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to run, or not to run?

The Boston Marathon. That is the question.

Is racing on April 20th a good idea? I’m just.not.sure.

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As of now I am registered for the  2015 Boston Marathon. Well it was so damn easy to hit the ‘register’ button this fall. Since I qualified at last year’s race and it’s local to where I live, it seemed like a no-brainer. At the time, I assumed it would be a great idea.  After all, I raced Boston last year AND IMMT four months later. And I survived didn’t I?  I should also mention that I ran Boston injured last year, when I was told it wasn’t a good idea.  As a result Plantar Fasciitis plagued me ALL of last summer.

So, if I’m feeling better this time around, you might ask, why wouldn’t I run Boston?

The truth is, my goals are different this year.  I’m not trying to finish, just to finish at Ironman Mont-Tremblant, I’m trying to PR at Ironman Mont-Tremblant… and potentially get a ticket to the Big Island. Oh and not to mention, I’m injury prone. Womp womp. If in fact I qualify for Kona (that’s a BIG IF), that would mean running three Marathons in 2015 (counting the marathons in each Ironman + Boston). That’s a lot of load on these little legs.

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The truth is…

I need to be honest with myself and accept the fact that I am injury prone.  Instead of getting all pissed off that my friends (and people on social media) can do more training and racing than me and not get injured, I need to accept my body for what it is. Comparison is the thief of joy, right?

I’ve had a knee surgery, I have motor control issues and imbalances. I have a very small frame and I’m quite petite. I’m trying to get stronger, but I have always been somewhat breakable. I can only handle so much volume without getting hurt, it’s the honest truth, and it sucks. It can be BEYOND frustrating that something is ‘always’ wrong, but I have kind of learned to accept it. I hope this doesn’t come off as whining, but I’m trying to be realistic. Perhaps I’m getting wiser with age:) Realizing that I just can’t do it all. 

I go through periods of denial where I think: I’ll be fine no matter what, but this is not the case. This whole ‘knee thing’ over the past six weeks got me thinking about my body and accepting reality. Sure there are plenty of triathletes who can do Marathon after Marathon, Ironman after Ironman, and come out unscathed… but I am not one of those athletes.  After all these years, I’m finally getting it, I need extra time to heal. Even with an arsenal of chiropractors, PT’s, and massage therapists, I still need extra time! Probably more than the average triathlete.  Where I get into trouble is, when I don’t give myself time to recover, I get injured, or just barely get by.

There is always risk when training for a Marathon, but now there is more risk.

Since I am just getting over knee pain, training and racing Boston is risky. I know I am capable of running Boston (I’ve done it twice now), but I also know how much that course BEATS you up. I firmly believe that a stand alone Boston Marathon beats your legs up more than an Ironman. Last year I had ONE week of rest in between Boston and ramping up training for IMMT.  I felt like I never had a break, considering peak training for IMMT is just 2-3 months after Boston.

I have a gut feeling that Boston isn’t the smartest idea.  Last year I was fired up because of the tragic events in 2013.  I wanted to be with everyone in 2014, proving to the world how strong we all were. This time around, I’m sort of like… ‘what’s the point?’ ‘I have nothing to prove.’

IRONMAN 301

What’s the plan as of now?

Coach (Jorge) and I have Boston on the calendar, but it’s more ‘penciled in’ than with permanent ink. We are going to pick up my mileage starting next week and see how I respond. If I continue to respond well, maybe, just maybe, I will run Boston.  If there is any indication of injury, I am probably not going to run the race. We are just taking it day by day right now.  The nice thing is, I don’t feel any pressure and it feels awesome:) Who knows, I might just run Boston AND still qualify for Kona… only time will tell.

What if I don’t run Boston this year?

I will defer to next year… luckily the BAA allows you to do this. Instead, I’ll race either a Half Marathon or (70.3) Half Ironman in the early spring (March/April). The problem with a 70.3 in the early spring is, I would have to travel via airplane to get to any of those (warmer) 70.3 destination races.  Due to cost, this would mean probably doing a local half marathon instead.

Stay tuned………..

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Would love to hear your thoughts on racing Boston and IMMT in the same year, since I am horrible with making decisions!

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29 Comments

  • Reply Hailey January 23, 2015 at 2:05 am

    I’m not a triathlete, but that is A LOT of pounding on your body if you were to do both. I would just want to not have any regrets in your situation with how your body may react after Boston. But who knows you could end up feeling great after and carry that momentum to your Ironman, who knows (can you tell I’m bad at make deciding things too;) ) I do think you and your coach are taking a really smart approach though. I think you’ll end up knowing the best decision for you and your goals when the time comes to make a definite decision:) I hear you on the injury prone though. I really do think have a small frame has a lot to do with it too!

