1/2 marathon in one week and not ready.

cocolo89
cocolo89 Posts: 1,171 Member
So I'm running my.first 1/2 marathon in a week from tomorrow. I have a big problem, I haven't been able to do normal training for 3 weeks because of a back injury. Prior to my back injury I was running 8/9 miles. I tried running this week and was barely able to get past 6 miles. I didn't want to push myself too hard cause my lower back is still pretty tender but I just HAVE to do this run. I absolutely don't want to back out of it. I have no idea what to do and if I'll be able to even run it. hahhaa. Has anyone else been in a situation where at the end of training for a run they had a set back for a few weeks and ended up being okay during the day of run?? I will most likely run/walk.planning to atleast run 7 miles and run walk intervals the rest. Is this do-able?? I just hope I don't trigger my back injury again.cause the day after the run we will be driving out of state 2000 miles. I'm so stuck.and confused what to do. They also have a 10k but I've already done 4 10ks this year and was looking for a challenge. Any input of advice is appreciated and any pointers as to how I should pace.myself would be great. Sorry if I'm not making sense, I'm so stumped on what to do. I am going to try to see if I can run walk atleast 9 miles today. Is that a bad idea??


Yours sincerely,
A confused runner ;))
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Replies

  • yesimpson
    yesimpson Posts: 1,372 Member
    I would not be pushing myself with a back injury that was still causing me pain. Sorry. I know it's horrible contemplating backing out, but that's what seems most sensible to me.
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,449 Member
    How long have you been running? How was you base before the injury (were you running 20 miles a week prior to that and how long)?

    If you already have a really good base you may be able to pull it off. However, I'm not sure the risk of injuring your back is worth it. It would really stink traveling with a bad back.

    My advice would be to skip it and allow your back to heal.
  • Madux1818
    Madux1818 Posts: 307 Member
    I wholeheartedly agree with dewd2 and yesimpson, let your back heal. There will be other races to conquer after you are fully healed. Good luck!
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    So the head says don't do it, as above.

    Been there, this time last year with far too little training in the four weeks before the race. I did it, but developed ITB syndrome that stopped serious training for a month afterwards.

    If you feel you have to do it, then plan to run/ walk from the start. Thats a bit more manageable than breaking yourself in seven miles thendeath march in.
  • queenliz99
    queenliz99 Posts: 15,317 Member
    In a car for 2,000 miles with a bad back sounds excruciating, I would back out. It's just not worth it.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,478 Member
    If you really, really want to do it. Walk the majority, run the minority, and stop for really good stretching sessions, frequently.
    Soak in a warm bath as soon as you can when it is over, and get a good nights sleep.

    Driving 2000 can also be a challenge for your back. Make a plan to pull over and stretch about every hour, definitely before it starts bugging you.

    Cheers, h.
  • michelle7673
    michelle7673 Posts: 370 Member
    I would suggest that you ask yourself -- what if you can't run for months after running your first half with a back injury, then driving all that way? What if you exacerbate that injury to the point where it nags at you for years?
  • fbinsc
    fbinsc Posts: 735 Member
    I think its totally doable...race day atmosphere will get you a couple of extra miles just with the aid stations and crowd support. Go slower and you can run further, don't let the race start push you into going out too fast.
  • sjohnny
    sjohnny Posts: 56,142 Member
    fbinsc wrote: »
    I think its totally doable...race day atmosphere will get you a couple of extra miles just with the aid stations and crowd support. Go slower and you can run further, don't let the race start push you into going out too fast.

    That race day atmosphere. A miracle cure for back injuries.

    Jesus. Where do they get these people.
  • AllonsYtotheTardis
    AllonsYtotheTardis Posts: 16,947 Member
    edited October 2015
    Pushing through without adequate training is one thing. Pushing through with a back injury is something else entirely.

    Only a complete idiot would attempt the race under these conditions.
  • sjohnny
    sjohnny Posts: 56,142 Member
    OP: I sprained my ankle pretty severely three days before my second half marathon. I ran it anyway. And I PRd. And then I spent six months in physical therapy before I could run again.

