I’ve Got Some Bad News

by tinareale on June 26, 2012

I’ve got some bad news.

Well, bad news for me. For you? You might not care much at all. But I do. So here we are.

The news?

The Chicago Marathon = ain’t happening.



I’ve known in my gut for a couple of weeks now, but have held off on posting about it until I was absolutely certain and had come to terms with it myself. 

My desire to do Chicago has gone nowhere. I still stand firm by my excited claims that I still want to run another marathon. I still feel the same about Chicago as I did in my post-marathon thoughts from a few weeks ago. I wrote that post, however, less than a week after the Cleveland Marathon. At the time, I felt wonderful and my aches and pains had disappeared (besides a screwed up toenail and blister).

Then, I ran again.

3 miles in…ouch! Try again another day. 2 miles in…OUCH!!!!! Take a few days off and try, try again. But wait…3 miles in and OWWWWWWWW!!!!!! *tears of pain and frustration commence*

My IT band apparently got really angry with me and I didn’t even know it until trying to run again the week following my marathon. And I know from a few friends’ experiences that you don’t want to mess with the IT band. That sucker will stay angry at you for a long time if it doesn’t get proper TLC.

So, that’s exactly what I have been doing during this time.

  • I cut back my mileage.
  • I visited a sports chiropractor (recommended to me by Heather) a few times.
  • I iced, stretched, strengthened, etc on my own time.
  • I switched shoes (again).
  • I discovered some imbalances and weaknesses I need to work on.
  • I have done all I possibly can to get this thing under control.

[I plan to do a more detailed post of all these things next week]

Over the past few weeks, things have improved tremendously. I no longer have to stop in sudden, excruciating pain at 2 or 3 miles. I can run for 6 miles now without any pain at all.

posted to Daily Mile just this past Saturday

Technically, I could still make it to Chicago. But, I don’t want to. Why?

My goal for my next marathon is to run it STRONG. I’ve already done a marathon to complete one. I want my next marathon to be a strong experience done right.

I don’t want to go through a training cycle fighting injury instead of solely preventing it.

I don’t want to take chances of doing more damage from cramming in mileage again to just make it to a race.

I don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.

From my training for the Cleveland Marathon, I learned a lot. I want to take those lessons and apply them to my next marathon training cycle. I want to improve my running form and strengthen my body’s weaknesses. I want to recover and then build up a solid weekly base mileage before I begin training for another marathon, instead of diving into something too soon. I want to follow a plan that works for me. I want to train smart.

All of that adds up to having to put Chicago on hold this year. It’s not my preference, but it is necessary when I consider my goals. I actually don’t have any race plans set for the remainder of the year and I can’t even tell you when or what I plan for my next full marathon. I have some ideas of local half marathons I would like to complete this fall. I could see myself aiming to do the New Orleans Rock N Roll full marathon early next year. But, I’m not planning it out. I’m letting my body lead me. Despite the obvious disappointment, I’m coming around to  it. And I have faith it will lead me to Chicago in a sparkly skirt soon enough. Winking smile


PS – Registration for round 2 of Best Body Bootcamp is coming TOMORROW!


1 Becky Przy June 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

You are so smart!!! I need to take a page from your book;-) You are going to rock whatever marathon/race you do plan to do next!

2 Nicole June 26, 2012 at 8:07 am

ahhh IT band. Stinks. I had the same thing after a 15k. The chiropractor & cold laser ice therapy really helped me. You’re doing the right thing for sure, but I know it’s super frustrating! You’ll be healed up soon!

3 Lisa @ The Splattered Apron June 26, 2012 at 8:10 am

Oh, Tina, I’m so sorry! BUT speaking from experience, I can tell you that you are absolutely doing the right thing. Much better to give your body time to heal so you can come back and run strong instead of pushing yourself through it. Proud of you! And….I am SO excited about Boot Camp Round 2! BRING IT!!

4 Cheryl @ Happy is the new healthy June 26, 2012 at 8:14 am

Props to you for realizing this and listening to your body! It’s easy to get caught up in the swing of training/racing and to think you need to do all the races this year. The truth is, that race is going to be there every year. If you’re on the verge of injury and you run, you might not be able to run it again (scary realization!) or at the very least you’re going to have a skewed perception of the event if it is a struggle.

I think our goal should always be to go into a race feeling strong. If you’re not feeling good, why race/train/etc? Isn’t feeling strong and healthy the point of working out? :)

I think you made a smart choice and think of the fun things that you’ve opened up and the space you have to exercise freely for the next bit. You’re awesome and I have no doubt you’ll kick butt at the next marathon you decide to do! :)

5 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat June 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

My IT-band has been bugging me for months, and yoga and foam rolling seem to helping a bit. I’m sure you’ll find some great advice!

