I leave on Thursday evening and I will be back home by Tuesday. Just a quick trip, because I don’t get much vacation time with my job. I’ve only been to London once before, back in the fall of 2003.
The Shamrock marathon really took a toll on my body. It took nearly a week for all the muscle soreness to go away, and when it did, I noticed that I also had knee pain. I didn’t run at all for the week following the marathon. The next week, my total mileage was somewhere around 25. And I haven’t run since. So, my total mileage for the 4 weeks in between marathons will amount to around 28 (I plan to run 3 tomorrow).
I’ve been to a physical therapist, a sports massage therapist, a sports med doctor, and an orthopedic doctor. And all of their diagnoses conflict. The shin pain that I was feeling prior to Shamrock has suddenly come back, after a week of no running, and I have no clue what could be causing it. It’s not a stress fracture. There is a small chance it could be compartment syndrome, but the test for that is pretty extensive. I don’t know if my knee problems are related to that or not. It could be IT Band syndrome, or something else.
After all of this, I think I will be okay in London. The pain in my knee seems to have gotten better, although I haven’t run on it in over a week. My shin pain is still present, but I managed to run through that at Shamrock.
Considering that my level of fitness has decreased with such low mileage, and that I am recovering from an injury, I don’t expect a fast time at this marathon. I have just one goal: to not make my injuries worse. I realize I will probably aggravate them, but If I have to change my gait or something, then I’m walking the rest of the way, or even stopping the race completely and taking the tube back to my hotel.
That being said, I really would like to finish the race, just so I can say "I ran an international marathon". If this were any other race, I would simply drop out. But I’ve made too much of an investment to do that. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
If all goes well, I do have a goal time. Goal times are fun, and they give me a pace to stick to. If I do have ITB issues, running fast is actually better than running slow, anyway. My goal time is 4:13:08. The date of the race. I think it would be a cool "souvenir". This would require an average pace of 9:39. This pace is very comfortable for me, so it will simply be a matter of how my shin/knee feels. The race starts at 9:45am, London time. My race number is 54646.