The Boston Marathon – T Minus 8.5 Weeks

The road to the 2017 Boston Marathon has been covered with blood, sweat, and tears. Literally. In 8 short weeks, my family will be heading north to Beantown. This marathon training cycle has been cut short, but because I was a patient patient, I feel good about where I am. I should get a Patient Patient medal, because this is the first time in a string of injuries that I didn’t sabotage myself along the way, and actually let myself heal. I should probably re-gift that medal to my husband for putting up with me in the process. That poor man.

Let me take you back to November. I had just come off the  NC Ironman 70.3 and had signed up for a few local 5k’s. On one of the first cold mornings on November 12th, I ran a 22:15ish 5k, and even got 2nd in the Old Lady division. I mean Masters Female. I felt great about where my training was and where I was planning to take it. Basically, I was going to pulverize speed in November and December, then add endurance in January, making the perfect storm of speed, strength, and endurance in April. My goal was to PR the race and return in 2018. Yeah….right (said like Bill Lumbergh in Office Space). I should have known there was a different path for me. Later that day, I felt my plantar return, and it was bad.

The 5k that shouldn’t have been.

I reacted very calmly  I freaked out. I was so upset. I kept trying to run, just a little, and it made my foot hurt so bad. Evidently, reading about it on the internets doesn’t make it go away, but I sure deserved a medal for that, too, and BONUS, I learned how to pronounce “metatarsalgia”. I tried to do bike intervals, only to realize it made my foot feel just as bad as running. All I could do was to bike easy and go to Orange Theory (using the GLIDER, of all things *shutter*, because dammit! I’m a runner, not a glider.). All right, I tried swimming, but after one day, my chlorine allergy made it almost impossible. I might have used that as more of an excuse than I really should have, but I hate swimming and I hate my reaction to chlorine (skin rash, yay me!). I don’t know why it was so bad when I swam in the same pool all summer, but it was bad. So I “couldn’t” swim, I couldn’t bike hard, and I couldn’t run. I was a peach to live with. I was like Cinderella, singing to all her animals. Yes, that’s what it was like to live with me during that time. (This is when my husband should’ve gotten the Medal of Patience.)

People, it was cold out, and I couldn’t run. I was missing it and I was missing out. The rest of November. And December. Then I decided, probably due to everyone and their “Countdown to Boston” posts, I needed to start running because I was going to run that damn marathon no matter what. I started with a few miles on Christmas Day, something I have never done before. It was my gift to myself, and wow, I felt God that gorgeous morning.

Merry Christmas

Then I came up with a plan to SAFELY build endurance through January. I was running again. My foot was ok. I alternated run days, I took it easy at Orange Theory. No speed. Then in the last week of January, I decided I needed to return to my coach and start speed again. I felt like I was second guessing all my workouts, I wasn’t pushing myself and didn’t know if I could or should, so coaching would benefit me the most. Coach Kristen has done really well for me, so I was so excited to once again, see those Training Peaks emails come through in the morning.

I don’t know how, but within the first week, I was meeting the pace challenges set before me. I was Maria, singing on the mountaintop.  I was back at track practice, my favorite thing in the freaking world when it comes to training. My foot was behaving.

Then. Then the shin splints started. Ugh. I started speed work too fast. It’s derailed my plans twice in the past. What do I do? Well, I knew my race wasn’t going anywhere and I knew ignoring them wasn’t going to work, so I gave myself a day off speed, gave myself some active release therapy, took a day off, and I was careful. Boom. Shin splints are minimal now. Key point: catch them and do something about it IMMEDIATELY and prevent them from occuring in the first place, i.e. STRETCH (and that damn yoga).

Just this week, I ran a 48:18 in a 10k race, again placing 2nd in the Old Lady division. Then Tuesday, I had 3 x 15 minutes at barf pace, and I seriously questioned if I could do it, mostly because I’d had a long run and an Orange Theory workout between that day and my 10k. I borrowed some of the faith my coach had in me, and I pulled it out. When I was done, I felt like a rock star, like I deserved a participation trophy of sorts, for believing I could do it enough to just try. Sometimes you can surprise yourself.

I don’t feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief, because I know there’s any number of injuries lurking around the corner. This morning, after another great track workout, several of my running buddies asked how I was doing, and I was almost afraid of jinxing myself by saying, “GREAT!”. But you know, when you’re out there getting it done, watching the sun rise, it really was GREAT. I told my coach to put “Do your damn yoga” in my plan after track, so I’ve been good about that. It’s funny that I’m responsible for a hundred thousand other things, but if “yoga” isn’t specifically in my plan, the chances of me actually doing it, even though I know I need to, dwindle down to close to zero. Pretty sad, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

So my goal for Boston is a BQ. A 3:44:59. That time won’t get me in for 2018, but that’s ok. At this point, anything is possible (thanks for that, Ironman), and it could be warm, it could be cold, it could be raining, it could be snowing. All I know is that I will do my absolute best with whatever the day gives me. If if one thing is certain, I know I’ll be there, and I’ll be happy.

Categories: anything is possible, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “The Boston Marathon – T Minus 8.5 Weeks

  1. Long time! Glad to hear your Boston prep is going ok. I’ve struggled with injury (or trying my best to prevent) for months now. I’ve got Myrtle Beach in a few weeks, and a BQ attempt end of April. Glad you are well!

  2. I’m SO glad you’ve healed up and are on the road to another BQ! 😉 I too don’t do yoga unless it is in my schedule. Maybe I need to have my coach put that in my schedule as I am currently fighting a low back injury. While I’m making progress, I’m sure if I had done my yoga, I wouldn’t be in this situation! So from one injured athlete to a healthy one…go do your yoga! 😉

    • Thank you 🙂 It’s been a long road, but I’m very hopeful for a full recovery and no issues (as long as I’m not dumb about it). I’m sorry you’re dealing with an injury! Ugh! I did my yoga this morning like a good athlete. I know it helps, it’s just not something I enjoy doing. I wish I did. Now go do YOUR yoga!

  3. Long time no see. I am on the injury struggle bus right now with my ankle. It’s tough- I PRed a half unexpectedly a few weeks ago at Charleston, then three weeks later was hurt again. I only got 5 weeks of training in for MB before a new injury came on, this one. I hope you will be healthy and run Boston and so glad you are doing what you can. Even the cross training will make you a better run for the runs you can do. And yoga is awesome… it might not keep you completely injury-free though, it has definitely helped me and it’s nice to have an alternative from running when I am injured!

    • I think the lack of stretching certainly made an impact, so it’s my preemptive strike against those evil injuries! I’m sorry you’re on the struggle bus. The struggle is so real 😦 So will you be able to run MB? I’ll be there being a sherpa for my husband, so let me know!

      • I’ll be in MB! Not sure if I’ll be running it or not, but I am NOT letting an injury ruin my weekend.

  4. I take exception with your old lady category since you are 20 years younger than me……I am in the old lady category and can’t wait to age up for my next trek to Boston. I digress….so happy things are going well for you and I will be cheering you on in just a couple months for your big race.

    • Well, you’re an amazing LADY who has accomplished so much and I’m proud to know you! Old or not, age is just a number, and I really like where I’m at (I hope that continues!!!). Have save travels and I can’t wait to see all about it! And thank you, I am excited to be doing well, enjoying track practice again, and can’t wait to experience the greatest marathon I’ve ever experienced!

  5. Wait, you’re that much younger than me that you need a better time than 3:44 to get into Boston for 2018? Then stop calling yourself an old lady! Speak for yourself!!!

    So glad to see you posting again. I love your blog, lady.

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