Here we are, 5 ½ weeks out from the marathon, and I’ve been sidelined.
Sometime last week I noticed I had a little hip pain that would work its way out if I warmed up and/or stretched. I took a couple days off before the 16 miler, and took the long run nice and slow. We started with a 5 minute warm up, kept the pace when running around a 12 minute mile, and made sure to walk every 5 minutes with a 1 minute walk break. My only concern was finishing in under a 14 minute mile, which is the pacing requirement. We did the 16 miles at an average 13:35/mi pace. Goal accomplished!
Monday was a scheduled rest day. I noticed my hip was sorer than before, but you’d think everything would be sore after 16 miles. Then Tuesday Dan and I went out for an easy 4 miler and I noticed the pain was way worse. Running made the pain shoot down from my hip, down my inner thigh, and to my right knee. We kept it to a simple walk, and stretched that night. Yesterday I woke up and the pain was worse, and more focused on my knee. I called the Rothman Institute and set up an appointment with a Sports Medicine specialist, and went on a walk later that night.
Today I woke up and the pain is almost exclusively in my knee. I asked my resident exercise expert about the pain moving and she said:
Haley: your body compensates for itself, so your knee and quad muscles are probably taking more of the stress and taking it off the hip
Fabulous. So now what?
I started researching some injury-adjusted marathon plans. Sunday was 7 weeks from the marathon, so here’s the internet recommended plan:
Injured 5 to 8 Weeks Before Marathon
Up to 1 Week
Pick up with current training week @75% of recommended volume for one week. Then resume normal training.
1 - 2 Weeks
Pick up with current training week @ 50% of recommended volume for one week and 75% of recommended volume for a second week. Then resume normal training.
2 - 3 Weeks
Pick up with current training week @ 50% of recommended volume for one week and 75% of recommended volume for a second week. then resume normal training. The limited time to complete training will make meeting your goal difficult. I would strongly recommend reducing your goal or going to an alternate marathon.
4 Weeks or more
Difficult to recover from and still run your goal marathon. Consider an alternate marathon.
I am hoping that by the time my appointment rolls around on September 20, I will be recovered and will only need to ask for prevention advice and hope the doctor agrees with the 1-2 weeks plan. Normally I wouldn’t go to the doctor, just rest, but being so close to the marathon I don’t want to do anything stupid. In the meantime, I bought The Stick to help stretch out my muscles, and will be starting these circuits at the gym to try to prevent detraining.
What happens if I get bad news from the doctor?
I have always said I will not let the marathon cause permanent injury. I will not train and run hurt. I will happily go to DC and cheer on Dan and Patty on the sidelines. Since my appointment is after the deferral date, I will probably lose my bib money. Upsetting, but I’ve lost more money at the casinos. From there, depending on how I heal up, I have a few options:
· The Harrisburg Marathon or Richmond Marathon would be my best bets. They’re only 2 weeks after the Marine Corps Marathon, so I wouldn’t be that far off track.
· The Rehoboth Beach Marathon is December 8. This would be a good option if I really feel like I’ve lost my training, especially since I’ll be working during the Philly full and the following weekend is Thanksgiving.
· I could decide screw it and ask Team Lemon if I could use the money I’ve raised so far to count toward the Florida Keys Ragnar Relays. It's not a marathon, but it's a unique event that requires a lot of training!
The planner in me feels more comfortable knowing there are other options; that all my training wasn’t a waste of time. I’m going to be positive though and assume I will still be good to go for October 28. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Have you ever been sidelined by an injury? How did you get past it? Got any old wives’ tales or pieces of advice to share?