Chicago marathon: Week 14


This week had a slow start- coming back from the Alaskan cruise, Monday was an all day travel day for Den and I, and it felt like we were taking every mode of transportation to get home. The boat made it into the dock at Vancouver before we woke up, so we grabbed breakfast on the ship while we waited for our bags to clear customs. 

It was bittersweet having our last meal on the cruise, but it had been such a great trip. Once our bags cleared customs we disembarked the ship for the last time, and headed to the terminal to collect our stuff. From there we headed to the buses, as we had pre-booked airport transportation through the cruise line. It was about a 40 minute ride to the airport, and we had a bus driver who gave us color commentary throughout the drive. 

When we got to the airport we had to sit in a holding lot until the bus was cleared to drive in, and then it was the slow walk through customs. By the time our bags were checked and we were through security, we had about 45 minutes before our flight would start boarding. Since we would be landing at 9 pm NY time, I wanted to find food so I wouldn’t be starving. Once we boarded the flight it was smooth sailing for the most part, the biggest battle being trying to stay awake for the whole flight, so I could easily sleep when we got home.

My brother Kevin was nice enough to collect us from Newark, which is a hike from Long Island, and I was really happy we didn’t have to deal with the air train. When we finally got home it took me a while to settle in before heading to bed, and I knew the morning wake up was going to be harder than usual, with my body still functioning on west coast time. 

My fist run of the week didn’t happen until Wednesday night, since I took it easy on Tuesday to recover from the traveling, and to try to get my body to adjust back to my normal schedule. Plus, my knee was still bothering me, and I wanted to give it another day to see if there was any improvement. 


That night I headed out solo after work, even though I did a bit of procrastinating before I got moving. But when I did get out, I felt okay at first. The miles felt really slow, and were more effort than usual, but I kept slogging forward. Eventually my knee hurt enough that I decided to stop for my knee brace, right around mile four. Immediately I was more comfortable, but the run was still far from easy. I had come that far though, and wanted to get in the seven miles that my schedule called for- I’m stubborn and I know it. I felt fine once the run was over. Tired, but fine. 

Well, remember when I said last week would have the least amount of running content? It turns out that was a lie. Because those seven miles were all I managed to run this week. I was so excited to get back into training and continue to build for Chicago, so this was a disappointing turn, to say the least.

When I got up Thursday morning I planned to run with Kasey. I got dressed, pulled on my shoes, and headed out the door. But it quickly became clear, based off of the pain level in my leg, that running was not an option. Since I knew Kasey was already headed my way, I hopped on my bike and biked with Dad while Kasey ran. I like my bike and all, but this was not what I wanted to be doing. My brain was quickly spiraling, as it tried to figure out what had happened with my knee.

The level of pain in my knee was severe enough that morning that I called my doctor that day and made an appointment for Friday. Race anxiety quickly settled in - what would happen to my marathon? Was I going to be able to run it still? 

My doctor sent me for an x-ray, and after looking at my knee was worried that I had a “lateral knee injury.” Great. It was a less than reassuring appointment, as I was hoping it was just tendinitis or something like that, which could be healed with rest. She banned me not only from running, but from biking as well. So, swim was all I had left. 

So on Saturday and Sunday that was what I did: I swam. Lucky for me, it was the last weekend that our public pools were open for the season, so I got in the water on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday I took it easy, and swam at a low effort level for about 50 minutes- 2,000 yards. Dennis came along to the pool with me, and honestly the company was the push that I needed to get my butt in the water.


Since my knee didn’t hurt any more after swimming, I challenged myself on Sunday. Instead of just churning out laps, I alternated sets of “hard” pace laps and recovery laps, to get my heart rate up in hopes of not loosing too much cardio. I wanted to get in 2,000 laps again, but the lifeguards started blowing the whistle to indicate the pool was closing just before I hit my goal.

At this point, my marathon is still in limbo. When I got the x-ray done it was the Friday of Labor Day weekend, so I wasn’t anticipating getting results any sooner than Tuesday. I tried to keep myself busy, rearranging the apartment (with Dennis doing the bulk of actually moving stuff, and me more so pointing), and spending time with family and friends to distract from my worries.

So, here’s hoping that all my training doesn’t add up to nothing.