Remember when the New England Patriots had their perfect 16-0 season, only to get beaten by the Giants in the SuperBowl? While a perfect winning season is something to behold, losing the final game – the ultimate in football – took that perfect season and slammed it into the ground. That’s how my training season is feeling right about now.
I’ve talked about my training for this Fall marathon as one of my best ever and I still believe that. Regardless of my strained Achilles back in July or my most recent overuse scenario that includes my right calf, right Achilles, and right shin (hm, does anyone else see a pattern?), I still feel very strong and confident that I will be ready for my race. However, based on my run this morning, it’s time to readjust once again to avoid my perfect season from being slammed into the ground in the form of a “do not start” [shiver].
I’ve only run twice this week and have been icing and taking ibuprofen. My right calf is firmly wrapped in a compression sleeve and right now it feels pretty good. I was hopeful for some progress when I went out for a little jaunt this morning, but my leg was not having it. This leads me to a tough decision of what to do with my long run this week. I’ve got 20 slated for Sunday, but clearly this morning’s 5 miles was 5 miles too much. Stabbing pain in my calf and a throbbing shin are sending me a very strong message. My leg’s not ready.
I talked it out with Scott a little while ago and he strongly suggested I bag the run. I was on the fence about it prior to our conversation, but as we talked it out, I realized that I would be risking getting myself to the Start Line of my marathon. Like the Patriots’ perfect season, what good is running a 20 mile long run if it leaves me broken and unable to run the race I’ve been training so hard for? For where I am right now and how fragile my leg still seems to be, I’m going to forego this 20 miler. There, it’s decided.
I have one more long run in two weeks and then my official taper begins. I’m determined to learn from the Patriots and not get hung up on my “perfect training” at the risk of not meeting my ultimate goal. I’m throwing the dice (c’mon 6’s!) that this decision will allow my leg to heal sufficiently enough to get to the Start Line. I’m confident I can take it from there…..