Countdown to Marathon – 4 Days, and Some Torture

In four days I’ll be running my first marathon. I’m not 100% I’ll finish due to a soleus strain which unfortunately cannot be healed or overcome strictly by willpower, exercise, stretching, or physical therapy. Not that those things don’t help, but they only provide ideal conditions in which the strain can heal itself. The good news is that I was able to do a 2.5 hour run last week for the first time since the injury, and the only reason I had to stop was because my workout was over. As far as my injury was concerned, I could have kept on running.

Since then I’ve had several more physical therapy appointments in which I’ve been tortured in ways I’m sure are much worse than anything our government has done while interrogating terrorists. If my injury could be healed by having underwear draped over my head, dogs barking at me, or even participating in a naked pyramid, I’d take that over this “a-stem” therapy any day. It feels like they’re scraping my skin off. I keep expecting to look down and see my calves looking like those of the guy in the encyclopedia when you’re looking at his muscles. I’ve had three broken arms, including a compound fracture, and another break where they had to twist my arm around until the bone broke because it needed to be completely broken in order to be set correctly, and the only thing better about a-stem is that it only lasts for 10-15 minutes. Otherwise, it’s more painful than anything else I’ve ever been through. If it weren’t helping so much I’d press charges against my therapist.

To take care of my soleus strain I’ve been warming up on an elliptical prior to my runs, going out and running as long as possible, and then if need be returning to the elliptical to finish the workout. That seems to have worked well for maintaining my cardiovascular fitness and most of my muscle fitness. What’s missing is the impact on my knees, and so I am somewhat worried about them holding up during the four hours or so it will take me to finish the marathon, but I don’t think that will stop from finishing, it will probably just hurt a lot afterward. But that’s ok, as long as I finish.

Today I had a 30 min swim and a 30 min bike ride on my trainer, which I’ve been getting more used to the more I use it. And I just registered for the marathon, so I’m committed. I waited until today because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it or not. With my 2.5 hr run last week I’m feeling pretty confident I’ll make it, although we’ll just have to see.