Whatever my injury started out as, it definitely appears to be irritation of the sciatic nerve at the moment. It seems to be recovering quickly now that I’m back from Christmas vacation, which involved a lot of driving which seemed to irritate it a lot more, so I don’t think I’ve got a disc injury, since what I’ve read about those appears to say that if it’s a disc then the pain won’t improve unless you get surgery. So I’m thinking I had a hamstring injury that led to irritation of the sciatic nerve, and now the hamstring injury is fixed, but the sciatic nerve is still a little irritated, although as I said, it seems to be improving quickly.
I went running this week for the first time in a month, and then ran a second time two days later (yesterday). Each run was just 1.8 miles, just to take it easy and see how my nerve would react. It didn’t hurt at all unless I tried to take a longer stride. There did seem to be a little flare up afterwards and for the next day, but it was very minor and seemed to be limited to certain parts of the nerve, while other parts seemed to have improved after the running. Overall it seemed like things got better, and today I feel much, much better.
If this were a month ago, I’d have no qualms about starting my 18-week marathon training program on December 15th. However, given that it’s January 9th and not December 9th, I’m trying to figure out what to do. If there is any conceivable way that I can train for a marathon in 14 weeks instead of 18 after coming off of a hamstring injury and not having run at all for the previous month, then I’m up for it and willing to do whatever it takes (as far as effort is concerned–I’m not about to pay somebody $10,000 if that’s what it takes). If this is a bad idea, then perhaps I should postpone and run a race later in the year. But I really don’t want to postpone this if at all possible. So I’ll be researching 14-week marathon training plans to see what I can come up with.