Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The curse of the 4th marathon...

When injured, cheer your friend during
 her international debut
It seems every time I train to take my marathon game to the next level, my body decides to hit the brakes and my season ends. This works out to be every 4th marathon. I can run 3 marathons without injury, but it's that 4th one that gets me. 

It happened in 2015 when I was training for CIM with a goal of a sub-4 hour finish. I was feeling strong, feeling like I could actually do it and *boom*, major quad/IT injury.

I came back from that injury with stronger glutes and a stronger determination and trained for and ran two sub-4 marathons. I followed both of those with a third marathon in which I paced a friend for her first marathon finish. 

It happened again this past August as I was training for the Chicago Marathon with a goal of a 3h:48m finish time. Similar to 2015, it happened as I was feeling strong, fit and believing that I could actually run 26 x 1 mile @ 8:40 pace. Boom. Stress fracture/reaction in my foot. 

This injury didn't happen because of weak glutes/hips. I believe it happened because I was running all of my tempos and pace work on a hard dirt track (10+miles!). I was deathly scared of the pancake flat Chicago Marathon course and not being able to handle the "boredom" of using the same muscles. It also happened because training that takes me to the next level is also going to take me  to the edge.  

Going forward, I will train hard. I will skate the edge. I will run my pace work on the rolling hills of my town and be stronger for it. And I will be very mindful when I start training for that 4th marathon. 

In the meantime, I've tentatively decided to race LA Marathon in March. I've run it 3 1/2 times. I love the course. I like its hills. I love the crowds. I'm not back to running yet, which is why I haven't committed to it. As a back up, I've registered for Mountains 2 Beach in May. In the fall, I will run the Great North Run (deferred this year's entry) in England and most likely the Chicago Marathon (deferred this year's entry).