Friday, August 31, 2018

To Defer? Or Not To Defer?

That is the question.

Week 7 of marathon training went exceptionally well — every goal pace was hit and the 52-mile week was about to close — and then in the blink of a long run, I couldn't run anymore.


What in the blazes happened?

On Saturday, I headed out for a long run at my parents' place feeling tired but fine, if anything, my hamstrings being a little tight would be my only complaint. Not even a complaint really, that's just regular running probs.

Goal was 16 miles at 8:05/mile average and I started out feeling sluggish yet stuck around the 7:45-8:00 pace range for the first 11 miles. Somewhere before that my left knee felt a little irritated, I figured from the slant of the road or running on loose gravel for certain stretches. My solution is to switch sides of the road every once in a while to "even things out" (in theory). In the loose gravel portion, that left knee soreness turned into a tight right groin. Huh.

I stopped to stretch, literally laying in the gravel road because I didn't have to worry about traffic. That didn't seem to do much, so I got up and kept trucking, likely because the runner's high had prevented me from feeling "all the feels". At mile 12, those "feels" went from annoying me to instead demanding my attention.

Thankfully I was almost back to the farm and I hobbled back the quarter mile in a weird limpy-run fashion. My crazy side thought, "Can't I make it just 4 more miles to finish this?", and logic (and my groin) responded, "Uh, no. Go home."

As my body gradually cooled down from the run, my right-side groin tightened up worse. When I got back, my husband was surprised at how dirty I was (from rolling/stretching in the gravel. ha.) but I don't think even I realized how nasty that groin prob was.

I tried stretching but it didn't feel like it helped. As we headed out to the state park with my family later that morning, I wasn't able to carry the baby in his carseat. I just hobbled and pretty much wanted to avoid walking even a step for the rest of the day.

6 days later, here I am, doing much better but not comfortably running. 

Though a groin pull or strain is just small beans in the big scheme of life's trials, this has been a humbling injury. Not being able to get as much done at home or cover the miles - or even one mile, for that matter - has been extremely frustrating. From being able to run 50-mile weeks to not even running a circle around the neighborhood, while the rest of me feels great but my groin says, "Yeahhh, running? No thanks!".

This experience has completely knocked me on my tail.

So that's where I'm at. According to the Hansons Marathon Method book, "once you're in the final 4-6 weeks of training, the pros and cons of racing should be weighed." I have until September 15th to defer my entry to 2019 and, as of right now, racing doesn't seem worth it. The goal was to not just cover the miles but to set a new PR, finally break under the 3:20 barrier, but that's completely out of reach now.


Now what? Even in the hiccups of life, I know God is bringing good out of this and reminding me that A) I am not invincible and B) It's okay to slow down sometimes. I'm doing my best to see this surprise turn of events as a learning experience because life IS really good.

A pulled groin is a lemon and I WILL use it to make lemonade.

That's a wrap for now. Excuse me while I return my bag-o'-frozen-peas ice pack to the freezer.

Injuries. What was your last one? What would you do in this situation?

GF Marathon Training W7/8

Follow my journey as a I train for the Grand Forks Marathon coming up at the end of September. This is my 11th marathon but first time using Hansons Marathon Method for training!


W7D1 Easy Run 7.04 mi, 01:02 @ 08:46 pace mostly on the gravel, some road, on this foggy, cool morning. Felt great. And hopefully a little moisture will help clear the smoke.

W7D2 Strength Intervals, 3 x 2 miles, 800m recovery (goal 14:20-14:40), 8.01 mi, 01:00. Went well this morning and I’m feeling less of the allergy symptoms now that it rained. More rain please! Intervals @ 14:31, 14:18, 14:27.

W7D3 Off

W7D4 Tempo Run 9.01 mi, 01:06 @ 07:20 pace this morning. Felt great, enjoying the 50°’s in the early AM.

W7D5 (Treadmill) Easy Run 6 mi, 00:55 @ 09:05 pace feeling “meh” with a headache.

W7D6 Easy Run 6.01 mi, 00:54 @ 09:01 pace outside, 60°-something and 98% humidity!!! I think it may have rained a teeny tiny bit last night (finally)!

W7D7 Long Run of 16 miles but cut short due to injury, sadly... 12.22 mi 01:37 07:55 pace.

W7 TOTAL MILEAGE: 48.29 miles


W8D1 Injured - Able to walk better than yesterday but sore on my right upper-groin. Unable to lift my left knee without a sharp pain in what feels like a tendon or ligament.

W8D2 Injured - 00:25 Runner’s Yoga by Elkhart Yoga (YouTube video). Chiropractor in the morning to be adjusted and she advised stretching, ice and to see how it goes in the next week and some. Each day I'm feeling improvements on my right groin/pelvis area.

