3 months ago, I was beginning to come off the GABA/glutamine but was still dependent on Lithium and taurine every day to function at a high level. I should still be pleased with where I am but this development is very disappointing.
Last Monday, I struggled through an easy 10 after a day off and declared my quest to qualify for the Boston marathon to be over. I said that I was quite disappointed but I should clarify that statement. I am not at all disappointed about not qualifying. I expected to fall a little bit short this year. What is upsetting to me is that my body quit on me less than halfway through the training cycle. If I had completed the cycle with relatively minor hitches then got to the starting line in Huntsville but just did not have quite enough and finished around 3:15 or even 3:20, I would hold my head high. With a full year of healthy training next year, chances would look good for 2011. As it is, things went well for 4 weeks then I began to unravel quickly the following week just before a mini-taper was to begin for an important half marathon.
It started with calf pain and shin splints but during and after the easy 10, the pain shifted to the groin and hip area. I concluded that I was simply over trained and 3-5 days off should leave me fresh. I was ready to roll after 4 days. However, the pain in the hip/groin area started again early in my Saturday run and has not significantly diminished since.
To refresh the memory of my readers, I suffered a significant injury to this area when I was 19 and because of my imbalances, the connective tissues never properly healed and the pain would flare up from time to time and when my chemistry was out of whack, it was worse. I tried prolotherapy in the winter and early spring, which likely prevented a debilitating condition.
I still got some mild pain over the summer from time to time but only when I was slightly unbalanced and believed the treatment to be a success after only 2 rounds. Dr. Johnson said that although he thought 2 treatments would be sufficent, he may need to "touch it again." Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of fun to be examined for trigger points and stuck with a large needle in an area that is already painful but I really would have preferred to be done with this. Insurance doesn't cover me and the cost is in the neighborhood of $500 plus gas to drive 6 hours round trip.
I called the office to find that the hours are 9-5 Tuesday-Friday so I have to wait until 9:30 and then call to see if they can squeeze me in sometime in mid-late afternoon. If not, Wednesday morning will have to do. I need 3 days to fully recover from the injection and a race scheduled for Saturday so if I can't get an appointment by Wednesday, I'm better off putting it off until next week. I am NOT disabled. I ran 10 on Saturday with a fast finish then finished an 8 the next day. With a couple of rest days, I'm sure that I could finish 13.1 miles but if my groin/hip is not near 100%, any chance of a good time is out the window. I'm not stressing over this since it's completely out of my hands.
In retrospect, do I have any regrets? The only thing that I would have done differently was to run my easy workouts a bit slower. According to Daniels, to achieve optimal results in a marathon, one must train at 70+ MPW and for someone with my fitness level based on times at 5K-half mary, easy/long runs should be between 7:59-8:14. I averaged about 7:45 with a range of 7:37-8:00 but I did have rest days and super easy recovery jogs around 9:00 with mileage averaging 62.5 for 4 weeks. Even with balanced chemistry, I could not handle that. Odds are, my hip/groin never was 100% and even if I slowed down, I still may have over-strained it at that mileage. Can prolotherapy fix it now? Will I need additional treatments? I don't know.
Final declaration: When or if I qualify for Boston, it will be my last all out marathon training cycle if not my last marathon altogether. The training is just too time consuming not to mention exhausting and leaves you too vulnerable to injury. If I can't do it at 34, I may not try again for another decade.