Friday, February 18, 2011

Watching from the sidelines

Well, it was all going rather well.  I ran my first 20 miler last Wednesday, as a progression run (also a first) and felt strong and happy throughout.  I eased off with a 6 miler on Thursday and another easy 6 on Friday.  And then - out of the blue - knee pain.  Yes - you groan!  You've been there before, and so have I.  I took the weekend off and went in to see my osteopath on Tuesday.  He's not overly concerned - tight and tired quads have affected the tracking of my kneecap and he seems to think rest will do the trick.  Humph.  I'm now on day 7 (and yes, counting) of my "rest" and it's not where I wanted to be.
how to waterproof your garmin before your 20 miler

running fuel - maybe not the best but it tasted great!

But something is different this time round.  I have had injuries like this in most training cycles.  I have trained through them and taken time off and I've always come out the other end.  Jonathan has been treating my knees since my very first marathon and has this crazy memory for how tight my legs have been in previous training cycles, and he's not worried.  What's different is that I'm just not as antsy about this injury as I've been in the past.  (I've only googled it for 5 minutes people!).  I'm assuming that I will soon be on the road again, I'm seeing him today and will find out what he thinks.  Due to last year's experiment with cross-training I will get myself in the pool and on the bike - carefully - this weekend - if I can't run.  I think that if I can just stay active in the next week, I will be able to cope mentally with the fact that my training has suffered a setback.

Also - life is busy. My two kids are on holiday this week and next, I'm working part-time and some home renovations are finally coming together.  I have been using my time off the road to do things I had left aside.  We were in Dublin last weekend with my daughter (the city will forever, despite what I say here, be associated with the injury) and I'm off to London next week with my son. There's plenty of distraction.
fun in Dublin despite my injury

It's weird.  I'm not even having panic attacks about my projected time in Boston and slipping away from my goal.  Maybe the BAA's convoluted new entry system for Boston has been a help.  I've got a funny feeling that the speedsters (20 minutes faster than a BQ, anyone?) will fill up the marathon long before people like myself (13 seconds to spare) get a chance.  And I'm fine with that.  I guess they had to figure out a system to deal with everyone who wanted to run it.  In my view, they've lost something essential in this process - the BQ is gone, people - you need a BQ - 20 minutes now - but, whatever.  I qualified fairly and squarely to run in THIS year's race, my hotel is booked, my flight is booked, my kids are psyched.  I have been busting a gut for my coach, and I will continue to do so when I'm able to.  I have been loving, loving, loving this training.  Who knows?  All might well be fine on the day.  And if I'm not on top form, I'll still be in good shape to soak every bit of this wonderful, amazing marathon that I'm lucky enough to be able to run.  Will I ever qualify for it again?  I really don't know.  Do I care?  Not really. The world is full of great races and great marathons and fun experiences to be had running with friends and running buddies.   Boston's a HUGE notch on my running bedpost, but there are others I still want to run.  And other blogging buddies I still want to meet.

I was reading a really moving post by Amanda recently about her frustrations about her injury and I can relate to a lot of her feelings.  But one key phrase in her blog really stood out - and it's what I'm working on this year.  Don't compare yourself to others...Be the best YOU you can be.  It went through my head when I got out of the pool on Wednesday (1400m - it felt hard!) and I saw this 25 year old standing by the side of the pool in her bikini in her amazing body.  In the past I would have hidden in my towel, but I made myself walk past her, chanting to myself "this is my body and I love it".  Nuts, maybe, but it worked.  Too much of the past 39 years have been wasted comparing myself - physically, mentally - with others and it's a useless exercise.

I will be at the starting line in Hopkinton and run the very best race I can run.  And I hope to see you out there!


Unknown said...

I think we live the same life. Last week I did my 20 miler, then a 7 mile easy run monday and now I have hip pain. Taking a week off too. But you are so right. Cross train and get healthy. No panic. We need to take care of our bodies first. You are such an encouragement!
Maybe we all need a little getaway, hehe!

Lybbe said...

