My Longest Run Ever

longest runIn 2013, I trained for a marathon. This watch shows the longest run I ever made it on- 16 miles in two hours, 49 minutes, and 47 seconds. It was the craziest running year of my life, but also the end of my running any real amount of miles. My goal this year is to get back on it.

I had been running off and on for a few years, and somehow got it in my head that with two half marathons under my belt, I could totally train for a marathon. I started building consistency in late 2012, and worked up to a 20 mile week in about five months. Then I started adding on mileage a little at a time. I had some rough patches, but I really kept on it pretty well. The marathon was in the beginning of October, so I signed up for a half marathon July 4th to keep me on track.

The half marathon was glorious. It came with the usual inconveniences- get up at the crack of dawn, drive around in the dark, take some sketchy shuttle bus, wait around, etc. After all that, the run was fantastic. My goal was to finish in two hours and 10 minutes, for solid 10 minute miles (for me, that was fast). My eventual goal was to finish the marathon with 10 minute miles, but I knew at my current pace that would be a stretch. I killed it though! I finished in exactly 2:10 (and some seconds, but I don’t recall what they were).

I was really motivated and kept training with a vengeance. Sundays were long run days, and I no longer drank on Saturday nights. After my run I would take a long salt water bath. I was sore all the time, but I loved it.

I had consistently started to feel some pain in my right calf on my runs, but it wasn’t too bad and I ignored it. Running always hurts, was my line of thinking. On the last long run I ever did, it became a stabbing pain. I hobbled at times, but I kept running. I figured I could power through. I was wrong. We lived in a second floor apartment at the time, and I barely made it up the stairs. I will say, I think my time on that run was pretty awesome, considering all of that.

I thought I could soak it out with epsom salt, but I couldn’t. I ended up going to the ER, and found out my calf was torn. I went to physical therapy and tried to convince myself I could still run the marathon, but it was late August. I had six weeks. I kept trying to heal it and run at the same time. Obviously that didn’t work out at all, and I was devastated.

It took months to heal. Last year, when I finally decided it was healed, I started running again. Then I got runner’s knee in BOTH knees. More physical therapy, and at that point I decided running was costing me too much money. I am, however, convinced that the runner’s knee was from gaining weight. My current plan is to lose 20 pounds and then start running again. Maybe now I can do just a mile at a time? Does anyone have an opinion about this? I would love to start up again.

I also want to tell y’all who run- please don’t ignore a pain if it is consistent. Stabbing pains are the most dangerous, because those signify that something is tearing (unless it is a cramp). Let it heal, and don’t undo all of your training like I did!

Happy trails!

Jillian