But, after a series of unfortunate long runs, I had to pull the plug. It should have never been plugged in anyway. I am fine for the first 14 miles of a long run then BAM my leg starts to hurt. And, then continues to hurt for the rest of the day. Two weeks ago this happened, and I was hoping it was a fluke so my approach this past week was to run only every other day and see how a long run would go for me this Saturday. The exact same thing happened again this week- feeling great until Mile 14, then the pains sets in. Unfortunately, the pain arrives whether I am running fast or slow. I spent the rest of the day Saturday trying to decide whether to pull the plug on the Woodlands marathon or to persevere and hope for a miracle.
I decided to pull the plug. Not only was I not very confident I could finish the 26.2, I was even more worried about the damage I might do if I attempted such a feat. Talking this over and over with Dan the past 2 weeks, who was looking at my situation objectively, the choice was obvious to him: Forget about this marathon, keep your runs short for the next few weeks and heal for Boston. But as every runner who has ever failed to pick up a race number knows, cold hard reason doesn’t always prevail in such situations. I desperately wanted to run this marathon, mostly just to prove to myself I could. But, I decided to follow my head instead of my heart and sit this one out. Unfortunately, I missed the deadline to switch to the half-marathon (which I should have signed up for in the first place), so I am left shit out of luck.
I'm going to back off on my mileage and try to get healthy so this pain in my ass will no longer be a pain in the ass. Running every other day seems to be the best option for me right now and also pretty obvious that I should not be running longer than 12-13 miles at a time. I'm also going to switch gears from "running mode" to "triathlon mode" and focus more on cycling/swimming as they don't bother my leg/hip/glute and lord knows they could both use some work. I've been doing some workouts on my bike trainer on non-running days, and my leg always seems to feel better after spinning.
I am also going to seek the guidance again of my trusty friend/coach who helped me through my Ironman. I already had Buffalo Springs Lake Half-Ironman on my schedule in June, and I completely trust him to get me to the starting line healthy and ready to go. He's always said I run too much while training for these longer triathlons, and left to my own devices it's obvious I tend to sway that way.
So, Saturday, instead of toeing the line at the Woodlands Marathon, it looks like I am going to be loading up my bike and heading to Bastrop instead. There's an organized ride out there, Pedal thru the Pines, that's calling my name....