Plans for the immediate future

I keep thinking what did I do wrong? I have listened to my body throughout training and haven’t had any pain. After my 20 miler my muscles were sore, but nothing hurt. So I thought it was okay to run my 6 miles last Monday as planned. Again, my muscles were sore but even after my run nothing hurt. And then I wake up Tuesday morning with a pain in my shin that hurts even when I walk?? What the heck? Where did I go wrong?

While I ponder that, I continue to not run until my leg feels better. For now I’m relying on biking to keep my cardiovascular system in shape and I have tentative plans to mix in some swimming, too (no one say anything about triathlons, my focus is the marathon and you can save those suggestions for later).

I am doing lots of icing and some gentle stretching. But for the time being I have laid off of the foam roller and the Stick. I think my leg needs a few days to just calm the heck down.

My will and determination are still there. I still want to run the race this November more than anything. Don’t think I’m throwing in the towel. But I will say that my morale is a little low right now.

Trying to keep this in mind

As I had mentioned, I was on top of the world after my 20 miler. It was crushing to wake up last Tuesday with that pain in my lower leg and was made worse when I couldn’t do my long run this past weekend. That being said, I have come up with the following options:

Option 1: Spend the rest of the week doing cross training, run 20 miles as planned on Saturday (which would be my last long run before taper).

Option 2: Spend the rest of the week doing cross training, run a shorter final long run (16-18 miles) on Saturday before taper.

Option 3: Spend the rest of the week doing cross training, run 13 mile long run on Saturday.

Clearly, all of these options are under the assumption that my leg is feeling better after taking a week off of running. I don’t really have any contingency plans if my leg is not feeling better by Saturday. Any suggestions?

I’m most scared that my dreams of my first full marathon are in jeopardy (possibly a little dramatic at this point). I’m also scared that my ability to complete the marathon may be in danger if I cannot finish my training plan as written. If I can’t do another 20 miler or even another longer long run (over 13 miles), does the 20 miler I did five weeks out from my race benefit me at all come race day?

Which option do you think is my best one? Or do you have a different suggestion?

Have you ever been in a situation like mine? What did you do?

What do you do when you can’t do your preferred form of exercise?

14 thoughts on “Plans for the immediate future”

  1. Hang in there Meagan! I’m so sorry you’re having a tough week. I suggest that you do easy cross-training until your leg feels better. Swimming is great cross-training because it’s low impact and won’t bother your shin. Just don’t push off the walls too hard. I would be very careful going from a week of cross-training to a 20-mile run though. If you heal up, you don’t want to re-aggravate your shin. At this point, you have the conditioning to finish the marathon. You will finish! So, don’t freak out if you don’t get another 20-miler in.

    1. Thanks, Nicole! Both for your encouragement and your advice. The last thing I want to do is re-aggravate my leg. I am hoping to aim for 13-16 miles on Saturday, I think.

  2. Stay off the leg and let it heal. I’m no running coach but that only makes sense. Biking may also be putting stress on the shin.I do know a little about swimming. Can’t hurt to do a few laps. Just remember, don’t breath when your face is is in the water!LUD.

  3. Oh no! I read your last post on my phone while I was gone but could not comment. I have been sending you good thoughts. At this point, you have put in plenty of work and do not feel like you are losing anything right now. Swimming is good low impact cross-training so do that if you can. Even if you have to lower some of your mileage, you are still well-trained for this race, whether you believe it or not. The worst thing you can do is freak out and throw in the towel before you know anything else. You can do this, Meagan!

  4. I dont think you will have any worry of not finishing your first full. I feel certain that there will be one person who will carry you if need be. Dont give up Meagan you’ll be rewarded

    1. Haha well hopefully I will cross the finish line under my own power. Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must. Just finish. But if I have to resort to someone carrying me I would kind of feel like I cheated 🙂

  5. I’ve gotten way behind in my blogging and blog reading. I just started catching up, and was very sad to hear that you’re injured. I really hope it’s getting better! I’ve loved reading about your training, and I know how frustrating injuries are. Ugh. I would say that if you’re feeling good enough to do your long run next weekend, there’s no real reason you have to do a 20 miler. If you feel good, maybe do 13-16. Speedy healing!!

    1. It is starting to feel better with rest, thanks! I know you know how frustrating it is. I am glad I got that 20 miler in there before this crept in (although still not sure if this pain is a delayed result of that 20 miler). That will help me mentally.

  6. Honestly….I’m gonna tell you something you don’t want to hear. It truly think it’s time you took that leg to a doctor. Sometimes, you do everything RIGHT, and something still goes WRONG. That sucks. But to be frank, I don’t really like the way you described it to me – and I DEFINITELY don’t want you sidelined for longer because you ignored (or ran on) something bad. At least a visit to an orthopedist can probably rule out things like a stress fracture, and give you some clue as to how much worse you might be making it by continuing to run. Although this makes it “real”, this kind of info is really important to have – and can help you make a more informed decision about what to do moving forward. Ignorance is nice (kind of), but really not that smart.All that being said, if it feels better (like, not hurting), then I would try Option 2 this weekend (possibly with some planned walk breaks scheduled at regular intervals, which will break up the run and give your legs a little break – this can often delay the aggravation of a tweaky bit). One other Option that you didn’t mention is back-to-back medium distance runs: 10 mi one night and 10 mi the next morning will give you 20, but with a bit of rest between. It’s not the same as 20 straight, but it does replicate a different kind of fatigue, and might give your shin enough recovery time in between.That being said, be VERY careful….

    1. No you’re right I didn’t want to hear that first part. I will look into orthopedists in the area… although I know from experience the last time I needed to go to one (when I hurt my back last year) they all had a wait time of at least a month if not more, for an appointment. That wouldn’t be helpful in my situation. As always, thank you for your input! You have no idea how helpful it is (or maybe you do). I am debating between Option 2 and the option you proposed, doing 10 mi Sat 10 mi Sun. I like that idea. It’s all going to depend on how the leg feels.

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s