Well you see, I thought my body would be ready for this, but now I’m not so sure.
I’m talking about the Marathon I signed up to race, which is in 10 days.
It’s been a little over two months since Ironman Mont Tremblant, and while my mind thinks I’m recovered, my body feels a little differently. I tend to forget what a BIG deal racing an Ironman is. I think often I get caught up in my little ‘triathlon bubble’ and I honestly forget that what I accomplished is HUGE and my body went through A LOT to get to get to that finish line. Also, reading social media and blogs about people doing multiple Marathons and Ironmans in one year, makes me think that this is OK for me too… but is it really?
Before signing up for the Manchester City Marathon, I made sure to get my coach’s approval. He said racing a Fall marathon would be totally fine and even mentioned it would be a great idea (and I thought, why the heck not!) it’s just a marathon after all? You see, it’s funny, after doing an Ironman, a Marathon in my eyes went from a MARATHON to, just a marathon. What used seem like a big deal in my mind, no longer did… it seemed, well, easier. We all know that the body does not always match up with what the mind thinks or wants. Sure I WANT to do this Marathon, but does my BODY want to do this Marathon. Does my left knee want to do this Marathon? Does my left TFL want to do this Marathon? If my left knee and my left TFL could speak up, they would tell me to give them a break. I know that for a fact.
Let me recap for a second here. I raced IMMT on August 17th. I took about two FULL weeks off, except for VERY light biking, swimming, and minimal running. By the third week post IMMT, I was started to introduce more running and workouts were a little more than recovery workouts. By the fourth week post Ironman, I started my training plan for the Manchester City Marathon. Over these last several weeks, I’ve trained A LOT, I’ve ran A LOT of miles (up to 48 miles in one week). I’ve been swimming, biking and running, basically like I did during the peak weeks leading up to my Ironman. Well not exactly, but pretty close. What felt really good at first, i.e. training again at a high level intensity, isn’t feeling so great now. It’s just not as fun. My body is tired with a capital “T” and I think it just needs (gasp) a BREAK.
So often we got caught up in what we ‘want’ to do versus what we really ‘should’ do. Today, when my massage therapist asked me, “why are you doing the Manchester Marathon?” I did not have a valid answer. I seriously could not come up with a logical reason as to why I’m planning to run this race. I signed up for it when I was suffering from Post- Ironman Blues. I was coming off of the biggest race of my life, I was bored, sad, needing a goal. If I could fast forward to how I feel now about this race, I wouldn’t have even signed up in the first place. For the first time in my life as an athlete, I’m not wanting to push it and I’m really not wanting to push THROUGH the pain. For the first time I am LISTENING to this body of mine. I have already qualified and registered for the 2015 Boston Marathon and I know that takes a HUGE toll on my body. I was injured with Plantar Fasciitis last winter and missed FIVE weeks of running during training. It’s because I ran the Chicago Marathon in October when my foot hurt… and then it just got worse and worse. Now coming off of the Ironman, my body needs rest more than ever and it’s speaking up… and I think it’s time to listen.
This being said, I have decided to forgo the full marathon, and just do the half marathon on that same day. I also have thoughts about not racing all together, but I’m not quite at that point yet. I’m waiting to hear from my coach. I’ve trained to race and I want to do SOMETHING. I just want to do what’s SMART, not reckless.
I got my knee looked at yesterday, since it’s been sore when running long distances. Luckily, it’s nothing serious, yet. It’s attributed to overuse i.e. the famous last words. When I told me Orthopedic doctor I am planning to run a Marathon after racing in an Ironman two months ago, his eyes bugged out of his head. Instantly, he said it wasn’t a good idea. In the past I would have argued with this and tried to convince him that it WAS a good idea, but I had no reason to fight. I know it’s not a good idea. My body just isn’t ready for it and doesn’t want to suffer. I was told to take it back a notch, and I will try my best to do so:)
When I signed up for the Manchester City Marathon, I truly knew I could do the race. Honestly, I’m totally confident that if I went to that start line in 10 days, I could run 26.2 miles. But the question is, do I want to run 26.2 and possibly be in a lot of pain? No thank you. What would mile 20 feel like? Probably not very good. Also, I don’t know what kind of damage it will do and if it will jeopardize my Boston training. So in conclusion, for once I am going to listen and I’m OK with that.