I signed up for the Eugene Marathon in July, back when they had a $10 off the early bird special and my legs felt footloose and fancy free.
It was right after I went to do an easy six and tacked on two more miles just for fun - that's how great I was feeling this summer. Full of PRs and fresh legs. I suppose that when you start on a running journey, there's going to be a period of constant improvement, constant PRs and immediate rewards. And now, I'm in the all to common injury phase.
Just a mere six months later and I'm struggling with an easy six, and definitely unable to fathom adding two more miles for fun. My paces have gone down the toilet and I'm not even at the place I was before my first half marathon. Since September I've been lamenting to anyone with ears about the recurring pain I have in my left leg; I'm sick of listening to myself talk about it, too - believe me.
I did PT for a few weeks and was feeling decent by October, so I took it easy until the Seattle half. After that race, my leg was a bit angry with me, but I figured that backing off for a month and doing extra PT would set me to rights, just in time for marathon training. I figured wrong.
So, I'm seeing a chiropractor; our insurance changed as of January 1st and they have more coverage than PTs. Not sure how I feel about this, as I've always thought the whole chiro thing is a bit gimmicky and my first adjustment? WHOAH! Kinda freaked me out. It didn't hurt, but I'm one of those people that can't even stand when people crack their knuckles. But, I'll do what I have to do to get back to where I was, when I was super happy with my running. I'm also ramping back up the PT exercises I did in the fall and a few teammates happen to be PTs, so I might work with them as well. I'm hoping to still travel to tracktown and run in the footsteps of legends, but I think the 26.2 will have to wait. At least I'm paying what seems reasonable for a half marathon by registering early (dwelling! positive!).
I have a pretty decent list of goals and I don't want to mess up 2 or 3 other really important ones (like trail running and Ragnar!) over this, just because it's a big goal and it's what everyone else is doing. It's hard to gain perspective once you're part of the running community, especially on Twitter where damn near everyone is running marathons or even ultras. I have to remind myself what's right for me and I want to be in that place of adding extra miles for fun before I venture off on the marathon path. Maybe next year, maybe five years from now, maybe when the kids are in school, maybe when I'm 50, like Sweaty Emily's mom - just whenever it feels 100% right. I now know that I will never say never.