Marathon Training?

I wrote several posts that if I wasn’t running by August 1st, I would defer my marathon entry. With only a few days left of the month and no clear logical explanation I still haven’t made up my mind.

I have been cross training the last month. I believe I have maintained a very solid base without injuring myself and without becoming obsessed with cross training.  I’ve maintained a balance between cross training and life.

That being said, I have a run a couple of times. Each run has felt uncomfortable but there hasn’t been a sharp pain. It has been a dull ache (and it was ruled out I have broken any bones or have any fractures). The ache goes away around mile 1. Then it comes back post run and resolves itself once stretched. Whether I’m resting or doing sporadic runs I have the same pain. I hesitate to use pain because it’s not a sharp pain but a general awareness.

Some cliff notes:

1. It goes away after mile one.  

2. It’s not a sharp pain.  It’s more of a dull ache that doesn’t interfere or change my gait cycle.

3. It feels like a month long bruise. 


So where does this leave me?

Ultimately I would like to run Wineglass marathon. I have roughly 8 weeks to become marathon ready again. I’m not going to pretend I’m comfortable with this plan. I didn’t plan to take 4 weeks away from running.  Honestly I ran a couple of 20 mile runs last month.  I could very well be prepared with a couple more in the next 2 weeks.  I could PR…but I could also fall flat on my face if I take it too far.

My decision will ultimately come from my MRI results. I’m hoping to schedule that for next week.

If my pain increases I will immediately stop training.

If the MRI shows a serious issue such as a rip, tear or something not fixable…I will stop.

If my doctor says not to run, I won’t.

But I’m hoping my MRI will provide me with a clear answer and solution to fix the problem. For now I’m going to slowly integrate some runs into training and see how my body reacts.

In all honesty, I feel no pressure in running a marathon either way. I won’t be devastated if they find something that puts a stop to running (because I will also have an answer). I don’t see that happening since I don’t have any sharp pain but you never know.  I have a post about the “pressures of blogging” but my marathon decision comes from me.  I don’t feel pressure to run a race “for the blog” or because “everyone is training for a marathon”.  I run for me, with or without a blog.

Anyways I guess in cliff notes version I’m going to attempt some runs.  If it gets worse, I’ll stop (just as my doctor advised).  Until my issue goes away I’ll continue to play it by ear.  Or until my MRI tells me not to run.  (Which I doubt it would because in that case I would be in some sort of intense pain…)

On another note, I rode my bike down to my town’s “Water Festival” yesterday.  Although it was exactly 1 mile, it’s been close to 3 years since the last time I got onto a bike.  I would say that is my best workout of the month.  (and no I did not ride it in that outfit…)



I don’t have any questions today but always appreciate thoughts both positive or negative.



20 thoughts on “Marathon Training?”

  1. I don’t blame you to wait to make a decision. You are in good shape, even with the time off running (since you’ve been cross training). It is good that the race you’re doing allows deferrals and you won’t just completely lose all that money if you have to- I know some don’t allow that.

    Hopefully the doctors find out what’s wrong, it’s more than just running a marathon, you want a diagnosis and if there’s anything you can do to help the issue you want to know that too. When I was injured a few weeks ago, I was relieved to hear the diagnosis even though I had to stop running for awhile bc at least then I had answers… not knowing is the worst.

  2. I could leave you a “keep your chin up” or “you’re smart waiting for the MRI” BUT what I really want to say is, that outfit is rad and you could have totally biked in it.

  3. It sounds like you are being smart about this and realistic. I hope you can run but it sounds like you know that staying healthy is most important. I hope that it continues to improve so that you can decide for sure to do the marathon!

  4. I think this decision really rests on your goals…if you are happy to finish whatever your time, then I’d say go for it. However, even maintaining your base, you haven’t had the training cycle you originally set out to complete, and therefore you might not get the time you really want. How will you feel? Will it be worse to defer the race, or finish but not PR or not run the time you’re capable of? Obviously I can’t answer these questions for you, and sometimes PRs come from the most unlikely of places, so I can’t necessarily rule one of those out either. I’m not exactly much use, am I?

    Fingers crossed that your MRI brings good news, or some concrete answers at the very least.