6 Heather (Where's the Beach) June 26, 2012 at 8:18 am

Oh girl I’m sorry to hear this. I really hope you can get everything healed up. It’s so frustrating. I still feel like I am somehow doing everything wrong. If it’s not one thing, it’s possibly something else starting to act up. I’ve felt very defeated at times. But you just have to pay attention to your body – and those darn imbalances…. I’m actually going for dry needling next week out of desperation.

7 Miz June 26, 2012 at 8:18 am

ahhh Im so sorry and so BUMMED you can relate to my IT band.

I know you know this but youre doing the smartrightwise thing.


8 runblondie26 June 26, 2012 at 8:26 am

Don’t beat yourself up, we totally get it! I’ll be doing my 7th marathon (hopefully) this fall. it’s taken me at least a year between each one to forget the pain and feel excited for the next one. If you’re not feeling 100% fired-up, marathoning is not going to be a pleasant experience.

ypu’re making a wise movie girlie :) Hope you shake those aches and pians soon.

9 Michelle June 26, 2012 at 8:28 am

I am RIGHT THERE with you. I am incredibly disappointed in myself that I haven’t had the urge to go and run another marathon — and I have a hard time calling myself a “runner” these days — but I know it’s for the best. When we run our next marathon (maybe even together :) ) I know we are going to rock it – physically AND mentally.

I am so excited about your bootcamp – missed it the first time around, not this time my friend!

10 Alex @ therunwithin June 26, 2012 at 8:31 am

Honestly this is such a smart move and I praise your intuitive nature to listen to your body. Way to go! there will be others that you will rock and feel so much stronger. Why risk it now?

11 Kara June 26, 2012 at 8:33 am

I’m sorry you had to decide to not do Chicago!

My unsolicited 2 cents: The next marathon training cycle, go SLOWER on the long runs. It’s great that you can run them at a 9/min pace, but to avoid injury and stuff it’s smarter to run those at a slower pace (like a minute slower) especially if your body is new to endurance training. It won’t mean you’ll be slow on race day. For example, I ran a marathon at over a minute faster per mile than training runs and I haven’t had any injuries so I’m obviously an expert and you should be paying me for this advice. :)

12 tinareale June 26, 2012 at 1:27 pm

That is one of the biggest things I learned from all this. A lot of those runs I did with our running group and the other girls are just faster than I am right now, so I have to let the group runs for long runs go. Sadly. But it’s better to be running smart and safe in the end.

13 Amy Lauren June 26, 2012 at 8:34 am

That’s soooo good that you’re listening to your body with the marathon and not doing it. Halves are great with very manageable training, and no matter what happens, nothing will change the fact that you did a marathon. I have a friend who is 50 and doing them, so you have so many more years to do them- and don’t forget, the races will be held every year (running is only gonna grow as a sport). You will rock your next marathon and your next race anyway!

14 Christy hemken June 26, 2012 at 8:37 am

Sorry to hear about your it IT band, I’m actually having the same issues. I’ve been doing a lot of trails and hill training, with squats as cross training and was told that squats especially but hills too are the main culprits!! Always seems to be something :( love your attitude, I commend you for not trying to train through with hopes it will just go away. I’m learning myself to listen to your body first, if you want to keep running!!! Good luck on a speedy recovery.

15 Katie June 26, 2012 at 8:38 am

Boo! I know – first hand – just how frustrating this is! The same thing happened to me when I was just ONE week away from my second marathon.

Take hope…your body will recover!! Just keep doing what you’re doing. Love to you, friend.

16 Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 26, 2012 at 8:46 am

Serious bummer. But you are wise and know that the 26.2 distance isn’t going anywhere. Marathons will be there next year, and you’ll be even stronger then!

17 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile June 26, 2012 at 8:49 am

Ahh, I’m sorry! :( That is totally a bummer, but playing it safe is probably the best thing to do! You are a smart lady :)

18 Alayna @ Thyme Bombe June 26, 2012 at 8:51 am

I know you’re bummed, but I’m sure it’s for the best. Feel better!

19 Sarah June 26, 2012 at 8:53 am

So sorry about this! But, on the bright side, this will help get you healthy… Something way more important than one single race. Sitting out this one will help you run many more! I know it’s a tough choice but you’re wise to make it. First marathons are so hard, and I needed alot of recovery time after mine. Thanks for sharing this!

