Race Advice…

I originally said a few days ago that my ankle didn’t hurt after I ran on Saturday.  And really, it didn’t.  But for some reason in PT on Tuesday, it was bothering me.  It was discouraging. I really haven’t been in any pain in several weeks and I was/am a bit mad at myself for overdoing it.

My PT reassured me that I didn’t make it worse.  That this is normal and it will happen again and probably often.  Ice is the key to “fixing” it. Her direction for this week is no running until the race. Yes, I have a half marathon on Sunday. You probably think I am crazy, right?

I don’t want to NOT do it. I have been talking about the Atlanta 13.1 race for several months and it was originally (pre-ankle sprain) going to be a goal PR race for me. I obviously know that isn’t an option. But doing it is. Yes, I have the PT’s approval here too.

it can still be a brilliant run, right?? 🙂 #mezamashii

Here is where I struggle. I have never toed the line injured.  I have never put myself in the back of the pack and I have never run a race where I couldn’t push myself or run the entire time (not counting Goofy Challenge). I’m not sure I know how to-it’s not in my nature. I know I am going to have to though. But I don’t have a plan.  I actually have no idea how to approach it.

Do I make a run/walk plan?  Do I try and keep it around a 9:30-10:00 pace to be slow enough to actually watch the ground (and react if necessary) where I am running? Or just wing it and hope for the best and live in an ice bucket Sunday afternoon?  Other ideas?

HELP!!  What would you do if you were in my shoes??

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Elizabeth

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16 Comments

  • Girl, I feel your pain. This was originally (Atl 13.1) going to be my big PR race for the year but I got injured in the spring and have only been released about a month to run. I’ve improved and gotten back to a decent pace BUT this week my kids got sick and shared a few germs. So, I am also contemplating my race strategy!

    I have no real advice other than to listen to your body. I wish you the best! I know you will do great. 🙂

  • I’ve run so many races injured- i find what works best is to allow myself to walk when needed to alleviate pressure AND mentally you don’t feel bad about your time because, duh, you walked. Obviously when I do this, I try to make up a little for the time by “running” when I’m running- but every race is different.

    Good luck!

  • I wouldn’t necessarily PLAN to walk/run, if you don’t think you will need to (because I know mentally, you will HATE walking), but definitely be open to walking if 1. Your ankle hurts. 2. If you feel like your legs or anything else are getting more fatigued than they should. You certainly don’t want to injure something else from building up to quickly in one run…you wouldn’t normally go from one 6-miler in a month to a 1/2, right?! Just go out at a conservative 10 – 10:30 pace and see how you feel, but you can’t be stubborn…you HAVE to keep in mind that there are more important races coming up soon that you will be healed for!!

  • I wouldn’t “plan” a run walk or a specific pace. I would, however, start further back and take it easy. You aren’t going to know how you feel until you are actually doing it…

  • I have so much I can say right now, I don’t really know where to begin! I toed the line at both the Eugene Marathon, The Hippie Chick 1/2 Marathon AND The Portland Rock & Roll 1/2 injured. Hippie Chick I did for fun and ran with a friend who was also injured so we kept eachother in check. Portland R & R I wanted a good race, but about 2 miles in I knew that I shouldn’t be running. I was by myself and I was mad, mad, mad. I think if I had a friend there it would have made it more fun and enjoyable knowing that I wouldn’t get a PR. I think I was more frustrated because I didn’t have a diagnosis yet. With all of that rambling aside, do you have someone that can run with you? It might make the race more fun for you and you wouldn’t over do it. I say do it either way and stick with a run/walk plan so that you don’t over due it and pay for it later.

  • I’d wing it and just go with how you feel on race day by starting conservatively. Of course, no one would really call me brilliant in the department of dealing with injuries as I sit here clueless with what is wrong with me!! Haha! I’m sure whatever you decide will be the right one for you!

  • OK, I was going to suggest running with me, but your slow injured pace is still faster than my current pregnant pace LOL.

    I participated in a 12-hr race injured. I just went into it telling myself that I was OK with walking or quitting if anything felt funny. I paced myself conservatively with a run/walk strategy but that as done more because it was a timed race than because of injury. When my leg started to act up after 3 hours and even walking didn’t feel good. I stopped immediately. I didn’t feel bad about it at all because I had already made peace with that outcome.

    If you do decide to run a slower paced race on purpose, maybe you can join the pace group? Making yourself stick with the group might prevent you from getting overzealous.

  • I am an EXPERT at running races slowly for fun. Is there anyone you can run with, maybe, that’s a slower pace, or also just planning to take it easy? It’s always funner with a friend.

    Definitely go into it accepting the easier effort, and the slower time – don’t let it play with your head.

    And have FUN. Enjoy the sights. Take pictures.

  • Try to find some friends (IRL or internet) who are looking to run slower than you normally do and stick with them. Make it a social run instead of viewing it as a race.
    I had a similar issue approaching SFM 1/2 in July- I had never toed the line not prepared to bust a move. It was actually easier than I though because I was able to meet up with other bloggers who were just out to have a good time and get a longish run in- we ran casually, made a pit stop, chatted the entire time and I never realized our pace until we finished. Yes, it was my slowest 1/2, but it was also one of the best I’ve ever done!
    Happy running!!!

  • I would go out with an easy for you pace (9-10 min/mile)and would walk all water stations. Since it is your home ground, do you know anybody you can run with? That way you have a pacer 🙂

  • Yuck! I so feel ya right now. I have raced injured before, but it was when I first started running and had low expectations anyway. The now me would take into account what other races I have coming up. If there’s nothing soon, I would just go for it until it started hurting. If I had another more important race coming up, I would run this one very slowly and carefully and just enjoy the things that I normally am too exhausted to enjoy, like high fiving all the cute little kids.

  • I’m the WORST person to give advice re: running with injuries as I always exercise bad judgement & just go for it! NOT always the best idea. I will just look forward to seeing what you end up doing… DO NOT as I do!

  • I think you should not worry too much about a plan and just wing it come race day. I would do what my body feels up to and know that I probably won’t be able to go all out. Just try to have fun and maybe try to find a friend to run with, like other people suggested.

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