This week's post was supposed to be all about my 5th and final 20-miler, and how relieved I was to have it done, and how much I was looking forward to tapering.
Instead, I'm looking at a week ahead that included a chiropractor appointment yesterday, which was followed by a PT appointment today, chiropractor again Wednesday, and PT again Thursday, thanks to what both practitioners believe is a messed up (my term, not theirs) SI joint.
Last week went well until Friday. Tuesday was an easy-paced 8-mile run. I opted to skip speedwork due to having just raced on Saturday. I've been backing off of strength training in these last few weeks, so the only other cross-training on my schedule last week was Wednesday yoga, which felt great.
Thursday was a 9-mile run with 7 of those miles at goal marathon pace. Due to the Easter holiday, I planned to do my long run on Friday rather than the weekend, which meant a tempo run on Thursday would not have been a wise choice. But I thought a few marathon pace miles wouldn't be too much of a challenge the day before a long run, and that pace really felt great, and it was a good run.
My lower back felt a little tight after that run, but nothing even remotely out of the ordinary. Lower back tightness is something I deal with every few weeks when I'm training for a big race, and this felt no different than anything I've experienced in the past. So I stretched and spent some time foam rolling, and by the time I went to bed Thursday night it felt much better, and when I woke up Friday morning I felt completely fine, and I didn't even give it a second thought.
I can't say I was looking forward to running 20 miles, but I was looking forward to how great it would feel to have it done, and to know that the last of the really hard work was behind me.
And since I had planned to run the whole thing at an easy pace, I didn't feel nervous about the run, the way I have with some of the others that included faster-paced segments. Until somewhere between miles 8 and 9, all was well. My easy pace was feeling easy, and the rain that had been forecast was holding off, and it was a cloudy and cool, but otherwise nice day.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, my back started hurting. At first I thought maybe it was just a little stiff, and it would work itself out, so I slowed down a bit but kept going. And for a few minutes, it did seem like it was loosening up a little and getting better.
And then it wasn't. Then it started getting decidedly worse. I made it through about another mile, the whole time debating with myself as to whether or not I could continue, but finally I knew that I couldn't, so I stopped by the beach and called Scott so he could come and pick me up.
As I stood there shivering (shorts and a tee shirt had felt great while running, but once I stopped, I was freezing!), I went from tears to anger to depression, all in the course of about 15 minutes. When I got home, it became apparent that I was really in trouble. Just walking around was excruciatingly painful. I was so uncomfortable, it was hard to even process what this might mean.
Saturday was spent in CT with family, which was a good distraction - and although I was still in a lot of pain, it had improved to the point where I was able to move around a little bit better. Sunday brought a little more improvement, and I was now walking without a limp, but still in quite a bit of pain.
An adjustment at the chiropractor yesterday didn't bring any kind of immediate relief, but I'm hopeful that it helped start moving things in the right direction. And I did feel a more significant sense of improvement after PT today.
My chiropractor assures me that I'll be back on track in no time, and will be ready to run Boston in 3 weeks. I'm trying very hard to share his optimism, but am also remaining cautious, only because I feel like it's safer to prepare myself for the possibility that I won't. It's hard for me to believe that I could go from the pain I was in a couple days ago to being able to run 26.2 miles.
But at the same time as I want to keep that possibility in the back of my mind, I'm also working on staying positive and moving forward in whatever way I can. Expect the worst, hope for the best. It just seems so unreal to me that I could go so quickly from feeling unbelievably healthy and strong and ready to conquer the world to feeling like a complete invalid. And honestly, when I think about having to give up on everything that I've spent the past 3 1/2 months working so unbelievably hard for, I get so overwhelmed and sad, I can't quite let my mind go there. Not yet.
As I've said on my Facebook posts, I'm not going down without a fight. Not only was this a marathon for which I had a big goal - one that, in recent weeks, has seemed to be very much within reach - but it's Boston. I was ready to go back, and I wanted to go back, and I wanted to have another amazing Boston experience, and I felt so strongly that I was going to do just that. Now, suddenly, it all seems to be in jeopardy, and I can't even really wrap my head around that idea.
So for now, I'm going to just get through one day at a time, and one appointment at a time, and hope that my Boston 2016 story ends the way I want it to. And I'm also going to remain grateful for all the amazing messages of encouragement and support that everyone has sent my way, and for an amazing husband who instantly stepped in to pick up the slack at home and do all the heavy lifting (both literally and figuratively) that I usually handle.
3 weeks to go. Fingers crossed and hoping for the best.