Friday, January 1, 2010

391 Miles Later

Today I made the sad but not totally unexpected decision that I won't be able to do the Napa Valley Marathon in March.

At least, not March 2010 :)

We were aiming for a Long Slow Distance run of about 15 miles. However, by mile 4, my knee started whispering to me gently. For the next few miles it was a co-operative but grumpy ally and by about mile 9 I had to admit that today's distance was not feasible, at least, not without severe pain and possibly lasting damage. Working backwards from race day, this means there's no way I can expect to build enough stamina to take a reasonable shot at the full marathon.

I'm extremely disappointed, but since these knee problems started several weeks ago, I've had time to get used to the possibility that the race in March might not happen.

Since deciding to enter the marathon at the end of last July, I have covered 391 miles of training. That's about the length of Arizona, or the distance from London to Edinburgh. I'm trying to be proud of that accomplishment and not think too much about the shoulda-woulda-coulda's.

As a child, schoolwork came easily to me and I honestly can't remember a time in my life when I have worked hard for something and not been rewarded with results, so this is a whole new lesson for me. I'm also facing up to the concept that, at the ripe old age of 37, I may not always be able to rely on my body doing what I ask it to. And finally, as Beloved Husband notes, I like to be in control and in this instance, I really have no say in the matter.

But I'm thinking of this as down but not out. My goal now is to rest my knee until it's fully better, and then pick up running again. I want to do a half marathon in under 2 hours and I will gradually add longer and longer runs to weekend outings. Once I can crack my nemesis distance of 18 miles, I'll be looking around for a marathon to enter. Who knows, Napa 2011 may work just fine.

Photo thanks: Colin Cochrane


  1. Sorry to hear about your knee :( All your hard work hasn't gone to waste though, you've built up a great foundation.

  2. NNNOOOOOOOoooooo! I'm sad and frustrated for you. But keep on truckin'. And don't feel like it's your 37 yr old body that isn't allowing it. My ex-running buddy got a knee injury training for a 1/2 marathon at the age of 25. So don't feel down about it...every runner has issues to work through no matter what age. I look forward to seeing what you do next...

  3. I am so sorry to hear about your knee. I think you are doing the right thing by listening to your body :-)

  4. I'm sorry you had to postpone, but I really think you made a smart decision.

  5. I'm sure you've made a sensible decision. Everyone who wants to improve has to start from the place they are at, much as we'd love to be faster/stronger/thinner, etc. right now! Demanding that your body do what it simply cannot right now would be pretty silly, but you see people do that all the time. Good choice. Enjoy the shorter runs. I'm surrounded by ice, which terrifies me, but I did manage a little tip-toe jog around last night. Need to get down on the beach where it's safe!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin