Week 5 of 16 Boston Marathon Training Update

WARNING!!!! The following post is a bit of a pity party.  You have been warned.  Read at your own risk!

About two weeks ago I went out for my long run on Sunday which was to be a half marathon followed by a five mile run back to the start.  By mile 10 of the half I was having really bad knee pain (from my IT band) so I didn’t run the 5 miles back to the start.  The next weekend for my long run I set out to see how far I could go before I got knee pain and this time I did 7 miles before it started hurting and at 10.5 I had to stop running.  This weekend it got worse.  After only 3.5 miles I could no longer run.

I have received many nice words of encouragement in my social media circles and thank you all for that.  But at this point I am pretty certain that I will be pulling the plug on the Boston Marathon this year.  Yes, I could go and walk/run it just for the experience but that isn’t the experience I wanted.  It will be quite a costly trip when you add in hotel, air fair, car rental, and food.  I just don’t want to spend all that money to not have the race I know I am capable of when I am healthy.

I believe (as do those I am close to) that I will qualify again.  Before my IT band started acting up I was running well. If I can get healthy I really do feel I can run that fast again.  I am very lucky to have the support of my loved ones with this tough call.  I am not pulling out because I won’t PR; I gave up on that goal a while ago.  This isn’t the Boston I worked hard for.  I will qualify again and I will run the race I am capable of running.

Now someone pass me some Kleenex so I don’t get tears and snot on my keyboard.


  1. Oh Rebecca, I am so very sorry. You have such a great attitude about this and are extremely wise to not damage your body for the sake of running this year, when like you said, you can qualify again and have the race your capable of. I will miss you, but am proud of you too, it takes serious guts to pull out, and you’re doing it with grace and style. Love you! Huge hug.

  2. Damn, Damn, Damn. You know what you are doing. I agree with Lisa and the guy with the funny accent, making this call takes strength and wisdom…and a few tears.

    1. Hugs, my friend. You are very brave—-this must be a hugely difficult decision to make. Yet it is the right one, it seems. There will be more races to do to qualify, and more Bostons to run. I think you did the right thing—it’s an awful lot of money to spend not to have the experience you wanted.

  3. Aww…bummer, sorry. But you will get better and come back with a vengeance! Best of luck on recovery and hang in there sister…it took courage, strength and wisdom to come to this decision and that is testament to your strength of character 🙂

  4. Karen mentioned this to me the other day and I just didn’t know what to say but I thought about it and what a fighter you are and this post just confirmed what I wanted to say to you.

    Let it go and it will come back. By that I mean that you are making the right move because being miserable even if at the Boston Marathon is not fun and you want to look back on this as something extraordinary. Now when you qualify again (because you will) you will go to Boston with a much different mindset and will enjoy it way more than you would at this point.


  5. This makes me so sad! But I know that it is for the best, as you would be frustrated trying to fit in training on a hurt knee. You will come back stronger and run a qualifying marathon again for sure! I am sorry we didn’t get to run long this time…I was looking forward to it! Good luck healing. I have had IT Band injury — ended up taking 6 weeks off and did lots of spinning and yoga while I healed…I came back and ran a pretty good 10K and built back up from there. Good luck!

  6. Shit! Shit! Shit!
    I know how frustrating an disappointing this is, but yes you will get the Boston you worked so hard for last year.

    I’ve continued to suffer the ill effects of last year and this nasty injury myself. As a result I have already scratched my 1st race (running) off the schedule as well….I wish I knew the magic that would cure it….Right now, my coach is being diligent about building my running and cycling volume incredibly slow and absolutely NOTHING is done outside of an aerobic zone…It is a humiliating and painful process, but the hope is that the ITB/TFL and surrounding areas will slowly strengthen/adapt enough to handle those 140.6 miles come Nov….So I get my adrenaline fix in the pool….4-5 days/wk….100s of 100s on the 1:00….woa! Jr high stuff!! That’s made me really stop bitching about running/cycling slow b/c I’m way to tired to care!!

    Will it work? I have no idea. I still get sore…and the areas always cranky….I do all the things we did last year…the PT exercises, stretching, foam rolling….I do know strength work… be it weights, bands or climbing on the bike or running hills aggravates the ever living hell out of it…tightens it and it takes a lot of pool time to return it to “normal”….whatever that is…

    My thoughts are it’s not a lack of strength as much as a chronic level of tightness so too much strength work is bad b/c it simply tightens the area more…flexibility and tissue integrity are key. Then it’s about trying to figure out where the edge is….how far to push without pushing too far….knowing when you’ve almost gone over then backing way down…I don’t think we’ll ever be 100% free, esp doing long distance. We just have to learn how to manage it and sometimes it really stinks!

    I balked at my coach for making me basically do 2 weeks of active recovery when my calves were tight, but NOW I understand the chain reaction a bit more….even doing the light workouts my ITB tightened (b/c my foot plant was jacked since my calves were so knots) but not horribly. It allowed me to maintain my fitness, work out the tight spots, and then begin the slow climb out of recovery.

    If I find the answer I’ll let you know….
    Just keep trying to figure out your patterns….what works, helps, hurts….it’ll eventually start to come together like a puzzle.
    Hang in there…
    You know we’re all rooting for ya’!

    ok, WOW! this was about as long as your post itself!! 🙂

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