Admitting Defeat

I have not run in four weeks.

The Philadelphia Marathon is less than one month away. 

I have missed the four very important endurance building training runs.

I have spent a good amount of money going to ART therapy three times a week for the last 2 1/2 weeks.

My knee pain is not anywhere near where it was when I first went to therapy.  I can walk up and down stairs with no pain.  I can bike with no pain.  I can swim with no pain.

I cannot, however, use the elliptical machine 2 days in a row without experiencing residual pain later in the day.

I’m spiraling down into a deeper depression about this.  While it seems absolutely absurd to be upset about NOT running 26.2 miles (because the idea of running that just seems insane), I just can’t help but feel sad.  I feel lost.  I set a goal.  I trained smart.  I didn’t push myself too hard.  I stretched.  I iced.  I did everything right.

So why me?  Why is this pain so awful?  Why won’t my body just listen to my brain and just do what I want it to do?  Yes – I get that this isn’t the end of the world.  I can still walk.  I still have my health.  But I just don’t know how to explain it.  This was something I really wanted to do.  And yes, there’s always other marathons… but see, I have plans.  I have timelines and things I had planned to do.  I needed to do this next month.  I needed to cross off this list item to feel accomplished.

One month of no running.  I’m about to enter week 5 of no running.  And then according to the marathon training guide, I’m supposed to taper.  Taper?!  From what?  I haven’t run.  My longest training run was 13.1 miles.  I did it.  I felt good.  Is that enough to take me through to the marathon?

I mean, at what point do I admit defeat?  I know I should… I just can’t.  The idea of quitting upsets me beyond words.  I’m actually not able to sleep because I’m just obsessing over this.  I’m beginning to loathe runners when I see them merrily jogging down the street on a beautiful autumn day.  I am filled with rage when someone tries to “relate” to my pain when what they experienced was either (1) nowhere near the pain I am experiencing or (2) they had to take a year off of running. 

My ART therapist believes that I’ll still be able to run the marathon.  In his words I “won’t be setting any records” but feels that it is totally reasonable to think I’ll make it through the marathon.  Is he just blowing smoke up my ass so that I continue to pay for his services?  Or is he really exercising his medical opinion?  He’s a super nice guy so I want to believe him… i really do.  But I’ve missed a month of training. 

Yarg.  Ugh. Blah. Grr!  I just want to scream.  I want to punch someone. 

What’s even more annoying is that the Philadelphia marathon offers NO deferrments.  Their downgrade (moving to a shorter distance race) requirement was Sept 30th. 

I am just beyond frustrated at this point.  But I am not ready to admit defeat.

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8 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Runs

8 responses to “Admitting Defeat

  1. sarah

    Oh Kim, I’m so sorry. I’ve struggled with running injuries too (mostly stress fractures, although I did have knee surgery a few years ago) and it’s so upsetting to not meet a goal. I don’t know what the best decision will be for you for Philadelphia, but I hope your knee feels better soon.

    Thank you, I appreciate it. I think only runners understand what I’m going through.

  2. I think all runners fear this happening to them. Every twinge I get in my knee scares me.

    The one thing that many runners like is setting goals and then reaching them…not being able to do so has to be crushing…and it sounds like it is.

    No one knows your body like you do…hang in there.

    Thank you. Its the whole idea of not meeting a goal that is just killing me… I really hope I pull through.

  3. Kim, I’m so sorry. I don’t think you need to admit defeat…just delay. I remember similar feelings when I tore my ACL in high school. Gymnastics was my life then and I fell from the balance beam and *snap* she went right before a big meet. There is absolutely NO tumbling with a torn ligament unless you really enjoy experiencing the pain all over again. I thought my life was over. Six months of PT before surgery only to find out I needed a second surgery to actually repair it. More PT before that surgery. Meanwhile, I tried filling the void with other sports like basketball and volleyball, but my knee couldn’t sustain the abrupt stopping, twisting and turning so I sat on the sidelines feeling envious of those who could play and falling farther and farther behind in skills. The one thing I don’t regret, though, is sticking by my teammates and cheering them on. It isn’t the same, but it was something that people thought a lot of me for doing. I could have easily quit completely. I eventually got back into sports, though gymnastics was not one of them. I was too scared of tearing it again.

    I’m not sure this will be comforting to you in anyway, but I know the heartache of not being able to complete something that you’ve worked so hard for. I’m pulling for you and I am positive that all hope is not lost yet. You’ve come so far and your body needs to heal and repair itself now. Great things still await you in the future. You don’t seem like one who easily gives up to me. You are not defeated, just delayed.

    I like the way you’ve put it, “not defeated, just delayed”. I just wish I could accept it! :-)

  4. angie

    ~*kimmie! i say, *go for it! your PT wouldnt (or rather, SHOULDNT) give you false hope, so i think he is being realistic about you being able to finish the marathon. take it slow, and worst case scenario…you’ll have to stop during the run. but at least you’ll know for sure that you tried. dont feel defeated when you’ve tried so hard and worked so hard! finishing the marathon would only be the cherry on top. you’ve already proven to yourself, and everyone else, that you’re an amazing runner! you dont need a marathon to prove that! 26.2 is such an odd number anyway=)
    i say “13.1 miles” should be the new number for a marathon!

    keep your head up, girly! i know you can do it. but just in case if it isnt in your cards to run the philly marathon this year….just remember, we cant always plan everything in life…otherwise it would be too boring! listen to your body and dont be so hard on yourself.

    Hahaha – so true. But its hard to accept NOT doing something I set out to do! And you know me, I’m a planner. No more random road trips on a weeknight to NJ for me! I need a schedule. :-)

  5. One of the toughest attributes for us runners to develop is patience. Maybe this year’s Philly Marathon isn’t mean to be. You can always train for next year. I know about knee pain. It ain’t pretty! Just doing it to suffer doesn’t sound like fun to me. I would start over with a longer training plan in place to gradually build up for next year or for a Spring Marathon. Running is a lifestyle sport, so when you are healthy enough to run again, gradually build up that mileage.

  6. :( You know what sucks? When your body rebels against you, even if you treat it really nicely. That’s how I feel about when I get sick, or my stomachaches, or my thyroid disease. Come on, body! I’m eating right and doing all the right things! help me out here. It stops me (well, the stomachaches do) from doing a lot of things I might do otherwise, so I can totally relate from that standpoint.

    It totally does suck! Can’t we just will our bodies to heal ourselves. :-)

  7. I am just reading this now and am so sorry you are going through this. I havent been through it, but just reading about your frustration – I know I would be the exact same way.

    I wrote a response about Galloway method on my blog. Question – Is your trainer telling you when you would be able to get out there and run to test it out? I wld say do that and then make the decision based on how you feel. Man – I totally feel for you though – not fair.

    The therapist is hopeful I’ll be able to at least get on a treadmill by the end of the week. If not – I think I’m going to have to throw in the towel. :-(

  8. Kt

    I hope this week is healing things even more! And I like the “not defeated, just delayed” idea. I know there’s a timeline for other things you want to do next year, but who says you have to do this marathon at a certain time. I too am a huge planner – so I understand changing or adjusting things is not ideal. It’s been blocked on that calendar of yours for months I’m sure:( Hang in there!

    Thanks! I’m still hoping for a miracle. :-)

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