  5. I completely understand where you are at. First I had PF a few years ago and it is such a pain in the you know what. Right now I have been dealing with a bout of Achilles tendonitis that started back in April and got really bad before it started to get better. I am back up to running 50 or so miles per week but still have to really work at rehabbing it. That being said I am in the process of training 130 athletes for the Chicago Marathon and I am desperately wanting to do one and qualify for Boston again but just can’t decide if and when it is the right decision. I hope you get the answers you are looking for!

  6. Just went through a similar situation 8 weeks ago coming up on a half marathon I was registered to run. Had a nagging, dull ache in my hip/groin that never got very intense but was present every time I ran. Saw a couple docs, including a phys med specialist, and got an X-ray that came up negative. Finally, 4 days before the half, I got in for an MRI and found out it was a stress fracture in the anterior pubic ramus. As upsetting as the diagnosis was, it was a huge relief to know what was wrong. I hope you get some answers so that you can rehab and return to pain-free, strong running soon!

    1. Hip and pelvic stress fractures are one of my most feared injuries. Tim’s dad had one and they seemed so painful. That is exactly how I feel. I just want to know what is wrong!

  7. Definitely a tough decision since you can’t see where this is going right now. A diagnosis would help, but even then may not tell the whole story. I wonder if deferring would take the pressure off so you could take a bit more time to figure out the pain? Otherwise you may wind up not having the race you want. But who knows, sometimes these things are so unpredictable!

  8. Sometimes uncertainty can drive a person crazy! I’m sure you just want an answer and to move forward one way or the other. I’m hoping you get good news and can make a decision and live with it peacefully.

  9. I’m very much with you both in (I think) our injuries and in just wanting to know what it IS so I can move on with the plan for getting better, whatever that plan may be. Good luck! I’m also hoping that whatever you find gives me more clues for my own stupid foot!

  10. Hi Hollie, I’m a frequent reader but never commented. I felt the need to comment because I feel like I could have written your current injury posts myself! I signed up for the Philly marathon and the next week decided a nagging pain in my foot and ankle was actually an injury and I should step back for a bit. I missed a 5k Father’s Day weekend that I was really looking forward to hoping that complete rest would do me good. I saw a podiatrist, diagnosed with peroneal tendonitis and extensor tendonitis. Wait 12 days rice and run. Well that day came and I knew I couldn’t run. No cross training felt good so I’ve literally done nothing since June 11 and I’ve pretty much given up hope of my fall marathon and hopes of breaking 3:10, and no pr for the army 10 miler like I was hoping for. In the meantime I went to pt for awhile, got ART on a lot of problem areas and my pelvis back in line..thank you to my 8lb son that I carried :). A few weeks ago my foot and ankle got substantially worse from doing nothing but chasing after my 16month old. I’ve cut out extra walking and all exercise and still no improvement! So the pt said no more therapy and see dr bc he suspected stress fracture, something I’ve suspected for awhile. The tuning fork test said yes, the X-Ray said no and now 2 weeks later the dr is sending me for a bone scan. There is nothing worse than not knowing what the heck is wrong! Especially when you’re not even working out! Jam supposed to be in the boot and taking rx NSAID but so far I’m disobeying both. The boot made it hurt more I think! So I feel your pain and my ramble is probably not adding anything but it feels good to share sometimes :). Best of luck in getting your diagnosis and getting back to running!

    1. I hate to hear that Ali.

      I hope you are able to find some answers and please email me when you find out what the root of your problem is. I’m wishing you the best of luck and I hope the bone scan reveals an answer. I know how rough it can be not knowing…feel free to chat to me anytime!

  11. Positive vibes being sent your way! 🙂 And while I hope the MRI gives you a positive result, more I hope it gives you a REAL answer! Uncertainty can be the worst!

    And I love your attitude – you are young, there are plenty of years to run marathons ahead if you choose, or even if you don’t … there is no rush.

    And I also love you doing it for YOU. I definitely feel like some people succumb to ‘blog pressure’ and feel they have to constantly race or be faster or whatever because everyone they see is doing it. You have one body, one life … most important is to get everything you can from it for YOU and those you love.

  12. Once you start biking, you won’t be able to stop! Just sayin’. In all seriousness, though, I hope the MRI sheds some light on things. It’s frustrating to have nagging aches/pains/injuries and not know why.

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