The long-awaited final long run of my marathon tapering process came to a screeching halt on Saturday. What began as an eight-mile jaunt ended within three agonizing miles. The long walk home was more of a limp while my body and ego both struggled to cope with the pain, burning and aching in my *Achilles tendon*. Visions of competing in the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon next Sunday were decimated by the flash flood of realization: I'm injured.
[San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon|http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/29/achilles_3.jpg] As I iced my wound, feelings of anger and depression infiltrated my thoughts and, before long, my positive attitude was taken hostage. I was illogically contemplating the scenario of chancing it on Sunday. The worst case would be my Achilles tendon ruptures -- surgery, cast and physical therapy resulting in months of inactivity. Best-case scenario: I hobble through 26.2 miles much like the aforementioned failure-of-a-training-session.
I picked up my current read in an attempt to ignore the monkey on my back. I encountered the following serendipitous passage from Pam Reed's book about her ultra-running career entitled "The Extra Mile": If your body is urging you to quit
not over just a cramp or a blister or fatigue but over something more seriouslet your body win. What's the point of finishing a 500-mile bike race if it cripples you so badly that you can never bike again?
Reed truly embodies the ?endurance spirit? so I took her counsel straight to heart. As I began to relinquish the idea of not running, I was in need of additional information related to common running injuries. I logged onto Active.com and located the following article, Understanding tendon injury, by the American Running Association, which helps distinguish tendonitis from tendonosis and offers excellent treatment suggestions.
Delivering the news to my brother this weekend was probably most difficult of all. He has been training simultaneously on the east coast and arrives Friday, ready to run. On Sunday, I will watch the race as a spectator as my brother crosses the finish line without me next to him. One thing is for certain: I will be wearing the most expensive cotton T-shirt I have ever paid for in my life. Sorry no refunds.
Train smart, not hard.