Injury 3 weeks before my 1st Marathon -- am I just screwed?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by David, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. David

    David Guest

    I'm running my first marathon November 2. I've been adhering religiously to a training schedule, and
    this past week was supposed to be my first tapering-off week, going down from the 40-mile-weeks I've
    been doing for the last month (my training has included 3 runs of 18- 20 miles).

    But...

    Last weekend (4 weeks before the marathon), I raced a half-marathon and had a best personal time of
    1:49:16. I tried for a good time because I thought it would be fun, and didn't imagine I would have
    any adverse affects. I was in a lot of pain afterwards, though (as sore as after any 20-mile run I'd
    done), and on my next run, just a 4-miler two days later, it hurt a LOT -- especially in my left
    thigh. It felt like I was running the last 4 miles of a marathon or something (although I wouldn't
    know for sure, because I'm training for my first). I figured I was just more sore than usual from
    pushing myself in the half, and when I did another 4 miles the next day, it still hurt a lot but
    slightly less.

    I was supposed to do another 4 miles the next day, but decided another day of rest instead would be
    good. I was beginning to worry. So after taking Thursday off (with much guilt), I did another 4
    miles on Friday. It hurt so much I began to worry that I may not just be sore, but actually injured.
    It felt like I was doing the last 4 miles of a 15-mile run, when it should have just been easy!

    After Friday's run, I felt a new pain. I think I have developed a shin splint (both my
    inner-shin and calf hurt a lot), possibly from changing my running form to compensate for the
    thigh muscle pain.

    I was supposed to do 20 miles this weekend, but decided I still need time to recover, so I didn't
    run at all this weekend.

    So now it's Monday, a week after the half-marathon, and only three weeks from Marathon Day. After
    taking the whole weekend off, I decided to try a short gentle run today. I didn't run very far --
    perhaps a half-mile. In just that half-mile, I could tell that my thigh was getting better (but not
    perfect yet) but my SHIN IS KILLING ME!!!! From the very first step, my shin was screaming in pain.

    So am I just screwed!? Can I really take off time to heal, skipping my tapering-off period, and
    still be able to run 26.2 miles in 3 weeks? Can I even heal that quickly?

    This 11th-hour injury is my worst fear come true. I'm incredibly depressed skipping training runs. I
    am even more depressed at the idea of not running the marathon for which I've been training for so
    long. This has been my goal for two years (when I started out I couldn't even run a mile), and the
    idea of not going through with it has seriously got me depressed like I can't even believe.

    Any words of advice?
     
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  2. Globaldisc

    Globaldisc Guest

    Yup...you're screwed.....no no no...just kidding. Don't run, don't change your running form, don't
    change a thing...just rest for several days. First of all this is not the 11th hour...it's the 9th
    hour (if that makes you feel any better). How old are you? That's important to know...

    You're going to be OK....you've done the "lion's share" of the required training to prep your body
    for the shock and stress you're going to place upon it in 3 weeks.

    In light of everything and at this juncture, I'd forget any concern over delivering my best
    performance and settle for entering and finishing healthy. Based on all you said and your
    experience, you best and greatest chance to enter and finish is to not run period (this week).
    In fact...maybe you should go to gym and cycle or something along those lines just to maintain
    your cardio.

    Again, at this juncture I would look at everything I did as either reducing, or increasing the
    possibility of a DNF. Running might increase your chance this week....Rowing/Spinning might not. Be
    rational and preserve your health/legs while sustaining your cardio.
     
  3. H

    H Guest

    On 13 Oct 2003 20:09:09 GMT, [email protected] (Globaldisc) wrote:

    >Yup...you're screwed.....no no no...just kidding. Don't run, don't change your running form, don't
    >change a thing...just rest for several days. First of all this is not the 11th hour...it's the 9th
    >hour (if that makes you feel any better). How old are you? That's important to know...
    >
    >You're going to be OK....you've done the "lion's share" of the required training to prep your body
    >for the shock and stress you're going to place upon it in 3 weeks.
    >
    >In light of everything and at this juncture, I'd forget any concern over delivering my best
    >performance and settle for entering and finishing healthy. Based on all you said and your
    >experience, you best and greatest chance to enter and finish is to not run period (this week).
    >In fact...maybe you should go to gym and cycle or something along those lines just to maintain
    >your cardio.
    >
    >Again, at this juncture I would look at everything I did as either reducing, or increasing the
    >possibility of a DNF. Running might increase your chance this week....Rowing/Spinning might not. Be
    >rational and preserve your health/legs while sustaining your cardio.

