I wrote this post almost exactly three years ago, just as I was about to begin training for my first Boston Marathon. And as I find myself about to begin training for my third Boston Marathon, the conditions are eerily similar.
The past few weeks, I've been feeling a lot of tightness in my hip flexor, which has led to pain in my pirformis (yes, a literal pain in the butt), which has led me to seek out some PT. I've had a few appointments, which have helped, and I've cut back on my mileage, which has also helped. But even though those things are helping, the issue isn't going away.
So this morning I decided that I need to take a little time off. Not ideal, as my training was supposed to kick off on Monday. But I know that if I continue to run, and begin the process of adding in speedwork and tempo runs and 20-mile training runs, my body is going to break down. I've been there, done that, and I don't want to do it again.
When this happened three years ago, I was able to dive into training after my two weeks off and went on to run my best race ever. Obviously I'm hoping that happens again (and taking the first two weeks of training off would still give me 16 weeks to train, which would be sufficient).
But I'm also preparing myself for the possibility that it won't happen. Because I know that possibility exists. And as excited as I am to get out and get training, and put in the hard work, and begin the countdown to April 18, my goal for Boston this year was not just to run it, but to run it fast - faster than I ran it in 2013. And if I'm not healthy, there's no way I'll be able to do that.
I have no interest in piecing together a haphazard, half-assed, half-injured 12 or 14 weeks of training and limping across the finish line in 4 hours. I was injured when I tried to train in 2014, and it's a miracle I made it across the finish line with barely 9 weeks of training under my belt. But it was so important for me to be there that year, I was fine with that. I didn't need a fast race that year - all I needed was to run those 26.2 miles and reclaim that finish line, and I don't regret all the struggles I went through to get there. It was worth it.
This year is different, though. I want to be there, but not if it means fighting what my body is telling me. And right now it's telling me to rest, so that's what I'll do.
And as panicked as I felt about maybe not being able to be there in 2014, I feel equally as calm about the chance of not being there in 2016. I'll be upset, sure, but I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Boston is such a part of me, but it's not the only race out there, and I've had my two Boston experiences, and nobody will ever take those away from me.
I'm really feeling very zen about the whole thing, which I honestly attribute to all the yoga I've been doing lately. Yoga is one of those things that I always knew I should make time for, but never quite found a way to do that, between all the running and biking and weight lifting and cross-training. But about a month ago, I found the time to get myself to a class, and I was sad when the class was over, and couldn't wait to go back.
And I felt the same way after the next class. And even more so after the next one. And my commitment to get to one class a week quickly turned into a twice-a-week habit, which has turned into a quest to figure out how to fit in a third class every week.
I feel like I didn't find yoga so much as it found me - it came into my life at exactly the right time that I needed it to, and I'm completely and utterly hooked on it. I find myself craving my next class almost as much as I crave my runs.
The benefits are physical, mental, and emotional, just like with running. But the similarities end there. Yoga does make me feel strong the way running does, but it's a different kind of strong. It's a strong that comes from a different place. And it's not driven by competitiveness, and a drive to constantly do better.
I'm far better at checking my ego at the door than I thought I would be, and feel no need to push myself into a pose if it doesn't feel good. That's not where the power comes from in yoga. It comes from a place of stillness, even though that stillness is being expressed through movement. If you've never done yoga, that might not make sense, but if you have done yoga, you'll get it.
I need that stillness. My insanely busy, crazy, loud, chaotic life (not to mention the craziness that is all that is going on in the world around us) demands it. I wish I had found this out sooner. But like I said, for some reason, I was meant to find it now, and I'm just going to be thankful that I did.
So I'm in a little bit of a holding pattern, but really ok with it. I want to run for the rest of my life, and I want to run healthy and pain-free, so I'm going to do what it takes to get back there.
In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing but a teeny tiny little speed bump, so I'm just going to tap the brakes, roll over it, and keep moving forward.