Sunday, 23 November 2008

Why now?

Several of you have asked if I’m nervous and/or excited yet about the marathon. The answer: Oh hell yeah. Both actually. In large quantities.

The realization that I was going to be running a marathon soon first came on Friday. It intensified on Saturday when I rented and watched Spirit of the Marathon (thank you, iTunes). My anxiety sky rocketed that evening when I stood up from a chair and felt a pain in my left groin area. It’s all in your mind, I told myself, though I was careful for the rest of the night.

Sunday dawned. As I was slowly emerging from sleep, I stretched out my body as one does in the morning. The pain in my groin area was like a bucket of ice cold water. It was not a figment of my overactive imagination. It was real. Fuck.

No one was up yet in the Nerditorium, save for the cat, so, still dressed in my pjs, I gingerly made my way downstairs to the kitchen and grabbed a bag of peas from the freezer. Walking up and down the stairs was fine. It’s when I take a normal or long stride or when I turn my leg out to the side a bit that the pain emerges.

I crawled back into bed, slapped the peas on my groin and tried not to freak out. I was unsuccessful.

Today was supposed to be my last long run, at least 8 miles. That’s not happening. Missing it is the piece de resistance on possibly the worst taper ever in the history of running. The week before when I was in Siena, I totaled a whopping 2 miles for the week. Two. Due. Dos. That’s it. My mind was focused on the conference and my paper, not running.

This past week, I did get in my short runs, but now it’s been two weeks without a long run. That’s not good. Now I feel like even if all is well with my groin by race day, I’m not going to have the fitness I need to run the marathon. The longer I lay here with ice on my groin, the more conditioning I lose.

I know I’m panicking and I’m trying to stop, but I can’t. Faced with the prospect of not being able to run, I’ve realized how important this marathon is to me. I’ve put all this time and energy in just to see my efforts potentially wiped out by one stupid random moment. I mean, for christ’s sake, I was just standing up from a sitting position. I do that a hundred times every day! Why now? What did I do wrong?

Anger, frustration and fear are coursing through me right now in equal parts. I don’t know what to do. I’m afraid to even attempt to run right now in case I make it worse. All I can do is hope that resting and icing the area will do the trick.

If you have any advice, please leave a comment or drop me an email. I’m desperate.


Theresa said...


It will be fine. It will be fine. It will be fine. It will be fine.

Just keep repeating that to yourself. And add in some gentle stretches, if it's doable.

Focus on how excited you will be to see your sister! You will get to see Florence! You will *be* a marathoner, regardless of speed or potential walk breaks needed. Throw your expectations out the window for the race and focus on just the doing and having fun.

Lily on the Road said...

Please check my email....


Anonymous said...

No idea what to say to help you with your injury, but All the best & strength!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I never thought I'd say this (or anything like it) with a straight face, but you should read Viper's latest post. It really puts things in perspective.

I have never run a marathon, so I am probably not someone who should be giving you advice. But I've never let my own ignorance stop me before. So here goes.

I'd lay off running or doing anything potentially dangerous to your injury until marathon day.

You'll start the marathon. You'll finish the marathon. Maybe crawling. Maybe dead last. But you'll finish and you'll be a marathoner and if your goal is to be a marathoner ... goal attained!

Whatever your personal goals were before, make that your goal now.

And to inject a little bit of reality into the nightmare scenario above:

You won't be crawling when you finish. You won't be dead last. (They're possibilities, but highly unlikely. Again I refer you to ... ugh, I can't write it. But that other guy's post.

And if your goal, given this crappy circumstance of getting a freak injury this close to the day, is merely to finish the marathon, you will inevitability - inevitably - do better than your goal.

There's no shame in adjusting your goals due to unanticipated and unchangeable facts on th ground. You have a groin injury. You must nurse it. That means not running. That means a bit less fit on the day. That means you adjust your realistic expectations downward.

Sister, I know you will do well on the day. Tell your body to go f*ck itself - you're listening to your mind, now. And your mind is giving you the practical advice of adjusting your goals and taking - happily taking - whatever victories you can squeeze out of a truly sh*tty set of circumstances.

Save the kick-@$$ performance for the next marathon, sister. There'll be others. You ain't leaving this plain of existence any time soon, are you?

Remind me, should you, for whatever reason, ever cook me a dinner ... remind me to say "No" to the peas.

Best of luck, sister! Keep us updated!


RazZDoodle said...

Deep breaths. You'll be fine. I know you'll be fine for race day.

Jenn said...

I stopped by to give a little encouragement and advice but I see that Glaven has covered all of the bases, the out field, the pitchers mound, and the stands. I think he even took care of the ticket guy!
So, left without any new, productive advice, I will just say "You Go Girl! We're all pullin' for ya!" and leave it at that!

And don't make me have to pull out the Xenia button again!


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Jenn, yeah, except Glaven evidently doesn't know the difference between "plain" and "plane". "Plane of existence." Geez.

But - talking to sister Xenia now - I stand by the substance of my poorly-worded advice (even the part where I refer you to Viper's post) and send some more good vibe thoughts your way.

Best of luck.

Is it just me, or do these peas taste distinctly of groin?

The Laminator said...

Hey Xenia

Please don't freak out! You won't lose fitness even if miss a couple of weeks of running during the taper. Trust me.

And as for your freakish twinge...a lot of times, as the body recovers somewhat during the taper, we feel sudden pains in different parts of the body. There are two reasons for this...first, we are so tuned in to every little twinge and spasm that it becomes the center of attention more than it would have a month ago. Secondly, as muscle fibers recover, there are nerve endings which are trapped or iritated by the building of new muscle...that's why pains are so common during this period. It usually goes away even without any further intervention.

Speaking from personal experience, I had a bad pain in the bottom of my feet for a month before the marathon and was convinced that it would kill my time. I also ran only once a week for two weeks during the taper to let my body recover. Then on the day of the marathon, I ran, the pain disappeared after the first mile, and ended up with a PR.

So, again, please don't freak out. It'll be fine. You'll do great.