I didn’t want to have to write this post, but here I am. I’ve had my pity party and gotten out most of my frustrations (sorry mom and dad), so you’re reading the edited, clean-cut version. Here it goes…I’m no longer running the Fort Myers Marathon. In reality, this is not a big deal at all and I have many great things going for me. Does it suck? Yes. Am I disappointed that I put in 10 weeks of physical and mental training? Of course. But, as I discuss below, it could be much worse.
A little back story if you’re just tuning in…
Right around Oct. 1 I noticed some random pain on the bottom of my left foot. Right on the ball of the foot. It really appeared suddenly and I’m still not sure of the cause. I cut my 20 miler down to a 10 miler because of the pain and proceeded to take a full week off from all weight-bearing activities. I got a sub for my spin class and wore comfortable shoes when I had to walk.
When I was home for break I went to a PT. From earlier research I thought I had metatarsalgia and/or plantar fasciitis and that is what the PT suspected too. He did some scraping and laser therapy and gave me some exercises to do at home. He said if it still hurts in 3-5 days to see a doctor. Well, I’m past the 5 day mark and still in pain. Walking with metatarsal pads helps, and generally walking is fine, but as soon as I put pressure on the forefoot like I was running, I feel the pain.
I’m going to see a sports podiatrist next week for an official diagnosis and possibly an MRI if he thinks it’s a stress fracture. But at this point I’ve missed 10+ weekly runs including a 20 miler, 16 miler and I’ll miss my 22 miler this weekend (no way that’s happening after 2 weeks of no exercise even if I felt OK ). I respect the marathon too much to run it untrained and unprepared. A marathon will (most likely) never be something I just “wing.”
Here’s why this situation isn’t the worst thing ever:
-I paid $75 for the race entry fee. I paid almost 4x that for NYC last year, not including 4 round-trip airplane tickets for my family and a long weekend of expenses in the city.
-It’s a very, very small race and doesn’t get all the hype like NYC, Boston or Chicago. The course doesn’t mean much to me, in fact it is a 2 loop course. I’m not heartbroken about running through the streets of Ft. Myers like I would have been with NYC.
-It’s NOT a once in a lifetime type race like NYC was (I seriously would have thrown a fit if this happened last year).
-I live in Florida and finally that fact has come in handy this training season. November is just the beginning of race season in Florida. There are tons more through March and April even. The weather will be even COOLER and better for running. If I thought ahead I wouldn’t have picked a November race anyway because it meant training through the summer.
-If for some reason my foot feels better by then (depending on the MRI results), I can drop down to the half.
-Even if I theoretically did everything “right,” injuries can happen for no real reason. Plus, every training cycle teaches us something different. This one was reminder that sometimes, things don’t go as planned.
-It’s not my first or even second marathon, so the disappointment isn’t too high.
Lots of valid reasons, right?!
I mentioned this a few weeks ago but Janae (Hungry Runner Girl) wrote a really positive post about having to pull out of her goal marathon due to illness. Like she said, running is just one small part of life. Yes it makes me happy, but so do many other things. Overall health is more important. In fact, there are other things going on with me right now that would have interfered with training even if my foot wasn’t injured. Slowing down is what I need to do right now, even if it seems like the whole world is running 24/7. What better time than now to get into regular strength training and yoga? I’ve only been saying that for months.
Running will always be there, hopefully sooner than later :)
I am so sorry about your foot, Emily. What a bummer that must be!! But it’s definitely better to avoid making it worse only to come back and KILL IT in the next one :) you are an inspiration!
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Thanks, friend :) I plan to be ready to run lots with you come January!
She Rocks Fitness says
I have actually pulled out of 2x half marathons this past year, because I was mentally and physically exhausted and I needed to use that energy in other areas of my life. Best decisions I could have made. It is not the end of the world. You will heal. You will tackle other runs. It is all good. Being able to take a step back and say no you can’t do this is mature and the right decision. No pity parties allowed, because you ROCK!
She Rocks Fitness recently posted…My WORKOUTS In October
You always know how to make me smile. Thanks for cheering me up!
