The Best Marathon I Didn’t Run

After the NY Marathon dust has settled, I’m finally sitting down to write a little about my NY Marathon experience, the future of my marathon career, and some very exciting news that happened at a race I didn’t run.

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The Sandy Marathon Dilemma

Since I got word that I snagged a lottery spot in this year’s NYC Marathon, I’ve been counting down the days til the race. I’ve trained for months, changed my eating and sleeping habits, and scheduled my life around my running. Aside from the physical efforts, I’ve also sunk a big chunk of money into transportation and accommodations for the big day. It’s pretty much all I can talk or think about. Just ask my friends– I’m sure they’re sick of hearing about it. Now Hurricane Sandy is putting a big wrench into the race and many are calling for a complete cancellation.

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My Favorite Part of Training: the Taper

We’re just 16 days out from the NYC Marathon! I just got my official race handbook in the mail yesterday. While I’m super excited for race day, I think I’m equally as excited to taper. When I started training for my first marathon last fall, I read every blog and website there was about training schedules and preparing for your race. I came across a lot of articles about tapering, but every one seemed to suggest something different. The basic idea is to start tapering your runs as you get closer to race day, to give your muscles a break and start the marathon with fresh legs. On the one hand, it makes sense. On the other hand, I was quite concerned about how much stamina I’d lose without doing any super long runs for the last few weeks of training. Despite my trepidations, I followed my plan last year and discovered tapering is the best thing ever.

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Running for a Cause

More than ever, I’ve packed my race calendar with lots of events this fall. But one I had to squeeze into my  calendar is the Multiple Myeloma Race for Research. This will be my fourth year running in the Philly MMRF event. The Race for Research Series has raised over $17 million world-wide, with over 90% of proceeds going directly to research and patient programming. Multiple Myeloma is a highly fatal form of cancer than infects your plasma. My uncle passed away from this disease a few years ago, and I am honored to run this race in his memory. I hope you’ll consider supporting the cause by donating here.

While there are lots of shorter races coming up this season, the big one is less than 5 weeks away!

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And the Verdict Is…

If you read this blog or follow my twitter, you know I’ve been having some foot pain since completing the Napa Valley Marathon a few weeks ago. After an inconclusive x-ray, my doctor ordered an MRI. I went back this morning to get the results. He suspected a stress fracture or a damaged tendon. Turns out I have a torn muscle.

The good news is it’s not bad enough to require surgery, yet. The bad news is I’ve been ordered to wear an ugly ankle brace for the next month, and I am not allowed to run or do any movement that puts weight on my foot. After four weeks, I’ll get another round of MRIs to see if it’s healing. If it gets any worse, I might need to go under the knife. If it gets better, I’ll probably just need some physical therapy and/or orthotics after my brace time is up.

Unfortunately, the doctor didn’t really have any insight into why this happened. He basically said sometimes we put too much stress on our muscles and this kind of thing happens. I would venture to guess 26.2 miles of strain on a muscle that had no foundation of training probably did the trick.

I guess this is better than having a stress fracture. It’s easier to walk in a brace than it would be in a boot. But I’m still quite disheartened by the news. The weather is gorgeous out, and all I want to do is go for a run. And I can feel all the negative impacts this hiatus is having on my health. Just being restricted from running for two weeks has caused me to gain weight. I am definitely feeling a lack of energy. And I have so many races coming up! I am on doctor’s orders not to run the three I have next week (Security 5, Phillies 5k, and AC Half Marathon). And there’s a solid chance I’m going to be told not to run Broad Street either.

I know it could be much worse, so I’m really trying to look on the bright side and be positive. But really, this just plain sucks.

My First Running Injury

I’ve been running for a few years now, and have been fairly lucky with my health in that time. Sure, I’ve had some sprains and pulls, plenty of problems with my IT band and my SI joint… the usual runner stuff. But I haven’t had an injury that kept me off the trails for more than a few days to date.

Unfortunately, it looks like I’m breaking that streak now. Continue reading

Napa Valley Marathon Race Recap

The Napa Valley Marathon certainly won’t go in the books as one of my best races, but I finished it. So I’m counting it as a win.

I avoided thinking about this race as long as I possibly could, in the same manner that I successfully avoided training at all for this race. It really didn’t hit me until I was packing my bag for the trip that I would be putting my body through a 26-mile run again. Once that realization hit, I was more than nervous. I knew I hadn’t prepared. I knew it would be hard. I was dreading it, but I managed to put it in the back of my mind so I could have a good time in California before race day. We spent a couple days in San Jose/San Francisco before heading up to Napa. I happily ate and drank my way through the trip. Continue reading