Monday, April 11, 2011

Hobby Jogging: Bowing out of Boston

It comes with great regret and after some intense evaluation, that I have withdrawn my entry to the 115th Boston Marathon next Monday (April 18, 2011). In the past few months, I have tried everything, but just can't shake the injury bug. What started as a hamstring issue has turned into Piriformis Syndrome and a severe case of shin splints that have just refused to heal, even after backing off my mileage by 50% (or more on some weeks).

The last straw was this Friday's easy run. On Wednesday, I soldiered through a 3 mile tempo run at the Hanes Park track in 17:55, shins hurting every step of the way. Post workout, I just hoped that if I gave myself Thursday off and then went on an easy run Friday, followed up by my 10 days out staple of 10 Yasso 800's over the weekend, I would be ok. This didn't happen. I got 15 seconds out the door on Friday before I had to stop and come back to hit the foam roller and Trigger Point Massage Ball. I then tried again and it hurt like something awful. 2.25 miles in I stopped and walked home. This is when it started to become clear that a lousy day or a DNF could be in my future. I held out hope that I would feel better Saturday or Sunday, but it didn't happen. Quite frankly, it hurts to walk up and down stairs and the thought of running on it truly feels like getting "kicked in the shins." With all this in mind, I decided to send the dreaded email to BAA withdrawing my entry, then cancelling my room at the Dorchester Ramada and cancelling my flight on Delta. A sad day, but I think the smart decision in the long run.

I have been running competitively again for just over two years and it's pretty tough having to say no to Boston, where I would have given an arm and leg to run after I was completely humbled in my first marathon in November 2008, where I walk/jogged the second half to finish in 3:56. I feel bad for all of the people that train there a$$es off and can't seem to qualify. I feel a little empty that I won't get to go and hang out with my fellow track dorks for a few days. I feel like I let my training partner from Greenville, Tyler Pake, down a little as we were planning on racing together as our PR's are 8 seconds apart. But all the negatives aside, I feel relief.

Ever since Boston last year, where I had an incredible race, my right hamstring has been bothering me and I haven't truly given it a chance to heal. That's led to a lot of average races. I am ready to heal up and get back to above average racing; the kind I was doing before Boston last year. The only things I have on the books right now are the Triangle Race for the Cure on June 11 and the Ultimate Runner in Winston on June 25. If all goes well, I will make a dedicated attempt at a sub 5 mile this summer and will be ready to register for the 116th Boston Marathon in September. Until then, watch out for me at the American Tobacco Trail, Umstead Park or Salem Lake on my new mountain bike. After taking a week flat out off, I'll start doing some rides while the rest of me heals.

Most importantly, good luck to all those who are running. The Boston Marathon is my favorite race and before I ran it last year, I would take off work for a few hours to go home and watch it. It is truly an awesome event that I hate to miss, but sometimes, being a fan is just as fun. I'll be back, and hopefully on a better set of sticks!

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  1. Don't worry about letting me down. I understand. I know you've been battling some nagging injuries and I know you trained hard and wanted to run Boston with me. I'll just have to make you proud! I do appreciate all the training we did together and all the advice you've given me. I know it was a hard decision for you to make but you gotta look out for yourself. I wouldn't want to run Boston either if I felt like it was going to be a miserable day and possibly a DNF. It's more important that you rest, heal, and we can pick another marathon to do together. I really think we would do well in a marathon pushing each other. Maybe we can do some shorter summer races and take a crack at a sub 5 mile together or a fall half or something. Just rest up and heal. There are plenty of marathons in your future!

  2. That's a tough out Paprin. Really sorry to hear that. We all know that you will need it Weapon style once the legs heal up.

  3. Pat,

    You are doing the right thing. Listening to your body is a science, though we are all tough, if we choose to push though an injury, serious consequences occur. Hey after you rest up, are you interested in joining a few Charlotte runners for the New River 50k October 8th?

  4. That's a tough one to have to DNS Pat but a wise choice I'm sure. I know all about that PF pain Hope you can heal quickly now