Hypocondraisis is normal during taper. But I didn’t start tapering yet!

I owe you all a race report from Saturday’s 10k…hopefully this will suffice, I really don’t excel at writing race reports. But I am really good at sharing the potentially comedic and definitely woe-is-me-first-world-problem elements of my (running) life. So consider that fair warning and let the whining commence.

Here’s a picture of the kids mile before the Fast Cat events to hook you. I love watching kids fun runs, it’s just like watching a marathon:

All the runners start full of smiles and enthusiasm, and at the end at least half are in hysterical tears.

kids mile

Last week I had a touch of a cold, or something. It came, it sucked for a couple of days and it passed. I had a great tempo run, and a great “YASSO”-esque workout.

Then, before the 10k Saturday morning I woke up annoyingly early to follow my normal pre-race routine. 5am, drank my usual glass of water, brushed my teeth, gagged inexplicably, and threw up in the sink. Twice.

Like I said, totally normal routine.

I ate a cashew almond bar and tried not to throw up inside old blue while driving the hour out to Plainfield.

I shrugged off my body’s bizzare antics and did a 2 mile warm up and kept my little heart set on trying to break 40 minutes. I was right on target too!

For the first mile.

Then I felt a lot of tension in my hip flexors, so I shortened my stride and picked up my feet. Then I got a side stitch so I slowed down and focused on my breathing. Then the lower part of my abdominal muscles (yah, I don’t know either( started to cramp)…

This routine continued up until the last 800 meters. Which is when I decided to speed up for the finish thinking I could salvage a high 40:++ time. Nope.

I’m not sure if anyone was taking pictures at the end there, but I sure hope so, because they will be amazing. I Quasimoto’ed my way down the last quarter-mile, with my right hand grasping my side so hard I’m surprised my obliques aren’t bruised.

I had such severe abdominal muscle spasms that I probably looked ridiculously dramatic when I finished and crouched over. For a quick second I actually thought I had fractured a rib.

I recovered enough after about 5 minutes to hobble my way through a one-mile cool-down. Taking deep breaths was not an option.

I have DOMS from the whole ordeal.

I felt really uncomfortable and continued to have random but far less intense muscle spasms all weekend. Of course, I asked a random and very obliging stranger to take a post race picture:


I assumed the route of my problems was a lack of core strength/endurance and a lack of flexibility.

The next day before my long run, I did some half-pigeoning and pulled out an old anatomy book.

dx effort

I concluded that my issue has to do with my right psoas. But I know neither the precipitating factors, nor what to do about it.

I managed to run a reasonably comfortable 15 miles on Sunday.

Then on Monday (yesterday), while at work I grew suspicious of my left foot.

For about a week now I’ve thought I had an irritated spot, or bruise, from either a pair of work shoes, or hitting it randomly (it happens. frequently). I took off the old trouser sock and found some swelling.

I then poked, prodded, did some internet “researching” and had a very lengthy text session with Marron. Conclusion: a bit of peroneal tendonitis. This is probably from either lacing my shoes too tightly, wearing the 4mm Brooks pure-Flows too much too soon (unlikely: i’ve peppered in use of other low-drops and I’ve only used them a handful of times), or from wearing shoes that are too worn (my wave riders have something like 800 miles on them…but they look great, it’s so confusing!). I am not totally convinced that any one of these things is the cause…but self-diagnosis is not really an exact science anyway.

stupid ankle

I’m not in any acute pain. It really does just feel like a bruise, and a little stiff. And I pretty unclear on the judgement call of running when there is swelling (even this small amount) present.

Boston is less than two weeks away. Which presents another decision-making challenge. I basically have until Friday to get in my last two quality workouts (6x1mi repeats, and a 10mi tempo/MGP), then I have to start my taper…because that would be 10 days out.

I know that very often you can train through tendonitis, and two weeks is a very short amount of time. I also know that sometimes it only takes one hard workout, or one mile too many to turn a niggling discomfort into a full-blown side-lining injury.

All this “knowing” has made staying in an anxiety-free zone very tough, and making a firm decision and a plan to follow even harder. So for now I’m chosing the middle road.

Last night instead of running I went for a stroll with my little family:


And tonight instead of running I am going to go to a blogger event at Road Runner Sports.

Hopefully tomorrow the tenderness and swelling will be gone, and my core area won’t be sore anymore, and then I’ll go for a run.

My training has gone so well all winter that I feel really silly to be so worked up and complaining, and worried. But that’s the pull of the Boston Marathon, it makes you want perfection.


P.S. for those interested my 10k time was 41:22, good enough for second place….I got totally taken to school by a blazing 14-year-old runner.

6 responses to “Hypocondraisis is normal during taper. But I didn’t start tapering yet!

  1. Thanks for the post. It sounds like you’re on the brink–of 2 things–being in great race shape and hurting yourself before the marathon. I suggest staying off your feet as much as possible and not worry about the remaining workouts–just run with no plan besides maybe a time goal (but don’t keep track of your pace), then on the day you get home with no pain, hold yourself back one more day, and if you’re pain free after that one too, then do something to get your legs turning over to sharpen them up for the race, but you can’t develop much strength or endurance at this point–it’s already there. Good luck!

  2. Hopefully it’s just the taper madness! It was great to see you last night at the blogger meet up! Can’t wait to see you again — hopefully after a happy Boston Marathon! 🙂

  3. Thanks! This seems like sound advice, and I’m doing my best to follow it. Not running 2 days in a row feels like 2 weeks. Now the paranoia’s are really kicking in. Like, I swear I just got winded making coffee, and I most likely gained 15 pounds from that single serving of cider I had last night. It really is amazing how the imagination and fear can win over rational thought and facts, isn’t it?!?

  4. Ugh, hope you’re feeling better! I agree with all the above. I am having shin pain; my solution was to take an extra day off Monday, hit the elliptical yesterday, and run this morning (with caution) before checking in with the chiro and massage therapist later today. I hadn’t really started tapering either, but I think the psychological aspect of taper madness kicks in three weeks ahead of time regardless of what your legs are doing! I’m confident we’ll both hit the starting line strong; my guess is that our bodies are telling us we need more rest than we think.

  5. Pingback: 2013 Training and Racing Plan | Fluency's Folly


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