20 Julie June 26, 2012 at 8:55 am

Good call!! I’m right there w/ you, considering I was supposed to do a marathon this past fall, and I’m still recovering from IT band issues! Very frustrating for me, because I miss running like crazy, but I’m trying to do the same things you mentioned above in hopes that I will return to running distance in the near future! Good work listening to your body :)

21 Sarah @Blonde Bostonian June 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

Way to go Tina for making the decision that’s right for your body – no matter how frustrating that decision can be. You’ve already run a marathon this year – that’s more than a lot pf people can say!! IT band issues are rough. Rest up, girl!

22 Carissa @Fit2Flex June 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

Such a wise choice for your body. Marathoning isn’t a one time chance….you are young and strong and will be able to finish strong when your body is ready. Great post to show people to take things slow and listen to their body.

23 Kelly June 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

I’m sorry Tina! I hate that for you. But you really are doing the smart thing! I had some IT problems a few years ago that I ignored (shocker) and it ended up causing some nasty knee problems (since the IT band connects at the knee). It took FOREVER for my knee to heal and to be able to run again (I am talking like over 6 months). I too saw a sports chiropractor that worked wonders but it was still a long, slow and painful recovery. You are definitely being smart about it. There is absolutely zero doubt in my mind that you will run another marathon in the near future. So what that it isn’t Chicago? Come to Texas and run the San Antonio marathon in November! haha! That is only like 2 hours from Austin…obviously…haha and it is a really flat course! (Hello sub-4:00 hours!) Think about it…..

24 tinareale June 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I definitely want to do one in Texas. There are a lot of great sounding options there. Flat being a consideration of course. ;)

25 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

Oh, Tina! I am so sorry. I know that must be killing you. BUT I am really proud that you are waiting to run the next one strong. I have no doubt that you will bounce back and kill the next race!

26 Erica June 26, 2012 at 9:16 am

I feel your bummed-ness:( I am out right now with an early stress fracture in my fibula. 2 weeks no running AND in an air cast nonetheless. I am not a happy camper. I am craving my endorphins bigtime! Swimming is ok, just not quite the same;)

I’m trying to keep in mind what God may be trying to teach me during this layoff… I know that everything is for our good and for His Glory, and I trust that. He will use our trials, no matter how big or small they are, to mold us into the child He created us to be. We just have to “be JOYFUL in hope, PATIENT in affliction, FAITHFUL in prayer.” (Romans 12:12) <—-this was my verse this morning;)

Love ya girl:)

27 tinareale June 26, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Love that verse. Thanks for reminding me of it today!

28 Jen June 27, 2012 at 1:27 am

Thank you for reminding me of that verse too!

29 Steph @fitmomtraining June 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

Awww, I am bummed for you Tina! Sometimes the best decision in the long run (no pun…well maybe a bit of pun, intended) is the hardest to make in the short term. I’m glad to read that you’re listening to your body and making the best decision for YOU. I have no doubt that you will be crossing the finish line in Chicago one day!

30 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries June 26, 2012 at 9:25 am

i’m so sorry to hear this tina. i had to drop out of my half marathon several months ago, and it was SO hard. of course i REALLY wanted to do it, but i knew deep down that my body needed rest and that i shouldn’t. props to you for listening to your body and what it needs. i know it’s hard, but it makes such a difference! and like my husband always says, “there’s always another race, and there’s always another year!”

31 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

This makes me very sad!!!!! I was so excited to meet you!! Are you still planning to visit Chelsey? I hope your IT band gets better, I stopped running for 3 months last summer because of IT band issues, no fun.

32 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List June 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

you’re so much better at listening to your body than me!! kudos, lady!!
i get to see you this weekend!! Actually, Travis and I are thinking about getting a hotel and staying Sat. night!

33 tinareale June 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm

haha! oh yea. I was like “when are you seeing me this weekend” at first. Duh.

34 Heather June 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

I’m so sad!! But I totally 100% support your decision. I was out for almost 6 months last year because of my IT band. It’s a tricky little sucker, and will keep coming back to haunt you if you don’t take care of it.
Big hugs!

35 Pam Gordon June 26, 2012 at 9:50 am

Good plan – you will get there and you will run it strong!!!

36 Britta Kallevang June 26, 2012 at 10:00 am

So sorry to hear this Tina! But because of your positive attitude it doesn’t really sound like bad news at all :)

Maybe you could try racing a few 5ks this summer? More pain (if you really race) but for a fraction of the time!

37 Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) June 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

You have a fabulous attitude when things don’t go as planned! You’re smart for listening to your body and doing what is best for it. You’re awesome, Tina :)

38 Yellow Haired Girl June 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

Bummer! But you’re doing the right thing, as sucky as it is. Way to pay attention to what your body needs!

