I spent the past week not knowing whether I could run in the 2013 Pittsburgh Marathon tomorrow

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I will be running the Pittsburgh Marathon.

I have no idea how it will turn out, because I spent the past week not knowing whether I would even make it to the start line!

Here’s what’s been happening.

Last Saturday: recovering from injury

A week ago I was in despair as I skipped a planned Steel City Road Runners final taper run because of injury and burnout.


I continued to rest and apply cream to my foot skin cracks. My right shin is OK again.


After three days off from running, I was worried about losing fitness. My feet were healing slowly. I did just a mile on the treadmill, wearing Vibram FiveFingers Bikila LS, not Luna Sandals, in order to keep my feet from drying out. I felt very sluggish and weak. I wanted to verify that I could at least run at all though.


My right foot was hurting again, healing not complete. Also, I was feeling simply physically exhausted, like I was getting sick or something: I had a headache waking up. I took a day off work to do a lot of napping.


I thought my friends who have been following my marathon training progress for the past two months should know what was up, so I posted on Facebook, “If the marathon were tomorrow, I would not go to the start line. I hope another three days of healing will get me there.”

Later I did feel better and get in a short 1-mile run, in Luna Sandals.

I started carb-loading.


I felt better, my feet were mostly healed, and I got in a 2-mile run. I publicly declared on Facebook, “I’m on for the marathon on Sunday!”

Later in the day, in a freak accident, unfortunately, I fell down the stairs at work. Basically, I missed one step when taking a step with my left foot. I ended up landing really hard and awkwardly on my left foot on the second step down instead of the first step down, with considerable pressure on my left knee, which buckled to the side a bit, and then I landed on my right foot, with less pressure on my right knee, then I fell to the right and banged up my right ankle also. I was surprised that I didn’t actually break anything, but I was shaken. I tried to joke about this on Facebook, but the incident did not help me.


Tired. No running.

Saturday (today)

Woke up exhausted, spent the whole day napping. Finished carb-loading. I gained about three pounds in the past three days.


I’ve done what I could in order to make it to the start line of the Pittsburgh Marathon tomorrow. Everything is out of whack, but I didn’t want to cancel doing it, or switch to doing the half marathon. I haven’t had a real run in nine days. I regret completely messing up my preparation for the marathon, but as long as I think I can finish it, I am doing it.

This may not be quite logical, but emotionally, in the past week, I have felt that I need to do the marathon, not so much because I have done so much for it (OK, that’s the sunk cost fallacy, I know), but because I signed up for it with an agreement with Abby that this was going to be my last marathon for 15-20 years, and lately, in light of my suffering (and her collateral suffering), I amended that to tell her that I was never going to do a marathon again, ever!

comments powered by Disqus