Archive for December 28, 2012

So with now just over two weeks to go to Houston I can’t run.

After coming through the chute at the Shiner Half-Marathon I felt a little soreness in my left Achilles tendon.  Nothing major, just a little niggle, perhaps from the loose stone mile during the middle of the race or maybe it was just the hazards of racing.  Regardless, it was a nagging little soreness.  Nothing too terribly rare for a runner training for a marathon.

I managed the situation the following week, iced, took anti-inflamatories and skipped one of my scheduled runs for a little extra rest, then on Sunday I ran my final 22-mile training run closing out the last two miles in 6:34, 639.

We were ready.

Now, 5 days later and I haven’t run a step.  The Achilles tendon is still not feeling “perfect” and I’m not willing to risk anything until it does.

Every day it is improving.  This morning it felt like it had rebounded to close to 90%.

Instead of running I’ve been on the TRI bike trainer keeping the legs spinning and hoping to retain the fitness that took 16 weeks to build.

The one thing that I knew I absolutely needed to have happen for a shot at a 2:59:00 marathon was 100% health.

The marathon is simply too cruel of a distance to race it when you have an injury – no matter how slight.

You can “fake it” in a 10K or half-marathon.  Suck it up and manage the pain without your form faltering or your speed suffering.  But in the marathon, late in the race it is a struggle to hold your stride and form even under perfect circumstances.  Once that starts to go away due to fatigue after 20 or 21 miles, the last portion of the race is just downright cruel.

It seeks out your weakness, exposes you.  Then it breaks you.  That is the marathon.

So with 16 days to go, things right now are a little unsettled.  By next Sunday I have to be running 100% pain-free and dialed in.  9 days, that is all we have for this inflammation to go away and allow us to have full function, flexibility and extension on our left side.

If we are not there by then, we’re going to have to pull out of Houston.  Plain and simple.

I’ve run marathons before.  Plenty of them actually.  I’m not in it to finish and I’m not racing for a medal.  There is only one goal this time around and that is 2:59.  If I don’t have a shot at it before I take my first stride, it just doesn’t make sense to push a bad situation, aggravate the injury further and spend even more time on the shelf.

But perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.  Marathoning is about the journey to the starting line as much as it is the 26.2 mile journey to the finish on race day.

Maybe after my back to back PR’s in December somebody was trying to send me a message.  Stay humble and remember exactly how badly you really want this.

If that was the message, believe me I’ve got it.  Dom, if there are any strings left to pull up there, I could really use your help right about now.

Just get me to the starting line my brother.  I’ll take care of everything from there.