You will be at the starting line at Hopkinton, and the bikini chick won't be. That is all.

Charlie said...

boo take care of yourself!

what's a BQ?

S x

Susan said...

You never cease to amaze me with your spirit! You have confidence oozing out of all sorts of places. You will ROCK Boston.

lizzie lee said...

Dear....I was an idiot at the beginning of the marathon process when I compared myself to Ryan Hall, a 20+ elite man, running 2:06 marathons. How come I am so slow? Really? Did this ever go through my head? Yes, it did. Dumb as it sounds. After months and years I got rid of that feeling and I am so happy and proud of what I have gotten. When my coach told me that 4:59 was a slow pace, equivalent to walking, I fought back: No, I am a 54 yo woman and this is equivalent to a 4:00 for an open division when handicapped. So, don't tell me that is walking.

You have achieved incredible things, battled with injuries and volcanoes. Remember Berlin forever, where you almost DNF, but instead you BQ.

And about BQ, I am so disappointed as well. Not that I was close to get it, but still was a feasible dream. Now, as you say, they have missed something and BQ is totally gone. Oh well, my attitude? I will run where I am wanted.

Take care of your knee, and receive much love across the Atlantic.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Your thoughts on Boston are VERY similar to my own. I am SO, SO, very happy that I went last year. I may never go again with the new standards and I'm totally ok with that. I do believe that I can BQ again but not BQ minus 10 or 20 that it may take to get in.

Totally LOVED Lybbe comment. She nailed it!

misszippy said...

Keep the panic in check, like you're doing! All will work out...we've got you covered!

ShirleyPerly said...

Love that you are handling things (stress, injury, body image, etc) much better now. For sure, nearly all of us have gone through it and many still are. There are a lot of REALLY FAST women here in Kona as many pros & elites train here, many women who look FANTASTIC in bikinis, and then people like me who just love being here and really are neither. But you know what? It's all good. None of them make me feel bad about myself, only I can that to myself and I chose not to. I don't care if I never win a race, make it to the Olympics, get a lot of sponsors, get on cover of Triathlete Mag or whatever stuff they might worry about. Just enjoy your life while you can, dear Petra, and I will see you in Boston.

Running and living said...

I love your attitude. You are much more balanced than I am. You earned your Boston spot, and are going to run a great race. As long as you crosstrain, you will not lose fitness. I had knee pain (runner's knee) for over a year when I started training for marathon. I was running 30 miles/week at that time, but it was still a bit much for my legs. For me, strength exercises made a huge difference, and I still do them now.

Jill said...

Awwww sweetie, I saw your comment to Amanda on FB and thought I'd better rush over here and respond.

I know 7 days seems like you are going to be all off-track with your training but most training cycles have a week built in for such occurances and it shouldn't hinder your performance in Beantown. Regardless, you have the right attitude and I know you and I know you will get on that start line with your mind clear, your legs fresh, and will give that race all Petra's body and soul has. I admire you sooo much for that! You earned your spot in Boston, and after last year's fiasco, you GET to go this year and you GET to have the time of you life. I couldn't be happier for you!!

(and I hope you come to Colorado if you are going to be in the US this summer..tell Amanda she has to wait her turn!! :)).

Anonymous said...

be GONE knee pain. that should sort it! :)

Emz said...

okay - so that is my

it. rocks.

Love the waterproofing too. Maybe I should do that to my iPod. [duh]. ;)

Patrick Mahoney said...

First off, have fun running Boston. That's my hometown, if you've never been there hit me up and I'll give you some insider tips.

As far as your question on the tri suits. Yes I suppose during the swim would be the best (actually the warm-up for the swim). And I would have thought barring a gallon of coffee in the system you'll be OK for the rest of a Sprint or Oly distance.

I'll be wearing a 2 piece for my 70.3. And as far as 4-5 hour training rides go I have a theory - I'm not getting paid to be fast or that tough, so I pull over.

Anonymous said...

Sorry your knee is hurting :( but sounds like you're taking it in stride! Love your outlook on Boston!