    Someone's been sniffing the "politeness powder" again...
     
  4. Robert Karp

    Robert Karp Guest

    [email protected] (Globaldisc) wrote:

    >In light of everything and at this juncture, I'd forget any concern over delivering my best
    >performance and settle for entering and finishing healthy. Based on all you said and your
    >experience, you best and greatest chance to enter and finish is to not run period (this week).
    >In fact...maybe you should go to gym and cycle or something along those lines just to maintain
    >your cardio.

    I just finished my first 'thon a couple of weeks ago and had some bumps along the way, though not
    quite as severe as the shin sounds. Anyway, I concur with the advice to get to the gym. Stationary
    cycling can be beneficial as this point. You can get a meaningful cardiovascular work-out (if you
    push yourself) without aggravating your shins (but pay attention to your thighs). I made the
    stationary bike an integral part of my training. I think the cycling really helped me.

    >Again, at this juncture I would look at everything I did as either reducing, or increasing the
    >possibility of a DNF. Running might increase your chance this week....Rowing/Spinning might not. Be
    >rational and preserve your health/legs while sustaining your cardio.

    In any event, best of luck. I sure hope you can still run your race and finish, and enjoy the
    experience. It really is a thrill.

    Robert
     
  5. David

    David Guest

    [email protected] (Globaldisc) wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > How old are you? That's important to know...

    Good point. I'm 29.

    Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm trying to feel not-so-bad about this. As it is, I anticipated
    this race would simply be a benchmark- setter for future marathons, and now I have to worry about
    being well enough to finish at all. I guess I just need to re-set my goal at this point and work
    towards that.

    I'm seeing a sports-medicine doctor on Wednesday, who was recommended to me by an experienced
    marathon runner. Hopefully he'll have some good advice, too.
     
  6. Joe Positive

    Joe Positive Guest

    On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 18:57:02 GMT, David <[email protected]> wrote:

    [snipped]

    >So now it's Monday, a week after the half-marathon, and only three weeks from Marathon Day. After
    >taking the whole weekend off, I decided to try a short gentle run today. I didn't run very far --
    >perhaps a half-mile. In just that half-mile, I could tell that my thigh was getting better (but not
    >perfect yet) but my SHIN IS KILLING ME!!!! From the very first step, my shin was screaming in pain.
    >
    >So am I just screwed!? Can I really take off time to heal, skipping my tapering-off period, and
    >still be able to run 26.2 miles in 3 weeks? Can I even heal that quickly?

    >Any words of advice?

    Last year I had symptoms similar to yours (shin pain). I suffered through some amazingly painful
    months of running, then finally went for sports massage. Mind you it was not the pleasant relaxing
    kind of massage; this hurt. The therapist found that my calf muscles were horribly tight and had
    many spasms. After two fairly painful sessions, she had loosened the tightest places; after that it
    was up to me to try and keep the muscles loose and un-knotted. I was able to start running again -
    albeit slowly - after the first session. After the second session I was able to resume training.

    This worked for me, but it may not work for you. If you do try massage, try to get it in this week
    or next. Don't try anything new just before your marathon.

    Good luck.

    Karen
     
  7. Perdy Tired

    Perdy Tired Guest

    "David" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] (Globaldisc) wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > How old are you? That's important to know...
    >
    > Good point. I'm 29.
    >
    > Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm trying to feel not-so-bad about this. As it is, I
    > anticipated this race would simply be a benchmark- setter for future marathons, and now I have to
    > worry about being well enough to finish at all. I guess I just need to re-set my goal at this
    > point and work towards that.
    >
    > I'm seeing a sports-medicine doctor on Wednesday, who was recommended to me by an experienced
    > marathon runner. Hopefully he'll have some good advice, too.

    I also have a similar shin injury, and have really laid back on the training (at least running, that
    is) as I was preparing for my longest race ever (a 25k trail race). After close to 2 months of
    reduced running, the injury is still with me, and the race is this coming weekend. On the bright
    side, for me (and you too) whatever time I set will be a PR! ;-)

    Perdy.
     
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