I had to take a long absence from the blog for many reasons, one of which being that I injured myself last year after breaking a long overdue PR goal of mine in the half marathon distance. Talk about a major high down to a major low. I had just signed up for the Shamrock Marathon to be run in March 2016 and my first long run of 10 miles came with a price to pay. I felt knee pain like I’ve never experienced before around mile 5 and hobbled the last 5 miles back to the car confused and quite nervous. I let myself recover from that run the next day thinking it was just a fluke and that I would be fine. I decided to try to run again the day after my rest day on the treadmill just in case the pain came back so I wouldn’t be too far from home and sure enough it came back, and pretty quickly too. The knee pain resurfaced after maybe a quarter of a mile and I broke down. I had never been injured in my life from physical activity and I have been an avid runner and sports enthusiast since I can remember.
After I got over my initial pity party, I made multiple trips to different doctors, had an MRI done, attended countless physical therapy sessions, and I still never got a straight answer on what was wrong but I ended up with the diagnosis of IT Band Syndrome. I took half of 2016 off with the exception of some shorter runs here and there after a few months of strict strength training and by late summer I was finally ready to start pushing the mileage boundary a bit and have worked my long run distance back up to 11 blissful, pain free miles as of this past weekend.
Because of the success I have been having recently with my longer runs, I have decided that it’s time to train for the marathon I so desperately wanted to run. Instead of the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach though, I am going to sign up for the Myrtle Beach Marathon. It is a few weeks earlier but it is local to my boyfriends family so we can make a mini visit/vacation out of it. The races are similar since they are both near the beach and fast/flat courses. Hopefully I can update the blog each week with how my training is going and how I am staying injury free.
I have set what some might consider to be a lofty goal for myself; to bring my marathon time down from a 3:57 to a 3:30 (a BQ for my age group). I feel I can achieve this for a few reasons:
- My longest run during the first marathon was 17 miles on a treadmill
- I did zero speed work or tempo runs
- I was inexperienced and started too fast
- My current training paces are on point for a 3:30 marathon and I just started
- I’m not afraid of the challenge
- I have a great support system