|WDW Marathon 2013!|
At the beginning of 2012, hubs and I debated whether or not we wanted to dedicate 2012 to training for a marathon or a half ironman. We decided that by doing a marathon first, the half marathon at the end of the 70.3 would be mentally easier to do after having completed 26.2. 13.1 was the furthest either of us had raced.
So marathon it was! We decided to go big, and do it at one of our favorite places on earth, Walt Disney World in Florida. I had run the WDW Princess Half Marathon the year before, and resolved then that if I ever did a marathon, it would be at Disney. Those folks know what they're doing! At Princess, the miles flew by, and the venue and logistics were seamless. They make it hard to feel tired when so many Disney characters are cheering you on!
On the day of marathon registration, we were at my Dad's camp in the cranberry wilderness of West Virginia. We used a cell booster to get the signal we needed to register for the WDW marathon. My parents were with us, and they agreed to come too, so a family weekend at WDW was planned! My best running friend, Tracey, who also ran the Princess Half, the Charleston Distance Run and the Savannah Half also registered for the WDW marathon. She is the only friend of mine who is as crazy as I am over planning fun and challenging race venues. Soon after our registration, we texted each other, "WHAT HAVE WE DONE!?!" but resolved to keep each other going as we trained for the marathon. Little did we know how much we would need each other before it was all over.
We decided to follow the Jeff Galloway training plan, since it was easy to download to our calendars. Plus it was fun to be on the same plan as so many training for the marathon, sharing our experiences on Twitter and DailyMile. If I had one regret about the training, it was the lack of cross training that it includes, but I know now that I should have dedicated more time to cross and strength training myself. More about that later.
|Training in the heat of |
summer in SC means
lots of running
On July 4, 2012, we kicked off our marathon training. At first it was a step back from the mileage and pace I had already been running. But I loyally followed the plan, and ran my long runs on the weekend and a 30-45 min run twice a week. I stayed with this until the marathon in January of 2013. Along the way we registered for and ran the Charleston Distance Run 15 miler as a "training run" (see prior post), and ran several 5ks, Savannah Rock and Roll Half Marathon, the Savannah River Bridge Run (hubs), and other various running events. One thing I noticed quickly was that marathon training made 5 miles feel like 1 mile, but my average pace at all distances was slowing down. Looking back, I really should have built in some regular speedwork and tempo runs.
|My best running friend Tracey |
and me at Savannah Rock & Roll Half Mary
After finishing the Savannah Rock and Roll Half in November, I was standing in the middle of Forsythe Park looking for Tracey who had also run the race. As I stood and swiveled back and forth, scanning the crowd, my left knee "popped." It felt like a tendon rolled briefly over a bone and snapped back in place. It hurt, and was sore, but my crazy bumpy joints pop all the the time so I didn't think much of it.
Between the Half Marathon and my next long run, I ran a few 30 minute runs and had no soreness in my knee. My next long run was to be 17 miles. By about mile 12 my knee was really aching, and by mile 13 I pretty much had to stop running. This was the first time I have ever had an injury that made me stop. Walking was fine. Running was excruciating.
After that, anytime I ran over about 2 miles, my knee forced me to stop. Frustrated, I made an appointment at the Orthopedist's office and went in for a consult. He confirmed that I had a case of IT Band tendinitis, and sent me back with the recommendation to rest as much as I could and when I did run, go until it hurts, then walk home. Also he told me to ice 3 times per day and ibuprofen around the clock to dampen the tendinitis. He said that if I couldn't get the tendinitis under control before my long training runs and the marathon, he'd give me a cortisone shot to get me over the hump.
|My one & only 20+ training run|
|Ocean ice baths are the best|
Unfortunately my knee pain got progressively worse up until the start of Marathon Weekend, probably because the cortisone shot was wearing off. I was disheartened, with all the time spent training, and I even considered withdrawing from the race. Honestly, if it had been any other race, I would have withdrawn. But my family was coming down for the weekend to make a vacation out of it, and we had so much invested. I felt safe attempting this race at WDW, knowing that the race is very well staffed and I would not be left alone on the course.
|How to tape my knee|