Is it possible to train for a marathon and not tell yourself that? I’m not sure, but I sure tried.
The idea behind it was that maybe my body doesn’t get injured if it doesn’t know it has something important coming up (e.g. running a marathon).
The last marathon I was meant to do was in Paris this last April but a really bad ITB injury left me so undertrained and I could hardly run 5k without pain, so that didn’t happen. Me and Minna went to Paris anyway. We were both injured but there was enough to see in Paris even though we couldn’t run the marathon.
The marathon before that, in Dublin in Oct 2014 I got injured as well. 3 weeks before the marathon a weird hip pain stopped me from running so I hardly ran leading up to the race. I still ran the marathon as I was going to Dublin anyway and the pain wasn’t too bad but it was annoying and obviously affected my performance.
Since injuries just love me, the training for the London Marathon 2014 was full of injuries as well but it was one of those “once in a lifetime”- moments because you don’t always get a ballot place to London so I ran it anyway. My worst EVER race, including heat stroke and hour and a half in an emergency tent. I still don’t know how I finished.
Anyhow, after this year’s Paris disappointment I was obviously looking ahead to Autumn marathons. As I love to travel for a marathon (way more exciting that way) I had my eyes on Budapest, Frankfurt and Lake Garda marathons, and for few years now I’ve been considering a marathon that goes from Nice to Cannes on the French Riviera.
What I have learnt from previous experiences though is that apart from my first marathon, I just seem to get injured. And because Paris marathon didn’t happen and I had obviously lost money on that entry as well (wasn’t cheap!) I did realise that maybe it’s time for me to just run and focus on staying injury-free and not enter any marathons, especially not ones that are abroad and involve travel planning etc because what if I get injured again.
So what did I do instead? I started training and doing long runs (as if I was training for a marathon) but told myself I’m not allowed to enter one until it’s so close to the time that I know I can’t get injured. And instead of booking ones abroad I decided to run a smaller event in the UK instead. This way I knew that there won’t be massive travel plans involved, the entries won’t get full and I can just see how I feel closer to the time. Even though I told myself I won’t decide on any particular event, I obviously did. I couldn’t NOT know what I was training for. So I picked Chester Marathon. I wasn’t looking for much in the event, I wanted it to be October time, not too far from Cardiff, (I did consider Loch Ness but flying to Scotland would have cost me more than a marathon somewhere in Europe!), and one that had good reviews. Also, I didn’t want the event to be super tiny either, I think you need the atmosphere and support when running a marathon and a small event in the middle of nowhere doesn’t sound appealing. Anyway, I picked Chester and had that in mind when training this summer, although I tried to hide it from myself so that I wouldn’t know to get injured in anticipation 😀
I’ve had few ITB issues and a knee injury all summer but I’ve managed to run relatively well. I am not in the greatest shape and my mileage has been lowest it’s ever been when in marathon training, but we’ll see how things go. I could have moved the marathon time and picked another one later in the year to get more quality training in but I really just want to run one now as it’s been almost a year since my last one. Chester sounds like a nice course and people have said good things about it so we’ll see what happens.
Oh and since it’s 4 weeks away and I managed to run 29km today pain free, I’ve decided my body can do it injury-free.