Skipping Marathon Because Of Running Injury

One runner talks about how she overcame the disappointment of having to sit out the marathon she worked so hard to prepare for.

While my running companions were up early, embracing the joys of their weekend long runs, I found myself engulfed in melancholy. Their tales of relentless effort and agony stood as a constant reminder of what I was missing. As the city prepared for the upcoming marathon, its presence was everywhere, testing my resolve to stay away from it this year. However, an unexpected parcel containing a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS sneakers brought about a wave of emotions.

The sneakers, specifically designed for the New York City Marathon, were decorated with names of the city's boroughs and neighborhoods. The sight of them intensified my longing for the race I had decided to refrain from participating in. It provoked tears as I faced the realization; I would have to wait another full year before taking part in the marathon again.

Marathon training typically spans 16 weeks, enough duration even for the most careful runners to risk an injury. Halfway into my training, a 10-mile race in Bronx left me with a severe foot ache that later morphed into a limp. A visit to the orthopedist suggested rest and painkillers, but the injury persisted, disrupting my training regime through its most demanding phase.

The reality of my situation dawned upon me when I saw those marathon-specific shoes. Despite one part of my brain urging caution, the persistent side kept reminding me, "You can still do it!" Acknowledging that I couldn't participate in the marathon led to a period of self-pity, which, thankfully, lasted only for three days.

Eventually, I started recognizing the advantages of being injured. For instance, I found myself with plenty of free time, less fatigue, and no perpetual hunger. I could now explore various other facets that I had neglected: strength training, cheering for my friends, or preparing for another race in the spring!

Chris Heuisler, a respected running guru and National RunWESTIN Concierge for Westin Hotels & Resorts, believes that an injured runner can utilize this time to become better prepared. With hundreds of marathons taking place all around, there's no need to feel disheartened. He also emphasized the importance of being supportive towards fellow runners during such times.

Moreover, with no early morning runs or the need for consuming additional calories, one can focus on healthier eating habits, getting adequate rest, and joining a gym. Although initially daunting, I found the gym environment quite empowering. I could use it to improve my strength training and cross-training, essential factors in enhancing a runner's overall performance.

Sure, I missed running, but enduring pain to complete a race doesn't make one a "real runner". As Heuisler explained, professional runners never participate in a race if they aren't in perfect health. While some may view participating despite injuries as a mark of honor, it's essentially foolish. The ultimate goal should always be longevity in running.

So, while I won't be a part of the NYC Marathon this year, I am looking forward to a lifetime filled with running experiences.

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