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      Thanks hailey! yes, I think having a small frame does predispose us to being injured… it’s frustrating. I also don’t want to have any regrets, this is what I’m most afraid of! Thanks for your advice lady:)

  • Reply Irina January 23, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Ah, how I know all about the hard decisions. I chose to give in and here’s where I am. Still broken after so many months. I think it’s smart to take it day by day. Last year my coach didn’t allow me any long distance racing prior to IMMT, but I had a blast at a local 70.3. If Muskoka or Syracuse isn’t too far… maybe you can make the drive? As of today I am signed up for Muskoka, but it’s a hilly b*tch and that may be too much on your legs 6 weeks out from the race. Anyway, wisdom comes with age as they say… think about it and I’ll sure you’ll make the right decisions, especially if you also have your gut to help you.

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Thanks so much. Taking it day by day is the plan right now… I’ll see where it takes me. I am actually racing ironman 70.3 Maryland in June, which is a FLAT course… pancake flat:) Muskoka looks like an awesome race though! I will keep you posted on my decision:)

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats January 23, 2015 at 5:34 am

    I think that you are smart thinking about not doing it…especially because you can defer it!!!! Boston will always be there!! This is your big chance to KQ!! Doing Boston just means more recovery time…time you don’t necessarily have!! Aren’t there lots of 70.3s you can do in June near you? There are so many now a days…or what about the one you did last year??!! Don’t do it….don’t risk it!!! 🙂
    It has taken me a long time to figure out the whole recovery thing!!

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Sooo it turns out, I can’t defer Boston, oops! BUT losing money is better than being injured. You can’t put money on being healthy. You are right though, Boston means more recovery time, and four months is not a lot of time between Boston and IMMT. I am racing 70.3 Eagleman in June, so I have that to look forward to! I might even do a spring half marathon if I don’t race Boston!

  • Reply Kecia January 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I had to make a difficult racing decision last year…to race IM Kansas 70.3 while injured or not, knowing that IMWI was my A race. It was a very TOUGH decision, but pulling myself out of the 70.3 race set me up for a much more successful IMWI. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the right one.

    Knowing that everyone is different, if I were you, I wouldn’t race Boston because of the potential risk to accomplishing your dreams in 2015. If you have the option to defer, that is what I would do. Ultimately, you should weigh the pros and cons and figure out what is best for you and your dreams for 2015. I wish you the best in making a tough decision and look forward to hearing what you decide to do/not do.

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      I remember you making that decision not to race and how hard it was for you! It takes A LOT of will power to back out of a big race, but deep down you know what’s best for YOU:) I can’t defer Boston (messed up on that one) but it’s worth backing out no matter what, especially if it means a better chance at a PR at IMMT!

  • Reply Megan @ Meg Go Run January 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    This post SPEAKS to me. Boston IS a tough course. The first time I ran it, I went real slow and stuck with a group of friends- we just sort of soaked in the experience. I don’t remember being too sore after that one. But last year- I was so freaking sore after Boston. It didn’t help that I had to drive 9 hours home RIGHT after the race! I still wouldn’t change it for the world. Running Boston last year meant so much! I probably ran it too soon- I had knee surgery at the end of January but was determined to run Boston anyway. I was able to run it without pain but looking back I was flirting with disaster!

    I compare myself to others too. They run and run and run and seem to never have injuries. Where me, I have to play it super conservative. Just so you know, there are other people out there like you!!! Reading this post was very comforting!

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      I’m glad you can relate to this Meg! Happy to hear I’m not alone!!!

      I was SO sore after Boston last year. I don’t know if it was the warmer day, or what, but I was dyyying on that course and I had such back DOMS after the race. Impressed that you ran Boston after having knee surgery in January! You are lucky:)

  • Reply Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork January 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I hear you. I am also injury prone (three injuries in 2013-womp womp!) and know my weak points, so I try not to push it too much. I deal with the jealousy thing, of people who can just go out and do things and not get hurt, but then try to tell myself that it’s all for the better that I know and understand my body better because of my experiences.
    I think penciling it in is a good idea. I guess it’s all about what you really want. Do you not want injury to plague you and be able to do the things you want or always be recovering from an injury? Not that it’s one or the other, but you get the idea. It’s a hard discussion to have with yourself. I’ve definitely been there.

