Two months post-marathon and how’s it going? Well, I’m sitting in front of the TV with my legs up, icing my knee. Oh yes, we’ve been here before…
It’s now just under 18 weeks until the Preston Marathon. I’d planned to start training in about two weeks, after re-jigging my training plan somewhat and going for a 3-runs-a-week plan, with lots of speed work and cross training. Today it dawned on me that I’m probably not going to be making the start line of this particular race…
It was all going so well. Until it wasn’t. I’d been working on my flexibility and strength, still managing double digit long runs, as well as introducing some speed work into my life. My right knee, which started grumbling back in February, was still bothering me, but I kept assuming that it would sort itself out as long as I didn’t push it too hard. It didn’t. But my right knee is not my biggest issue right now.
My left knee (my “good” knee) has let me down. Or I have let it down. Either way, it’s not working. This is different to my maltracking patella issue on the other side. I have a very sore, swollen, painful back-of-knee. I’m not googling it. I think it’ll depress me too much. I do have my theories, though. My left hamstring is very tight, so maybe it’s pulling on the knee… who knows. I’ve been in touch with my physio and I’m going for a sports massage later this week.
I entered the Preston Marathon on a bit of an impulse the day after running the London Marathon, when I was still most definitely riding the post-marathon high. I am known for my impulsive decisions – some good (travelling around Africa, moving to London), some bad (using a tax refund to buy an iPad before promptly realising I have no need for an iPad and selling it to my Dad at a loss).
I think I was desperate not to feel the post-marathon come-down when I booked a place at Preston. The horrible injury-ridden training memories were washed away by the joy of completing my first marathon. But now I remember all too clearly how tough marathon training was, and I don’t think I’m ready to put myself through that again. If I was uninjured it would probably be a different story. But I’m not, so it’s not.
Marathon training is tough. So, so, so tough. The obstacles you overcome during training are what makes the race itself so amazing. With a lot of expensive physio and massage, plus a lot of hard work, I could probably get the training done and get to the start of Preston. But it’s not something I want to do right now. If I can’t get the training right then I won’t perform very well, and if I have a bad marathon I’m worried it will take the shine off London. I’m 26, I have plenty more marathon running years ahead of me. I don’t need to squeeze two into a year.
So I’m thinking about switching to the Preston half-marathon. The idea of getting better then training for a decent half seems so much more appealing than slogging though 18+ miles each weekend.
Having said all of this, I could make a dramatic recovery, start training right on schedule and smash it. But that seems unlikely. I’m at the mercy of my knees right now, and they’re demanding a break.