On May 31, 2014, I broke 3 hours for the marathon for the first, but hopefully not last, time in my life. I ran 2:58:35 and set a PR by 6 min. as well as improved my marathon time from October’s Portland Marathon from 3:11:4-something. The amount of hard work that it took me to get to that point was monumental, and I made a lot of life changes. As my training got harder, and everyday the miles got longer (at my peak training I was in the mid-high 80’s/week) I sacrificed a little bit more. I absolutely could NOT drink alcohol. Or sleep in, or go out at night or stay up past 10. I HAD to run everyday, stretch, start foam rolling like a fiend. And EAT.
This pretty much sums up my life. And still does.
Even though I had to do all though things, not to mention the close to barfing efforts of my tempo runs and speed work sessions, and the weekends spent on long runs and recoveries, I LOVED it. Maybe not every minute….but I finally felt 100% worthy. I had a single minded drive and purpose. Every action I took was an art of precision, I measured my days in miles and my nights in recovery hours.
I can’t wait to do it all over again.
Even though I ran a PR, I fell short of my ultimate goal: qualify for the women’s marathon Olympic trials held in L.A. on Feb. 13, 2016. “A” standard: better than or equal to 2:37, “B” standard: 2:37-2:43. I have to knock 15 min. 35 sec. off my time, at the very least.
So why did I disappear? Why didn’t I gush about this on my blog 2 months ago? Well, I got injured. I finally have suffered a running injury that knocked me out for a little over a month, and I’m only just now getting better Somehow, through overuse or muscular imbalance or something I caused my hamstring to strain. It was, and still is, a huge pain in my butt (because it’s the upper part of my hamstring). I still can’t really laugh about it, because it’s not over. My mileage plummeted, I had strings of days where it was physically impossible to run, and hard to walk. My new-found confidence and sense of direction evaporated. I stretched, foam-rolled, iced, and heated, my injury twice (or more) a day. I panicked. I had to blink back tears as I told my coach, “it’s still not better.” And I had to ask, “this doesn’t mean we’re giving up, does it?” (I don’t know why I believe that people will leave once I stop being great, and start being dependent. My coach is amazing and deserves a lot more credit than I gave him with the implications of that question. He’s not that type of person.) I got depressed. It didn’t help that my mom had just left, literally days before, after living with me for two weeks.
In summary, I’ve learned a lot about being an injured runner in the past month or so. And it sucks. I still don’t fully know the cause of my injury, and that’s worrisome, especially as I begin easing back into harder training again. I managed to run a 39 mile week last week, and had my first track workout since before tapering for the Newport marathon on Monday. It hurt like I expected, especially the next morning. And I’m still depressed, and dealing with some negative behaviors that have risen up from the past to bite me as soon as I weakened. More on that to come.
I’m reclaiming my blog as my personal story, and this was a little update on my running. More on everything else to come…..and no, this was not what I was alluding to in my last post 😦