When Your 10-Miler Becomes an 8-Miler

by - Monday, July 29, 2019

I'm still over here attempting to train for the Marine Corps Marathon. But my body is throwing me increasingly more obvious warning signs indicating it might not actually be a good idea.

Take Saturday's long run for example. My training plan called for 10 miles, but I only managed to do 8.

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I was a bit apprehensive about the distance since my previous three long runs had not gone especially well.

  • I felt faint during my seven miler and ended up walking the last three miles. 
  • I had to skip my nine miler because my hip was bothering me. 
  • The six miler that started it all off -- well I finished it, but it wasn't particularly pretty.

But I was determined to see the 10 miler through. I mapped out a course the night before, set my alarm for early in the morning so I could beat the heat and laced up my new running shoes, which I hoped would put an end to the knee/hip pain I'd been having.

The first mile felt pretty good. It was an easy pace, my new shoes made it feel like I was running on clouds. I was cautiously optimistic.

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By mile three, all the good feelings had vanished and the run felt hard. I think a lot of that had to do with the sun coming out in pretty full force. So I just mentally prepared myself for a tiring remaining seven miles.

Around mile 4.5, I knew I was going to have to amend the course I had planned to do to so I could find some more shade to run in. The parts of the run that happened in the shade were far more tolerable than the miles happening in the sun. I realized on my pre-determined course, the last five miles or so would be completely in the sun with almost no shade.

I called an audible and decided I'd finish my run in a different neighborhood that I knew would offer more shade.

But by mile 6.5, I knew I'd have to cut the run short. My left IT band/hip/glute was not cooperating and running was starting to get really uncomfortable. I should note, this is very different pain than when I had all those hip problems a few years ago. But still, I didn't want to end up with some new terrible injury so I decided to turn around early and head for home.

I still had roughly two miles to get back to my house, so I did a combo of running and walking and finished the run with 8 miles instead of the planned 10.

If I were in a more positive mood, perhaps I'd say, well hey, 8 miles isn't too bad. But since this has been a trend with my long runs, I'm not sure it's something I can keep ignoring. I'm not convinced my body is back in a place where it's ready to train for 26.2 miles.

I'm leaning more and more toward deferring my entry and trying again next year when I have a better fitness base and not every run feels like some form of torture.

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2 comments

  1. I agree with deferring until you have figured out what your body needs. Back to PT and all those other approaches you know about.

    I posted a run on Strava and Garmin that was on one of our hot days. I had slowed down my already slow pace and stopped for water. I was coming up to Fletcher's Cove and was going to get water there as well. Then my calf yelled at me that I was going to stop. Period. I had to walk a bit over a mile up the hill to get back home. Massage and time have helped and I have since been able to run a bit over 3 miles. My next race isn't until late August in Ottawa so I'm hoping my body will continue to cooperate.

    Be well.

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  2. Very informative article. Keep sharing :-)

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