Last night was the first time I ran since the disastrous 18 miler the week before, the one where I went out too fast and ended up taking Motrin and icing my knee for a week. Still, in the middle of exams and one week out from the marathon, I needed to get out there. And it was better than I expected, but also much much worse.
Obviously I’ve been strung out from exams. And obviously the current news stories aren’t exactly peaceful bedtime stories. But I think my anxiety was also heightened from not running for over a week. Running provides so much stress relief. I had forgotten. As soon as I got out there running in the fresh air (it was even in the low 80’s, so much cooler!) I felt mentally better. It was amazing. I had forgotten how good running made me feel…. mentally. But physically, it was the worst day EVER. My knee! My left knee that hurt after the 18 miler felt like I had shards of glass or a knife stabbing various spots as soon as I had a foot strike. It isn’t my IT band. What the hell is going on?! I’ve run for MONTHS without any pain. Twenty milers have happened without feeling so much as sore the next day! How can I be hurting from the first second of a 5 mile run??????
And it didn’t get better. Not really. It was full on pain for the first mile, then it subsided slightly, but then it came and went until mile 4, causing me to limp-run that whole time. I saw it in my shadow on the ground and it wasn’t pretty. The last mile I felt good though. Did my natural endorphins and painkillers kick in by then? I felt so good that I looked down and saw I was hitting low 8’s. Wow. When was the last time I so casually ran low 8’s?
But none of this really mattered because the entire time during my run all I could think was – my marathon is over. How can I expect to run a marathon when I can’t run a 5 mile run without severe pain? I’m pretty scared folks. I don’t know what to do. I came home and iced and took Motrin but then it started hurting just to walk around my house. I’m very eager to try out another run to somehow prove this was all some random fluke. But I’m terrified it won’t be. Now the question is, do I chance running on this? Maybe the fact that the pain seemed to subside after mile 4 meant that I could continue running normally after that point? But isn’t that a huge jump to make to think the last mile of a 5 miler being good means that I will be able to finish 26 miles successfully? Has this happened to anyone else??
This is just blowing my mind. Literally every run before now has been perfect. Every run of every training day for months has been fine! But the run before my marathon and it all goes to heck?! I don’t understand this. It’s not in my head! Trust me! All I wanted was a run to relieve stress from exams and instead I get handed a whole ‘nuther set of stresses in the form of a majorly jacked knee. I’m almost choosing to be in denial about this right now.