W8D3 Injured -  00:25 Runner’s Yoga by Elkhart Yoga (YouTube video)

W8D4 Injured -  00:25 Runner’s Yoga by Elkhart Yoga (YouTube video)

W8D5 Injured - Quick walk with our pup in the evening followed by 20 minutes on our new stationary bike (little fold-up one from Amazon). It’s comfortable and will come in handy for cross training! No pain, plus the seat is comfy 🤗 Quads were on fire and I was sweating. Not sure how many miles I covered.


W8D6 Injured - I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better. The groin injury seems to be healing and now feels more stiff than painful. I can tell the tight groin or illiopsoas whatever you call it has been pulling on my pelvis, as the middle of that has been sore now. I push mowed our back lawn and that felt fine. Biking (6.5 miles today), walking, bringing up my knees, etc all feels fine. I did jog a few strides and that went well but something still feels tight.

W8D7 Injured - 2.02 mi 00:32 16:00 pace in 5 minute run/walk intervals. More so, jogging, at a 12 or 13-min/mile pace. The pain is gone for the most part (pops up randomly when I pick up children in weird positions, etc) but the muscle itself feels stiff and I feel timid running on it. I planned to run for longer but the walking got boring and jogging wasn't fun. Headed to the stationary bike after.

W8D7 Indoor Bike 8.38 mi, 00:30 @ 16.8mph pace. Rode for 30 minutes to "substitute" for the run that was scheduled to happen. I really enjoy the bike but WOW do my quads burn! It's been good for me, that's for sure. I don't know if the bike's mileage is correct (it was a cheap one) and I know very little about the biking world. All I do know is it's very comfortable to do, makes me sweat like a dog and gets my heart pumping!

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

22 comments:

  1. First off, I'm so sorry! That sucks. Injury always sucks.

    Next, i'd seek the help of professionals. Self diagnosis isn't always accurate. I mean, I'm like the last person to see a dr, but sometimes you just have to!

    I hope that the healing is sooner rather than later for you.

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    1. Yep, I've been to the chiropractor a couple times! Thanks, Judy :)

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  2. Oh no! I know exactly how you feel. That was me the first week of July. The limp-run home causes the mind to do some crazy things. Definitely rest, ice, get a PT to massage it. I was off for six weeks but continued to train with pool running, biking and hiking on the treadmill, so there are possibilities. It just makes training a bit more complicated.

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    1. For sure - I hope you are feeling better now, Becca! Being able to bike has helped to keep me sane :)

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  3. Ack! It sucks to have an injury but I've learned it's not the end of the workd - even if it seems like it at the time. If you've got two weeks to decide I'd try taking it very easy and seeing if everything calms down. If not, deferral sounds like a good option. Fingers crossed!

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    1. Yes, I'm so glad deferring or switching races is an option!

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  4. I am so sorry to hear about your injury. Can you do PT? Water run? I am dealing with a similar situation. Training for Marine Corps Marathon and injured - hamstring tendon. I haven't run in 2 weeks. Luckily, I can do the elliptical, so I can maintain some fitness. I am dealing with the same question - defer or not? I actually think I will walk most of it if I can.

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    1. "At home" PT and biking are turning into my best options! I hope you are doing better now, Laurie!

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  5. Oh, Amy, I"m so sorry to hear this! I hope whatever is going on with your leg resolves quickly. Would you still run it even if you know you won't make your goal time?

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    1. I ended up switching to the half marathon for this race and I think that's the safest option for my injury :)

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  6. I'm so sorry to your about your injury! It sounds like it's improving so that's good. I wonder if a chiropractor could help to balance things out? Glad that biking at least feels good right now!

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    1. For sure - my chiropractor has been a great help and encourager!

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  7. Oh no! I'm sorry you are going through this but I love your attitude about it. You realize it's not the end of the world and you can get through it! I hope you are back to running all your miles soon!

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    1. Exactly, it's small beans in the scheme of life, though being able to bike has helped to burn off some steam!

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  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your groin pull. (I've had one of those!) But, it sounds like your are on the mend...so keep doing what you're doing. You may be surprised how quickly it heals! The bike is an excellent source of cardio. The mileage is probably pretty accurate if it is being reported from the bike itself. Thanks for linking!

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    1. How did your recovery go, Holly? The mileage is from the bike, so I'm happy if it is accurate! It's crazy how fast the miles fly on a bike vs running!

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  9. So sorry to read this Amy. I love the positive perspective and learnings you have taken out of the situation though. Wishing you all the best with the injury but also in making the decision whether to defer or not.

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  10. I'm so sorry. Can you get to see a physio? it's so tricky to decide whether to postpone but they seem generous in the dates - when I had to move Manchester I only snuck in to change it because I emailed the organisers and said, "Non-run-related operation nightmare"! I wish you luck making the decision.

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    1. Going to the chiropractor has been so helpful!

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  11. Oh no! I hope things continue to improve and maybe, just maybe things can be good. Good luck!

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