People often say running a marathon is a true test of the human spirit. Finishing a marathon is a miraculous feat, even if the athlete is in top condition.
For me, finishing the 33rd Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon yesterday was nothing short of a miracle.
I have been struggling with IT band syndrome in my right leg since April. Running only 4-6 times a week during training months, I was never able to get in as many miles as I wanted to. My longest training run was only 16 miles. On top of that, two weeks before the race, my achilles tendon began to hurt. The pain was a result of wearing a knee brace, which I hoped would help with the knee pain I was experiencing from IT band syndrome. Not only did the brace not help, it made my physical condition worse as it caused me to overcorrect my gait, putting an unnatural amount of stress on my right achilles.
Injury-riddled, I made the best out of the situation. I started focusing on stretching and cross training in hopes I could get the inflammation in my knee to calm down and still make it through the marathon.
The odds were stacked against me as I toed the starting line yesterday in Minneapolis. It was the first time I ever started a marathon not knowing if I could actually finish it. Would my knee hold up? Would I have enough fitness to get to the finish line?
I’m happy to report that I made it through the race without a major blowout. Although I had a much slower time that my previous marathon, I was so happy just to finish. I enjoyed the course, the weather and the company I held for the first 22 miles – looking at you, Matt Sage.
Now that the marathon is over, I can take some quality weeks (or months) off from running to let my IT band fully heal.
I have high hopes that my fifth marathon, in Duluth this June, will be my best yet.