Sara @ Oats & Rows says
I am so sorry to hear about your foot! These things can be so frustrating and discouraging, but you are taking the right steps to get better and it will all be worth it in the end when you do your next marathon :) . I hope you feel better soon!!
Sara @ Oats & Rows recently posted…‘On the Minute’ Plyometric Boot Camp Workout
Thanks, Sara! It can be especially frustrating when I feel like I did everything “right.” But sometimes, there are no real answers *sigh*. Have a great weekend!
Kerri Mcgrail says
Having to pull out of races in always such a bummer, but you seem like you are handling it well!! I had to pull out of a marathon this past spring because of injury and it was going to be my first marathon ever so I was super bummed. I too realized like you that overall health is more important, despite being super bummed out.
Kerri Mcgrail recently posted…Fit desk Review & How I combat sitting all day
The disappointment will obviously peak for me on race day, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying sleeping in a bit. Sorry to hear you had to pull out of your marathon. I hope your recovery went smoothly.
This has been a terrible season for marathon training..you’re about the 5th blogger that I’ve had to read about dropping out of their race. It’s always so heartbreaking and I’m so sorry that you got injured :( I hope you get more answers and start feeling better really soon. I am happy to see that you’re not taking it too hard and are trying to stay positive. That’s great to hear, and I know you’ll be out there stronger than ever! Get better soon Emily!
Gretchen recently posted…7×7 Challenge [Fall]
Thank you so much, Gretchen! Even though Janae was sick and not injured, I really took a lot from her mindset. I didn’t think it would happen to me, but I’m dealing with it. Have a great weekend!
Margaret @ youngandrungry says
Good for you and your perspective! I am so sorry that you are facing injury, but there is something to be said for how well you are handling it. There will be so many more marathons! I hate losing the money, too, but I always have to remind myself that it’s probably going to a great cause. I’ve always said the serenity prayer, but that’s the first time I’ve seen it geared towards runners, I love it! Good luck in your healing.
Margaret @ youngandrungry recently posted…Roasted Garlic, Spinach, Basil- No Crap Pesto
I didn’t even think of the money still going to a good cause…great point! The serenity prayer is one of my favorites in general, so I thought a little change of words made it applicable to this situation :)
Ugh sorry to hear you had to pull out but it is definitely the smartest decision! No race is worth a serious injury!! I should have dropped out of my second marathon but I was stubborn and pushed through – walking the last 6 miles and having to take 12 weeks off after to heal a stress fracture. It was so not worth it. I’m glad you have such a positive outlook – sending you lots of healing thoughts :) xo
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I will live vicariously through your training ;) Thanks, friend xo
Sarah @pickyrunner says
Thinking of you!!! You’re making the right decision and I really appreciate how healthy your outlook is on running/training. If you’re interested, I think Eident does another full in January in Naples (so you could easily transfer your bib). I only know that from working there last summer ha. Fingers crossed it isn’t a stress fracture!!! <3
Sarah @pickyrunner recently posted…Rhode Island Fall
I did not know that…THANK YOU! Looking into it now :)
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Girl, PF sucks! I had it and couldn’t even walk the hallways in school, but you’ll get through it and be back fully-loaded soon enough! You’re strong and this is just a blip in the journey of fitness! You already seem like you have a good outlook now. So chin up, rest/repair, and get back to it! xoxoxoxo
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Slow Cooker Chipotle Pumpkin Chicken
I hope it’s not that because I can walk normally! Just when I put pressure on my forefront. Thank you for your support :)
I’m sorry to hear about your foot but it sounds like the right decision. Health is ALWAYS more important!
Kristin recently posted…Crossing the Ice Blog Tour & Giveaway
It’s ironic that we think running is always healthy, but there are times when it does more harm than good (i.e. running on an injury). OVERALL health is key.
You are making the right decision. I am so sorry that this happened. It is really great that you are chosing to make it a positive situation. Have a great day
It has been a big teaching lesson! Looking at the positive is important in so many aspects.
