When I first signed up for the NYC Marathon, my goal was to finish. I knew that I'd have to put in a lot of miles over the summer, cross train, and stay strong.
For 5 months, I did just that. I've logged nearly 400 miles, been to dozens of spin classes, started taking yoga, and occasionally wore my compression sleeve to bed to combat any random tendinitis in my right knee. I've dealt with that issue, in my right knee, for a few years. Sometimes it needs extra ice and compression, but it's A-OK 95% of the time.
After the Marine Corps Half last Saturday, I decided to treat myself to a movie. I went to see Gone Girl (a great book adaptation, but not as exciting when you already know the plot twist going in). When the movie was over, I got up to leave, and my left knee was extremely stiff. I had to limp out, and the pain got a little better as I walked more. When I got home, I iced and compressed, and took the next day off. This was was my planned "Peak Week" before I start my taper. Monday I felt better and ran a few miles. Tuesday I was in pain at the start, but it went away as I ran. Wednesday I had to stop after 3/4 of a mile because of the pain. With my shoes reaching 350+ miles, I knew I needed to upgrade and picked up a new pair on Thursday afternoon.
On Thursday night, I decided to run and test them out. I got through 4.5 miles without any pain. Friday was spin class, Saturday was a rest day, and I decided to move forward with today's 22-miler.
Why 22 when training programs usually max out at 22? I follow a run/walk program on my long runs, and I thought it would be a great confidence boost. I've already done a 20 and felt fine, so I figured a 22 would be the perfect way to cap off training.
I brought along 2 Salted Caramel GUs, and 2 Root Beer GUs. I really like the Root Beer flavor - it went down really smoothly and was pretty tasty.
I switched up my route and made it to UNF at Mile 9. To be honest, I was feeling awesome. I had a little bit of knee pain at Mile 7 or so, but it went away pretty quickly, so I pressed on. Knowing I had just a half left felt great, and I followed my usual route. My Garmin flashed Mile 14, and then I felt it.
The twinge returned to my knee out of nowhere, with a vengeance. It was sore and my leg stiffened up. I tried to keep running, but I couldn't. Oddly, it didn't hurt to walk. After about a mile and a half of shuffling/walking to a safer spot, I gave up and called my mom in tears to come get me. I've been on the couch all day, icing and compressing my knee, and breaking to foam roll every so often. I picked up some K tape and my knee is wrapped in it.
I overtrained, plain and simple. I've been so scared of blowing it in New York that I'm at risk of not even making it. I'll be taking a few days off from training, and then cross training whatever way doesn't hurt. I've pretty much been crying all day at the thought of having to drop out. Right now, I have no plan to do that. With 2 days off from running, I was able to get through 14. NYC is still 3 weeks away, and there is plenty of time to heal up. I'm not shooting for a world record - I just want to finish. I'd rather get to the start line with a little less endurance than not be able to move.
I'm Jenn! I'm a baker, blogger, sorta-runner, and writer living in Jacksonville, Florida!