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      It’s so frustrating isn’t it? I feel like others are invincible when it comes to injuries… so not fair! glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I think we are mentally stronger for having to overcome these things! I would give anything to be injury free!!

  • Reply Phaedra @ Blisters and Black Toenails January 23, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I raced Boston last year and 8 weeks later did a 70.3. NOT a good idea. I wouldn’t say that I am injury prone but I definitely have imbalances that I neglected over the years, that have now started to plague me. I’m having knee issues that are going to take a long time to fix so any dreams I had of racing this year are on hold. Of course I’m kicking myself for pushing myself so hard over the last few years and not looking after “the small things”. Boston is a dream for many but since you’ve already done it twice, I’d say focus on IMMT and getting your Kona slot.

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks so much for your opinion:) I also did a 70.3 8 weeks after Boston last year… I was struggling during that race too… I need to remember this feeling, ha!

      Sorry to hear about your knee issues… I hear you on that one. I also understand having imbalances and working on the small things. It’s easy to forget about the small things when we get into heavy training. best of luck to you as you work on those small things:)

  • Reply Nicole January 23, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    If the ironman is your first priority then there is no need to risk it!

    However, Boston no longer allows deferrals so you’d have to requalify to run again.

    • Reply Kristin January 24, 2015 at 1:08 am

      You’re right , Nicole! And I realized this AFTER I wrote the post. No more deferrals. Ugh. Making my decision even harder… although losing out on $$ is better than injuring myself, right?

  • Reply erin January 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Oh, such a tough decision! Given the recovery time from an open marathon – I think even more so than an IM – I say hold off so you can focus on your A race and getting that KQ. Running Boston could potentially cause an injury and cut into precious training time for IMMT. Boston will always be there! Just my two cents 🙂 Listen to you body and do what’s right for YOU, what you feel is best for you, regardless of what everyone else says! 🙂

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      So tough!!! An open marathon does destroy your body, I need to remember this. I’m worried it will cut into my bike progress too, which I am very focused on for IMMT! Thank you for your two cents, much appreciated:)

  • Reply Kim @ Swimmykimy January 25, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    You are so smart to listen to your body!! I am also extremely injury prone and my heart went out to you while reading your post. My history with injuries is what is keeping me from signing up for an Ironman race because I’m not quite sure my body can handle it. I think you’re smart to keep this on the calendar and see how things progress. Deferring a year might be a very smart decision so you can stay focused on your big goals!

    Also, I didn’t know you were using coach Jorge! That is so exciting, love him 🙂 I don’t have a coach currently but he has given me a lot of advice!

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks Kim!! It’s hard being injury prone… to be honest, racing another Ironman in itself is risky for me, nevermind doing a Marathon in the same year. Let’s just say I’ll be spending a lot of $ on massages!

      YES I am working with Jorge and he’s awesome!! So excited to have him as a 1 x 1 coach!

  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles January 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Honestly, I think its smart not to race Boston. You have already dominated that race (twice) and you can defer and focus on your BIG goal this year and that is way more important than running a race you have already done successfully a few times if it means you put your body at risk of not being its best come race day at Mount T. Boston will always be there for you (hell, its in our back yard) so focus on the bigger picture and GET TO KONA because I KNOW you can do it! xo

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you Sara!! You know the course and how much it beats you up, appreciate your opinion:) Boston WILL always be there. And I also found out recently, that you can qualify for Boston AT Kona, if your marathon fast enough… so awesome! xo

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust January 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    I have no doubt that you will make the right decision for you. You were smart in the fall when you decided it was too soon after the Ironman to do a marathon. You seem to be really in tune with your body and goals. If your goal really is to KQ I would definitely make that your priority race. You could do Boston, but I wouldn’t race it all out – so much recovery time that will cut into your training. But, you know your body better than anyone.

    No matter what, Boston will be there. Plus, you can do it with me in 2016!!! 🙂 Not a bad alternative. 😉

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks Kristen! Yes I’m just going to play it by ear, and if I don’t race Boston this year, it’s OK:) Although, ask me that in April if I’m not doing it… I will most likely be a little sad. The other thought is to race Boston but not to PR… definitely a possibility! Oh and sadly, i can’t defer to 2016… i confirmed that recently, boo!

  • Reply Beth January 29, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    What a hard choice, I too am injury prone and want to do it all. It’s hard to say no and miss an opportunity like Boston! But Kona is KONA =) Best of luck with your choice!

    • Reply Kristin February 5, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you beth! Appreciate it! Sucks being injury prone, that’s for sure!

  • Reply a final decision – Sweat Courage April 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm

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