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workout: 3.1 mile walk/run; 35:50

The Good
Clocky woke me up this morning and I got my run in at 5 am! I didn’t even have to chase the thing around my bedroom. Not wanting to wake Scout up was motivation enough to get out of bed before Clocky rolled off my nightstand.

The Bad
My run was hard. I realized this morning just how sick with allergies I was this past week in Florida. Something in the sunshine state hated me and I was a sneezey, sniffly mess. This morning it felt like my throat was on fire when I breathed. Around mile two, I felt like I had eaten the sun. (Guess where that’s from!) So, I stopped running after two miles, upped the incline, and walked it out. It’s runs like these that make me question whether or not I can make it through training for another marathon again. No matter how many good runs I have in a row, it takes one bad run to throw me off course. How frustrating. But good runners know when to stop, right?

The Ugly
I’m happy to report that I haven’t reached “the ugly,” yet; that will surely come later in the training season. To give you guys a sneak peak, last season it entailed me breaking down in heaving sobs on the side of the road. I was a mile into a nine mile long training run for the Philadelphia marathon. My knee had been acting up for a while and I was doing my best to ignore it, until that run. The pain was so bad, my body leaned to the side to alleviate it and my running was clunky. So alas, I stopped in a grassy area next to the sidewalk and cried for about 10 minutes until I made the shameful limp home. (I do believe a man passed me in his running bliss during that walk and I stopped and cried again, but let’s not go there.)

As a runner, I learned from that breakdown. I learned that you can’t ignore an injury, no matter how close you are to your goal. Since I let the pain go on for so long, I had to take time off running and spend hours upon hours on elliptical machines. Let me tell you, there is nothing more boring than being on an elliptical machine for over three hours on a sunny Sunday morning. I think it takes A LOT for someone to admit defeat and slow down or back out of a race. My dad recently pulled out of the Pittsburgh marathon because of a hamstring injury, even after all of his long training runs and speed sessions. And you know what? He’s not down. He’s looking at smaller races for the summer and another marathon in the fall.

This training season I vow to be a smarter runner. I won’t let injuries linger and I won’t let bad runs get me down. Tomorrow is a new day with a new run!

On a side note, my dad and I were able to complete the 2009 Philadelphia marathon with help from a free physical therapy (PT) clinic screening at a local hospital. For a few weeks at the end of the summer, the clinic opened its doors every Saturday morning to those who needed advice. It was great. My PT told me what my knee problem was and how to fix it before the race. I happily completed my first marathon a few weeks later, and my dad went on to overcome a hip injury and qualify for Boston. If you need quick expert advice, look into free, local clinics. Just make sure you’re speaking with a medical professional.

For my Maryland and northern Virginia peeps, Potomac River Running offers FREE drop-in injury screenings every Saturday from 12-2 pm. Go there to speak with a medical professional about any injury you might have.

Happy running!

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