So I basically had to take almost two months off of running...building up to peak week and everything! I ran once or twice several weeks in, but was in awful pain again so I kept taking time off. All the while, I was going to physical therapy twice a week. It was really tough to listen to my friends talk about their training runs, I even hated hearing complaints about 18+ mile runs when I just desperately wanted to be able to run a few miles! I started to get very nervous that I wouldn't even be able to run this marathon, and it would have such a letdown after working so hard in 2011 to qualify, and keeping myself in good running shape during the early part of 2012 so that I would be ready to jump right into training.
PT was tough. Painful, frustrating, and resulted in tears a few times when he told me I may need to consider not running this marathon so I could have time to heal. I don't care that "there are other races" as some people have said to me. I qualified for this one and I was damned well going to do it. And therapy hurts like hell-I can't count how many times I instinctively almost punched or kicked my therapist when he found a trigger spot in my legs. The pain was in my ankle/shin/calf but was also affecting my feet a lot. Foot and leg rubs sound nice and all, but these were incredibly painful (especially the feet!) and often it was all I could do to not cry...and sometimes I failed at that! This gym/clinic is full of athletes, several from professional NY teams, and Phil (my therapist) reassured me that he'd made grown men cry, so I didn't feel so lame! Still, I think I've thrown around worse language in that clinic than most of those guys!
Things have come together over the last couple of weeks. After all that time off, my physical therapist let me start running a few miles at a time and as everything felt mostly good, he let me put on miles pretty quickly. Whenever I've had little twinges here or there, he works them out. I haven't done anything above 18 miles in over a month, my two longest runs have been 13 and 14 miles. But I've been working on running strong (fast, not too fast) while my legs hurt, and strength training. The consensus among Phil, several runner friends, and some runner-journalists is that 18 miles is enough of a long run pre-marathon, that I'm a strong runner, in great shape, and have the ability to pull this thing off while having missed literally half of the training schedule. So I'm a guinea pig for this method-we'll see what happens on 11/4!!!