Saturday, March 17, 2012

The blog post I didn't want to have to write

I'm NOT running Boston. Yes, again. I made the decision to pull out and give my body time to heal without the time pressure of a race...especially a marathon. I got in some short runs last week after two weeks off of running and I knew there was no way I could ask this hip to run a marathon without significant risks.

My hip issues that started a few weeks back are most likely due to "dead butt syndrome" (gluteus medius tendonitis) in which my gluteus medius is not firing properly and the other structures have had to pick up the slack. This may have been brewing all year, dating back to the drop foot, on the same side, from a year ago.

Given all my strength training and cross training it surprised me to think I could have this, and if three separate people (two docs and a rolfer) hadn't told me this independently, I wouldn't have believed it. There is still much I don't understand, and I'm not sure what they are feeling that I don't. It's off to PT to retrain the glute and neural pathways and I'm putting race plans on hold until such time as I know I am healthy and will be for a long time to come.

This was a very tough decision and my kids saw me go through frustration, disappointment and now regrouping and moving forward. As a parent, one of the gifts of triathlon is exactly this -- the kids see first-hand that we all face these challenging times and that it's OK to feel sad and mad but then it's important to move forward. I rebooked our Boston trip for Easter weekend and we will still go, enjoy the train ride, and our visits to Harvard and MIT (their future schools they have decided at ages 10 and 12).

These are the questions I asked myself when coming to this decision:
  • Do I think I can make it 26.2 miles on April 16? Yes, on stubbornness alone.
  • Is it worth all the worry and possible greater damage while things are vulnerable? No
  • Would I be happy running a Boston Marathon with a time that was 15 minutes slower, 30 minutes slower, or an hour slower than what I know I can do? No.

Decision made. My Endurance Films Racing Teammate, Nick Logan doesn't know it yet, but his post on Knowing When to Fold gave me some much-needed perspective.

I'm putting all race plans on hold until I can run confidently and pain-free again. If this means my triathlon race season doesn't start until June or July, so be it. I've been training and racing with a high level of intensity for the last year, a bit of a breather could do me some good and lead to better later-season races which are my most important anyway. I have emerged from past injuries a bit tougher and more "hungry" and I know I tend to bounce back pretty fast.

And Boston? See you in 2013. Third time's a charm, right?