Sunday, September 18, 2011

You tell me! ...and I've created a monster ;)

“Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death.”
Earl Wilson 

Before I talk about me :) ...let me tell you about my little sister, Iz, who participated in the Energizer Night Race 5K yesterday. She's totally addicted to running and racing. I loved being there to cheer her on!

Iz and her new BFF the Energizer bunny :)

Now, about me :) I'll tell you what I think, but I'd really like to hear your opinion. Many of you have lots of running, and most specifically, marathon experience. What would you do? 

This week, I was able to complete all the runs on my training schedule, with today being the longest at 80 minutes (or 11.5K). All week, I've been taking an anti-inflammatory and either icing or heating my foot accordingly. The pain remains quite mild, but constant. Running has not worsened the injury, but the degree of improvement has become quite minimal. Today's run went like this: First 10 minutes were painful enough that I felt I had to mildly alter my form (very minimally); after that, the muscles seemed to be warming up and there was only lingering tightness; my form was back to feeling normal; mild pain remained barely there throughout the run and I felt no compensatory pain (on my last two runs my left knee would start hurting near the end - not this time). So I got home, iced, and now my foot feels fine. It actually feels a bit better than it did before I ran. Although it seems to tighten up whenever I sit for too long, it loosens up quickly and I can walk normally without pain. That's where things are at.

My thoughts: 
I can make the final decision on race day morning. I still have one more week to go.
This week is full on taper and I have only a few very short runs planned.
I can take an anti-inflammatory on race day.
If running makes the pain go away, then I'm probably not worsening it when I run.
BUT, What if I end up with too much pain and have to stop running.
It's already bad enough to run a marathon, it might be crazy to try and run a first marathon with an injury, no matter how minor.
I go back and forth thinking that yes I can do it, and it would be stupid to do it...sigh.

Important information :
This marathon has a cut-off time of 5:45, so I can't just walk it in if I'm in pain.
This is extremely important to me, because I don't want to not finish on time! I'd prefer my first marathon to not be DNF if possible.

My goals:
A) Ideally, I would finish in close to 5 hours. I would be thrilled if I could do this!
B) I'd be happy to just finish with a smile on my face (even if it's forced).
C) I'd be satisfied with coming in right at the cut-off of 5:45.

Is this all taper madness and normal fears, or am I being smart and logically cautious?

Feeling fine after today's run :)

Thanks for sharing your experience!


Char said...

You're being smart and logical. But without a crystal ball it's hard to know the outcome. You could be fine or the race could be a nightmare. It's only a decision you can make. Good luck with it.

Caroline said...

Anne..I sure hope you will be fine after all the work and effort you put into this...I know I would give it a try for sure...unless the pain is too much on race day..Bonne chance!!!!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

I think you are being smart. I would keep up the icing and anti-imflammatory through out this week. Take it easy - afterall - nothing you do this week is really going to matter - as far as distance goes! Might as well rest your foot as much as possible. You have trained and are ready - but only you can make the decision.
I think I would try - unless you have a lot of pain in the days leading up next weekend you are ready to run.

bobbi said...

This is so tough! But if running isn't making it worse, then I'd be inclined to finish what I've been training for. I KNOW you can do it! Follow your heart :)

Beth said...

Anne, Please do some online research before choosing which pain reliever you take before/during the marathon. I am NOT a doctor but I believe that NSAID drugs and long distance running do not go together (something with how the drug is processed/being dehydrated/kidney issues). That being said, I think you are suffering from taper madness. It's normal to have some aches and pains and I really think that, during the race, you will easily be able to discern between regular aches and pains and something that is seriously wrong. It sounds like icing, ibuprofen and warming up are helping. Go with that and I think that, in your gut, you will know the right thing to do out on the race course. Good luck and try not to worry. You are going to do awesome!!

Irene said...

You've put in the training, and you've been smart about it. Like the others have already said, get some rest this week. Just remain as mindful as you have been and hopefully you won't need the anti-imflamitory during the race. I think you can run within the time allowed. You've been doing so well. I worry about taking an AI during races because some can wreak havoc on the kidneys.

ajh said...

Good luck. If you have put in the training as you have it seems like you can do it. I would rather try than not as long as I wasn't injuring myself to do it.

Jennifer said...

I know you can do it! I am with Beth though, Advil can really interfere with good kidney function when the body is stressed, that is what I have read about anyway. Good luck and have a great taper!!

Kate said...

I'd say keep icing, stretching, maybe consider not running in your taper week to give it a rest if you think there IS an injury there, and then go for it.

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Will Travel said...

