Well, readers, a decision has been made. I believe it is the right one for me...although it's not the one I wanted. I will be running the Maine Half Marathon, not the Maine Marathon.
The decision comes on the heels of my final attempt at a 20miler. My last attempt ended in a very painful 8 miles that left me limping just a bit for the next day. That was 2 weeks ago. I knew what the problem was and what the solution could be and so I worked hard at that: Run slower. Strengthening exercises. Ibuprofen. Icing. Foam Roller.
Good news, all that worked and helped me get stronger and able to run without pain for short distances (7mi or so). So it was with hesitation and expectation that I set out on Saturday for my final long run. It was a beautiful day, 65deg, sunny, breezy. The first 9 miles felt great! I ran a familiar route for about 4miles then decided to switch it up and head up a street I didn't know so well.
I planned it so that at mile 9 I would be at a water fountain (the fateful water fountain that foiled a 12mile run not too long ago...my first face plant). There I had a packet of GU and still felt pretty fresh. My leg wasn't hurting quite yet, but I could feel the pain beginning to formulate.
I ran thru my town over to the lake. Being a Saturday in early fall, and a gorgeous day at that, the lake loop was pretty busy...but that makes for great people watching. :) It was at about mile 13 or so that the pain was getting a bit more pronounced, and by mile 14 it was making itself known for real. Instead of looping the lake again (which would have given me over 17miles) I decided to call it a day. It was another .5mi home from the lake and that proved to be the most painful part of the run.
Once home, I went thru the stretching, strengthening, Ibu-ing and icing routine and haven't felt pain since. Of course, I haven't been on a run since...
So, it is a wise decision for me to concede this marathon in the hopes that I will be strong, ready and healthy for the Kalamazoo Marathon on Mothers Day (May 8th). I am still excited to do the half, thankful that I'm not missing out completely on the excitement of the day. And this time I'll beat my super speedy friend...by running half the distance she is. Ha! :)
Here's to getting stronger every day and to making wise choices, even when you don't want to.