The “Taper Crazies” are turning out not to be so crazy — the pain in my left shin is not magically going away with the reduction of running miles during taper. KT Tape Pro helps, as does rest and ice, but the pain refuses to go away completely and it gets a lot worse after running again. I am going to take Wednesday through Friday off running and hope for the best on Saturday morning for the race.
I’ve had to drastically alter my marathon goals. Now my goal is simply to finish and have a good experience. I’ll still try to hit my goal time and want to come in under 4:30. If I don’t, it will mean I didn’t “have a good experience” because I will have been significantly off pace due to pain in either my left shin or right groin or both. It’s not the way I wanted this training round and race to go, but I’ve learned a lot from it and maybe it will go better next time if I decide I want a “do over” with another marathon.
So what exactly have I learned? That tight calves lead to plantar fasciitis and shin splints. That ramping up too quickly with speed work and hills, on top of a reasonable increase in weekly mileage, can lead to a cascading stream of injuries. That mental/emotional stress will affect you (me) more than expected. I have always used exercise to moderate the stress in my life, but there are some stresses that are simply too big to “run” off (see, among other things, father-in-law passing away). Then when the running or other training leads to injury, that adds on a whole new kind of stress.
While it might sound like I’m admitting some sort of defeat before I’ve even started the race, I assure you I am not. I am venting. Now the plan is to put a smile on my face, pack for a fabulous weekend in Santa Barbara, and look forward to the chance to test myself with my very first marathon!
You can sign up to get updates on my race progress at the Athlete Tracking site for the Santa Barbara International Marathon (Angela White, bib number 1455). You can also follow me on Twitter @fitfunmomdotcom and I’ll post my result as soon as I’m able!
Wish me luck! Send good vibes out into the universe. Wish on a star for me! Your good wishes will carry me through on race day.