Broken

After Boston in April, I went back to the drawing boards to decide what the next challenge would be. To be honest, it’s hard to think of anything that could be nearly as epic as my experience in THE Boston Marathon, so I decided to return to Houston where I ran my first marathon and see how well I could improve my PR. To do this, I knew that I would need a solid base of fitness – something I haven’t really managed to develop in the previous two years. 

In 2013, I was still relatively new to running and struggling to find any discipline in training, so I had a late start preparing to run a marathon.

In 2014, I developed peroneal tendinitis in my right leg in early June that knocked me out for most of the month and would continue to nag me for almost the entire summer.

My goal for this summer was to develop a large weekly training volume with very little intensity to allow my body to adapt to these stressors before introducing difficult marathon workouts in the fall and winter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll be accomplishing that goal.

Until the 2nd week of July, I felt like I was on the right track. Throughout June, I gradually increased my weekly training volume and completed two weeks of over 100 miles in July. I became fixated on hitting these numbers and allowed my guard to drop. I stopped listening to my body’s cues insisting that I rest.

For those who have never spent much time in Texas during the summer, the weather can be absolutely menacing. The pre-dawn temperatures are often already in the 80s fahrenheit with 90% humidity. Once the sun comes up, it’s common to have several weeks of triple digit temperatures that sap any energy that you thought you might have. These conditions make it nearly impossible to recover and remain hydrated, and you would notice a distinct drop in my average training paces across the board. I have yet to master the art of running during the Texas summer.

So, finally, my body crashed. I had cooked myself to the point where my joints stopped responding to my brain’s commands to run and I had to start going to PT for pelvic dysfunctions. I went from 100 miles per week, to 80, to 40. After the 40 mile week, I felt that I had gotten things under control and ratcheted up to 60 miles, then 75…and now I’m not running at all. In seeking to break up my training by doing more trail running and hills, I managed to re-injure my right ankle in the same area as last year – except this time it’s taken the form of fibular bone stress. I haven’t had any bone scans or MRIs performed to verify 100% what the issue is, but in working with Katie and Pieter at Mondo Sports Therapy, I’ve decided to take some time off to let the area heal before trying anything more.

Fibula seen in red
Fibula seen in red

The goal is to be 100% healthy before Houston Marathon training starts in full swing, and time off is the only way that I can guarantee that. At the moment, it’s looking like I’ll be out for about 3 weeks total, but I’ll be paying really close attention to how I’m feeling even after I start back. For now, I’m spending time in spin classes, on my bike trainer, splashing around in the pool (seriously, that’s how I swim), lifting weights, and putting my foot in the air. Hopefully, I won’t be losing a lot of my hard-earned fitness by keeping up with this cross training and I’ll be able to come back stronger than ever.

This summer isn’t turning out how I imagined, but I’m going to do everything I can to make the best of it.

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