39 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) June 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

I’m really sorry Tina. I hate that you’re having troubles with your IT band. I do agree that it’s better to play it safe rather than be sorry later. I hope it’s 100% better soon!

40 jobo June 26, 2012 at 10:25 am

Wow, that is so tough Tina, BUT you are so incredibly smart for not pushing it and working on fixing it NOW rather than trying to push through injury. I am constantly amazed at how smart you face every workout challenge, everything you do, you have focus, determination and most importantly, smarts about it. This is why you are an incredible fitness trainer/instructor and friend! I am proud of you, and even more proud of you for taking your time sharing this with everyone, sharing your rationale and really focusing on running strong, not just doing Chicago since you said you were…you still will, just not this year. XOXO

41 Jillian @ sprinkle massacre June 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

I think you’re making a smart decision. Let your body heal and you will run a stronger marathon!

42 Jen June 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

I am so sorry, Tina. I know this must have been such a tough decision for you! You are such a smart cookie, though. You have PLENTY of time to run marathons and run them well. There is no reason to push yourself when you are feeling anything less than 100%. I know you’ll be super strong next spring!

43 allpointswhole June 26, 2012 at 10:35 am

It’s hard but very wise!!

44 Liz @ Southern Charm June 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

So smart!! Way to listen to your body, love :)

45 Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength June 26, 2012 at 10:49 am

So so bummed for you, but it sounds like you are making a really good and smart decision (and probably one that you would recommend to a client if asked). Always so much easier said than done to do what’s right. I’m proud of you. XOXO

46 Brooke June 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

Im sorry to hear about Chi, but you’re definitely making the best decision for your body!

I’m thinking of doing boot camp again! I feel like last time I didn’t get the full benefits of it since my main focus was 1/2 marathon training!

47 kaitlin @4loveofcarrots June 26, 2012 at 11:05 am

Good for you for listening to your body and doing what is right! You will rock at your next marathon. I can’t wait to do bootcamp this time around!

48 Coco June 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

You are being so SMART. I KNOW how hard this is, but you will not regret it!!

49 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 26, 2012 at 11:37 am

Way to listen to your body — that is so incredibly smart!

50 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables June 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

What a bummer!! After my half marathon, I started having bad knee pain and they said it was from my IT band. It still hasn’t healed, and it has almost been 2 years!! I still can’t run and I’m still very sore and limited on what I can do. Trust me… you don’t want IT band issues!

51 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions June 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm

While I definitely think it’s a bummer that you can’t run Chicago, I’ve got to give you major props for doing what’s best for your body. Injuries of any sort suck, especially when you’re training for a race, and I’ve got to be honest: it takes a lot for me to choose the smart decision over what I want to do, which is exactly what you did. Big time A+ to you for being smart :)

52 Allison @ Running Through Red Lights June 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Sorry to read about Chicago. :( Bummed for you, but good for you for listening to your body! You will definitely be stronger for your next marathon!

53 Danica @ It's Progression June 26, 2012 at 12:59 pm

sounds to me like you made the smartest decision! I have no doubt that when the timing is right with your body you’ll run a STRONG marathon.

54 Kimberly @ Redefining Kimberly June 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Tina, I am sorry that you won’t be running Chicago. However, it sounds like you made the best decision possible for your body. I know that whatever marathon you run next, you will be stronger because you gave your body time to heal and strengthen.

55 Mary @ food and fun on the run June 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Well I will say that I am bummed that I won’t be able to meet you in Chicago, but I am glad you are listening to your body! I love that you are letting your body tell you when it is time to race! Way to go!

56 tinareale June 26, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I may still be there for that weekend though to cheer all my blogging buddies on and still visit my pal Chelsey up there. So we may still get to meet. Yay! :)

57 Heather @ Better With Veggies June 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I’m so sorry to hear, but I completely understand your decision! Injuries suck and you don’t want to be out for a long time. I’m so glad that you’ve liked your experience with Dr Nik – I’m going to miss him!!

58 Michelle (Better with Berries) June 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Taking it easy and putting the marathon off is definitely the smart move! When I started training for my first marathon, I tried to up my mileage wayyy too quickly (along with some other silly things) and ended up with perennial tendonitis. It was not fun and I was so disappointed when I had to cancel the marathon, but I was so thankful that I did so that the injury didn’t turn into something worse!

Wishing you a quick recovery!

59 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama June 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

What a bummer but it’s better to listen to your body now that deal with the consequences somewhere in your training. You WILL do Chicago one day!

60 Heather June 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

:) I will get you to new orleans sister. Thanks for the shout out!

