This past fall, I was training for the Louisiana Marathon in Baton Rouge, LA. The race was scheduled for January 2015, and I was determined to qualify for Boston. The course was fast and flat - and it didn't hurt that my boyfriend lived in New Orleans at the time. Killing two birds with one stone, eh? A visit and a race (I'll let you decide which one I was most excited about ;) ...)
Training was going phenomenally. Let me tell you what, I was hitting paces I didn't think I could!
*Disclaimer: That does not mean they were fast paces by everyone's standards. They were fast for me, and I was proud, and, well, I got addicted to the improvement and the speed... Cue foreboding music.
I won a trail race!
|Trailapalooza was so much fun and gorgeous!|
I got a shiny new PR for my half marathon time (also in Louisiana... thanks, love, for being my running posse and free hotel)!
|These awesome, slightly blurry pics are brought to you by my Instagram, back in action after a brief deletion.|
And then things went downhill. I started getting angry with myself if my training runs weren't consistently faster. I was annoyed if I didn't run negative splits.
Early December, I got what was coming to me. Hello, Mr. IT Band! Nice to make your acquaintance!
Not knowing what it was, I still ran. When I couldn't
get out of bed take it anymore, I saw a doctor, and he diagnosed me with a tight IT band from overuse, but told me I could probably still run the marathon.
So I did. And I qualified for Boston. When I tell you crossing that finish line in the time needed was one of my happiest moments, I am not lying.
Unfortunately, this wasn't without consequences. My whole left leg needed some serious TLC.
I cried, I biked, I doggy-paddled, and when I still couldn't sit without feeling tightness, I began to see a physical therapist.
I have learned that I cannot incorporate races into my training because I will race the races. Some people can do this, while even others can run races without racing; I cannot. Lesson learned.
I have learned that a common school of thought is that 80% of our training should be easy miles. Your weekly long runs aren't the marathon. It's okay if one week is slower. Lesson learned.
I have learned that comparison is the thief of joy. Looking at slower split times sucked the fun out of the sport. I can't be so hard on myself. Lesson learned.
I have learned to listen to my body when it needs rest. It's smarter than I am, and if I listen to it, it will reward me. Lesson learned.
In the past week, I've returned to running with five minute intervals separated by walking breaks. My IT band is very happy... but my opposite hip is not. Seems I must have been compensating during the injury, because now the right leg hurts.
I really hope this is the final exam of this semester. I will take all the aforementioned knowledge and put it to use - I will not push myself, I will listen to the cry of my hip, and I will be patient.
Because a few days nursing this tightness is better than repeating the grade, AMIRITE!?
What are your injury lessons learned?
Anyone else a member of the 5 month club?