    There are ouchies and there are injuries. The injuries are the ones that you need to watch or they'll eff you up long term.
  • queenliz99
    queenliz99 Posts: 15,317 Member
    fbinsc wrote: »
    I think its totally doable...race day atmosphere will get you a couple of extra miles just with the aid stations and crowd support. Go slower and you can run further, don't let the race start push you into going out too fast.

    This. Is not good advice.

    +1
  • PikaKnight
    PikaKnight Posts: 34,971 Member
    fbinsc wrote: »
    I think its totally doable...race day atmosphere will get you a couple of extra miles just with the aid stations and crowd support. Go slower and you can run further, don't let the race start push you into going out too fast.

    tumblr_inline_mkx3sfQMZg1qz4rgp.gif
  • yesimpson
    yesimpson Posts: 1,372 Member
    There's what is physically possible, and then there's what's wise and will allow you to enjoy being running again in near future. They are not the same thing. Yes you can almost certainly manage to run, for a certain distance which you can't probably can't really determine right now, but it's not like something is chasing you that wants to eat you or like this is the last half marathon you can ever enter. There will be other races, which you can do fantastically in when your back is in better shape.
  • Debmal77
    Debmal77 Posts: 4,770 Member
    I really don't think I would take the chance.
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
    I wouldn't risk the back injury. You only get one body vs. there are many, many more HMs you can run in the future. Choose wisely!
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,249 Member
    There's always another race........there is no race that you HAVE to do.
  • jennifer_417
    jennifer_417 Posts: 12,344 Member
    Of course you don't want to back out of something that you've worked for...but you really have to think if what might be the ling-term consequences. There really are more important things to consider. You don't want to do something that could potentially make your injury worse and protract your recovery. There's no shame in being smart about your long-term health.
  • mwyvr
    mwyvr Posts: 1,883 Member
    edited October 2015
    I understand wanting to run despite less than optimal circumstances. You've been training and looking forward to this. But you don't "HAVE" to do this or any race.

    Whether it is wise or not depends entirely on whether the stresses are likely to exacerbate or re-injure your lower back. Only you can advise on that.

    Did you injure your back in the first place from running? (If so, then your answer is already clear: don't do the event. Go cheer instead.)

    Did running your 6 miles make matters worse (then NO, don't do the event), or did you pull up intentionally to avoid problems? (wise)

    I've skipped races and gone through with races. I really wish I skipped my last marathon (years ago) because I'd not hit the right level of training and at 18 miles started limping. Finished it, poorly, and paid for it for a couple months. Frustrated with myself, I backed off of running, something I love, instead of recognizing it was my own fault. Don't do that to yourself if you are likely to hurt yourself again or worse. Be honest, don't buy your own BS like I did!

    Older and wiser now my objective is always to avoid injury, but if I do have an issue, I don't want to make it worse. It's just not worth it because as others have said, there is *always* another event. If you simply don't know whether run-walking the event will make your injury worse or cause re-injury, then IMO you should assume that it will injure you and therefore skip the event.

    THAT ALL SAID... If after a rational assessment you decide the stresses are not going to cause re-injury and you decide to proceed...
    I will most likely run/walk.planning to at least run 7 miles and run walk intervals the rest.

    @MeanderingMammal gave you good advice - do the run walk intervals right from the start. You'll be reducing the stresses on your body from the get-go rather than letting them build.

    Also:

    - do not try to run race pace. Stick to your training pace. Finishing without injuring yourself is the key for this event if you determine it wise to proceed.

    - Skip the 9 mile walk. You will get zero training benefit, this close to the race. Walk, yes, no doubt you've been told that's good for your back, but make the walks much shorter.

    - Dial everything down and focus on being as well rested as possible. Maybe practice your run-walk approach to stay limber and be ready for event day, but keep those sessions short. Again you aren't trying to improve your fitness now, that ship has already sailed.

    - Do whatever else you are to do to promote healing. Get rest. Hydrate. Eat properly.

    Finally make a sane sane go / no-go decision using your head, not your heart, and have fun either way. If you decide to forgo running the event, go cheer!