Rehab, and a difficult decision.

It’s hard to blog about running when you’re… not running. I kind of feel like this:

The groin strain I’ve had has kept me out of action for a couple of weeks now. Today was the first day I actually got up and felt no discomfort from it at all doing daily activities (although the discomfort had been minimal for about the last week or so it was still obviously there). A test run, however, proved it wasn’t 100% yet and I shut things down after about 10 minutes.

So, a change to the race schedule is definitely necessary. After much deliberating about it, I have decided to push the first marathon back to the fall and the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. I’m also going to miss the Mercedes-Benz 10K tomorrow in Oakville (I could probably physically run it, but I’m too concerned about reinjury). And I will be trying to change my registration in Cleveland from the marathon to the 10K, so at least I can get something out of the weekend, since Cleveland is not a race that allows deferrals. I could maybe try to run the marathon, but the combination of recent recovery from injury and undertraining is a recipe for disaster, and I just feel like I’m not willing to take the risk at this point.

I’ll be looking for another race to replace Oakville and right now the tentative plan is to do the Rotary Huron Shore 10K Run in Southampton, Ontario which we can do whilst visiting the home folks.

So right now, I’m trying to aggressively rehab my injury with daily cross-training. I’ve been alternating the stationary bike with core strengthening exercises and runners yoga. So far, it seems to be working – things have gotten a lot better in the past week.

I don’t consider my inability to run Cleveland a failure, so much as it is a setback resulting from mistakes in training. Unfortunately, I tried to do too much, too fast. Looking back, the timeline I set involved trying to go from being an overweight couch potato to a sub-4 marathon runner in 8 months, and it was just too aggressive. I do feel rather pleased to have gone from my sedentary status to a 1:40 half marathon runner in less than half a year; that, I think, was a great accomplishment. But I’ve had to face the hard truth that I need more distance running experience (and a lot more core strength and flexibility) before I tackle the marathon. That was a conclusion which wasn’t easy to come to, but it was the correct one.

Going forward, I think I’ll focus on the reasons why I started running again in the first place and try not to get derailed by obsessing over the competitive aspects. And, I intend to have a more comprehensive plan for training for the fall. Until then, I’m just going to bide my time and build my strength as best I can.

Arghh. Repetitive Strain Injuries Suck.

You know, walking around with an icepack strapped to one’s groin is pretty much exactly as fun as it sounds.

This thing seems to be getting a bit worse with each long run I do. And it’s pissing me off. I’ve been finding that I can go back to midweek training after a couple of days, get some short runs in, everything’s OK, then another long run, and:

I kind of like the agonized way the word pain is written in the picture above. And it’s in red too. Seems to fit.

Anyway, I had a real crappy 17.5 miler this weekend. In addition to the aforementioned discomfort in the groinal region (inguinal is the proper term, but I prefer groinal, even though it’s, well, not actually a word) I didn’t hydrate very well and the thing turned into a death march by the end (it was my first long run in above freezing temperatures and apparently I forgot that I sweat while I exercise under normal circumstances). I’m sure I looked like I was trying to chase Rick Grimes down or something. Fortunately no one decided to stick a penknife in my brain in the interest of public safety.

So, now the dilemma. Should I push on, and continue this unfortunate cycle, with the hope that I can nurse the injury enough that I can still get some training volume in and run a relatively fast time after my taper? Or should I hop on the dreaded stationary bike for a couple of weeks, sacrifice training volume, and show up to the line healthy but probably unable to do much other than maybe just break the 4:00 barrier?

I think I’m going to pick door number two, unfortunately. I’ve obviously been overtraining, so I’ll be shutting it down until my next 10k in a couple of weeks. It’s not like I was going to BQ with my first marathon anyway. We shall see how things feel next week, but this is going to limit the number of long runs I can do (it looks like I’m going to have to settle for one 20 miler instead of the three I was planning).

I guess it beats hobbling around like I just got hit with a sledgehammer by Kathy Bates.