I'll echo the other comments. Take good care of yourself this week and see how you feel come race day. You always seem to make smart decisions; I have no doubt that this'll be the same.

Meg said...

WOW...I've had this same problem but it wasn't for my first marathon and that makes a big difference. First, careful with the anti inflams. A marathon is hard on the stomach and you need to stay hydrated and 100% as far as your insides.
WHen my foot was hurting before NYC, I decided to go for it with a plan A, B and C.
For example, I assumed I'd be fine and that taper madness was taking hold(which wasn't true at the time because I had been hurting for two weeks up to the marathon). However, I just wanted to be positive. So, I decided to run and if I had to walk, I'd do so. If I had to pull out, I'd do so. I had to be happy with what ever "could" happen because I wanted the experience to be as positive as it could be. Try for the A, B and C goal, it might help you deal with things as they come to you!
I'm hoping for the best for yoU!!!

Amy said...

I don't know what to tell you but I think you are wise to wait until the day of the race to make your decision. Also you probably won't know how you feel until you actually get started running, right? Good luck with everything and take good care of yourself this week!

Jamoosh said...

The dilemma is a first time marathoner versus an injury that could flare up at any time. Most people never do a 26 mile run before their official marathon so they are not aware of how their body reacts in the later miles. Add the possibility of an existing injury affecting your run (at any given time) and it has the makings for a negative experience.

On the other hand, everything could go off smoothly. Hence, the dilemma.

I have spent two paragraphs and told you absolutely nothing. So, be good to your body and it will be good to you.

Giorgio said...

We are not sure that running makes the pain go away. I didn't run a long run if I would get an injury. I agree with Jamoosh's comment who said we don't know how our body reacts in the later miles.
Anyway, I'm hoping you'll take good care of yourself soon :)

Robin said...

I think you'll be fine, just take the runs prior to the race really slow and easy. You are trained and ready to go, these runs are just "reminders". Take the anti-inflammatory for sure and keep the accupuncture up this week too if you can. No one can ever predict a marathon...that's what makes them what they are. Go in with all that training and think positive thoughts and continue to try and reach your goals.

Paul said...

Tough call. After putting in all the training it's very tough to not do it.

My rule of thumb is that if the pain doesn't develop when running then it's ok.

I think 5:45 should do you. I would go for it...but you do have to be prepared to DNF if the pain comes back.

You should also be prepared to walk/run, etc...but you know that.

Be careful with the ibprofen or whatever. don't over do..or delay until you really really need. Esp if it's a hot day and your kidneys are allready going to be stressed out.

Rule #1: HAVE FUN!

Claire said...

Nos objectifs sont similaires!!! Que quelques jours, je te souhaite que ça se passe bien et que tu prennes la meilleure décision pour toi!!!! (Mais j'espère que tu y seras!!!:o)))

Jill said...

What exactly is going on with your foot? Cuz, as you know, I am the queen of foot/heel/ankle pain for 2 years and if yours is anything like what I endured, running WILL help it because it strengthens the foot. You may have something totally different, I'm not sure, but if you can get through a run feeling nothing is getting worse, then I think you should try the race!!!

Johann said...

My view is that you go do the marathon and just take it easy. I would take an anti-inflammatory on race day and drink plenty the whole day. You'll do this and be fine. Start thinking 42.2km and forget the rest. Have a good taper Anne!

Teamarcia said...

As long as all of your training is done, I'd lay off and keep icing, etc up to race week. You have the luxury of making the call on race morning. Plan on doing what you can. I have a hunch you'll be just fine!

misszippy said...

This is such a tough one! A few things rung out to me--you have to alter your form at the start. This is a bit of a red flag. Second--please don't take an NSAID before a really can do damage, even if you don't know it. I know I'm being a mother here, just want you to be safe! Good luck with it.

Anne said...

I just want to underscore the other comment about NSAIDs. She's absolutely right - never take them before a race, especially a long one like a marathon. I did and my kidneys began to fail.

We also tend to overinflate pain during the taper phase. That said, as others have already suggested too, play it by ear. I ran my first marathon with an injury and was out of commission the next six months because I didn't want to DNF (and the cut-off was similar to yours).

momof3 @ Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner said...

Hey there! Well. If I was you I would do it. I would tell myself I was thinking logically, etc and so forth. But I would run on race day no matter how I felt. I just know that about myself. That said, I may not be a good source.

95% of the people who start a marathon finish it. Those odds are in your favor.

swing by my blog today, I left a little something for you there....

Marlene said...

That sounds like a pretty tight marathon cut-off! Many people usually finish around that time.

It's nerve-racking going into a race not knowing how you are going to hold up, but try to trust your training and have faith that it will be okay!