So sorry to hear this but you’re making the right choice and there will be many a race in your future because you’re so smart about your health.
Love the runner’s prayer!
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You’re the best :) Thanks as always for your support!
i am soooo sorry ! but you have a good attitude about it and im sure you will be good. good for you to get so much treatment so fast ! i had plantar fascitis but it was more in my arch and it took me forever to get over it. like 6 months. and 2 rounds of steroids (which really did help). I did have once “mortons nueroma” which is more way up near the part of your foot that is right beneath your like 2nd – 4th toes. that one was much faster to get better but does tend to flare up from time to time. i used to freeze a partially filled water bottle and roll my arch on that day and night with the fascitis. it really helped me. good luck !!!!
Thanks, Tara! I’ve looked into Morton’s Neuroma too so I’m curious what the doctor thinks.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie says
I’ve never pulled out of a race myself, but knowing how much training goes into one, I can understand how tough it is to have to pull out. But, like you said, running is always there for you and once you are ready for it again, it will be right there for you. That’s really the best part of running.
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Balancing Race Training + College
I love that running is a lifetime sport with no real time constraint. I can pick it up in a few weeks or months and it will all be the same.
Lindsay @ A Runnaroundd Life says
My favorite part: “I respect the marathon too much to run it untrained and unprepared.” You’re being really smart and there will be so many more.
Lindsay @ A Runnaroundd Life recently posted…always somewhere new.
Thanks, Lindsay :) I appreciate your support!
Linda @ The fitty says
I absolutely love how positive you’re being on this whole situation. Now would be an excellent time to take up yoga for sure, and it could only compliment your running in the future.
Linda @ The fitty recently posted…9 Fall Things You Should Absolutely Do
Thank you, Linda. You are absolutely right- yoga will only help my running in the future.
I’m so sorry you had to pull out of the race girly, but kudos to you for taking care of your overall health! I hope your appointment goes well, and you’re right- there are tons of races in the Spring to look forward to!
sarah recently posted…Thinking Out Loud: What’s Really Going On?
Thanks, Sarah! For once, living in Florida has paid off when it comes to running :)
Dani @ Dani California Cooks says
There will be so many more races in your life! Better to take care of yourself now and you’ll come back stronger :). Also – I’m dealing with a funky callus on the bottom of my foot which is quite painful and super annoying.
Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted…Curried Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad (vegan, gluten free)
Oh no, sorry to hear about your foot too. I keep telling myself that running is a lifetime sport. No limit on the number of races in my future!
Sorry to hear this Emily and although the ‘pity party’ is over, I know how incredibly frustrating it must feel….
Most importantly though, I hope your foot heals well and I look forward to getting some inspiration from your strength training program ;)
Enjoy the slightly cooler temperatures (hotter than summer in the UK!) xxx
Charlotte recently posted…Currently… September 2015
Charlotte, you always have the sweetest comments. I can’t thank you enough! I look forward all year to Florida “winter” temps ;)
Shannon @GirlsGotSole says
Here’s to getting good news about your injury! Definitely sucks for sure. :(
But, I love your outlook on it. Despite how hard it can be, positive thinking is the best way to go. Your overall health really is more important, and there will be more races. God will get you through this rough patch, and you will come out stronger.
Shannon @GirlsGotSole recently posted…When You Gotta Go…
Thank you for your kind words, Shannon. As always, I’m leaning on my faith for extra support. Have a wonderful weekend.
Sarah @ Sweet Miles says
I think you’re making the right decision. I’m so sorry you have to back out!! The last thing you want to do though is make yourself miserable, hurt yourself more, or not be able to give it your all. I’ll be praying for quick healing and peace of mind :)
Sarah @ Sweet Miles recently posted…Pregnancy: Week 39
Exactly my thoughts. A few weeks off > a few months off. Thanks for your support!
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
I’m so sorry to hear you’re hurt and can’t run the marathon, but it sounds like you made the right decision and have the right mindset about it. Being flexible is hard, but it’s a really good thing that you grow from every time. And, hey, changing up your workout routine is never a bad thing! :)
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