not running the Houston Marathon in 2013.
I still haven’t decided entirely if I’m going to defer my entry or if I’m going to drop to the half. All I know is that my heart isn’t in running the full.
Running long has become a chore for me right now. I don’t look forward to it and I mentally spend every single step trying to convince myself to just take one more, and then one more. I never ran because I felt obligated to. I never wanted to cross a marathon off my bucket list. I ran because I loved it. Looking back at last year’s training for the marathon and this year’s training there is one marked difference: last year I was excited about every. single. long run. They may not have always gone how I wanted them to, but I was stoked to run them. This year, I dread them. And I don’t want running to be something that I dread. I don’t get paid to run, and as such, I want it to stay something that I do because I love it.
I’ve been pretty nervous about admitting that I’m not going to do the full. I feel like there have been so many people that have offered up their support to me, giving me encouragement to do all 26.2 miles, and I hate feeling like I’m letting them down or copping out of something I committed to. Sean has spent DAYS worth of time listening to me go back and forth and comforting me when I’ve cried my eyes out, each time letting me know that he supported me no matter what. When I proclaimed that I wanted to run it, he told me that was great. When I moped about having a crappy run, he reminded me that marathoning isn’t easy. When I cried because I wanted to love running and I just didn’t, he hugged me and told me that I needed to make sure that I loved it again. Dr. Hinson is another person who has unequivocally offered me his support and assured me that I am more than capable of running the 2013 marathon. And honestly, I think I am physically capable of running it. I just am mentally burned out. And anyone that marathons knows that having your mental game is half the battle of running 26 miles, if not more than that.