61 Michele @ nycrunningmama June 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Sometimes not doing something is the harder decision. Honestly, I think you are being so smart about this, Tina. If it were your first, then sure, you could train in enough time and finish…but you have specific goals this time and there is no need to compromise those goals just to do it this year. The chicago marathon will be there next year. I’d focus on smaller races and work on speed and then when your mileage comes back up, you’ll be faster and stronger :)
Congrats on making the tougher, but smarter decision.

62 Charissa June 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I think back to my marathon and wish I had trained better…it was still a really great run though and a very special memory!

63 Pavement Runner June 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

You are making the right decision. Yes, those IT injuries will stick around longer than you would like. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, once you have it, it never really goes 100% away. It’s a conscious effort to stretch, roll and stay on top of it and keep it away. Really, it’s a form of stretching that every runner should do, not just post injury. I had it a couple years ago and it has never come back, but I do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t. Kudos for being smart on Chi.

64 Jess June 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Sooo we’ve already chatted about this at length via email so you KNOW how I feel for you — sad that you can’t run this race but also very proud of you for making SUCH a smart decision. Smart smart indeed! Also? If I may throw it out there — there is a REALLY fab and gorgeous race in late-October up my way that you’d just love, it’s my favorite half marathon EVER and I’m realllllly hoping to run it even if its only a couple of weeks after Chicago. Whatcha say?? ;-)

65 Andrea June 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your IT band! You have probably said this somewhere, or someone else has suggested it- but are you foam rolling? That can make a HUGE difference!
I hope it gets better- and you are definitely making the right decision about Chicago!

66 Jen June 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Very smart decision. IT bands are nothing to fight with and while you did get in a great 6 miles, I’d hate for your to injure yourself further and not run the race you want to run. There are other marathons.

67 Lee June 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Oh no! I’m so sorry Tina. I know you must be bummed. But I definitely think you made the right decision. There will always be other races, but you’ve only got one body and you’ve got to take care of it.

68 tinareale June 26, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Yea. It stinks. But what ya gonna do? Also – are you going to Heather’s thing Saturday? Hoping to see you there!

69 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

As sad as I am for you that you’re not racing it anymore, I’m still super pumped you’re going to come visit me!

70 Cheryl Mosley June 26, 2012 at 8:36 pm

It’s often hard to do the right thing, but I think you are RIGHT!! Way to listen to your body. So important to be able to run it the way you WANT to run! Can’t wait to see you reach that goal in the future!

71 Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Props props props for listening to your body. I started getting random running injuries toward the end of last summer and couldn’t figure out why, so here & there I would try to push through the pain, but ultimately decided I just needed some time off! Now I’m back on the running wagon, training for my first half marathon, & feeling great (knock on wood). Listening to your body is so important (but I know you already know that!) :)

72 Mandy June 26, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Sorry hun :( I know all too well the pains with IT bands. Mine was really rough after the last half marathon I ran. You are doing the right thing !!! Love you!

73 Jen June 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

Awww…SO sorry, Tina, but you are doing the right thing & I have no doubt that you’ll get there when the time is right!!!

74 Teri [a foodie stays fit] June 27, 2012 at 5:58 am

I’m so sorry Tina! I know how you feel – I couldn’t run the first marathon that I trained for (even got in my 20 miler!) because my IT band just wouldn’t cooperate.

Hugs to you! <3

75 [email protected] June 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

I’m sorry to hear about your run!

76 Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb June 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Total bummer but I hear ya! Good for you for listening to your body. Here’s to answers to your IT band issues!

77 Bonnie June 27, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Wow, Tina…just reading and catching up after being away and am sad to hear this news. But so neat that you are being wise about your decision – I really commend you for that. Brings joy to me to read recaps of life/running/your days – thanks for sharing and for honoring your family and priorities and being such a good example of not being too extreme in any one direction. :D

78 Janice- The Fitness Cheerleader June 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

You are very very smart to listen to your body – great job! I know that when your mind and your body are on the same page you’ll kick some major marathon A$$!

79 Calee (@chimes) June 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

SO smart to listen to your body! I ran my first (and only … for now) marathon in October of 2008 and was foolishly looking to run a 30-miler so I could be an ultramarathoner. I couldn’t run a mile without pain, but was ready to run a half marathon (seriously I ran through it) until mid-March 2009 when a friend (now boyfriend) made me stop and go to the doc.

I had the same IT band issue. What finalllllllly helped me get through it (seriously, 4 years later). Rest and therapy at first, cross training, serious building-up of the back of my leg muscles, a standing desk at work (can’t remember if you work or if you’re a SAHM) and LOTS of patience.

Good look, lady. You will be marathoning again at some point! I promise.

80 [email protected] July 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

ugh i am so sorry to hear this!!!!!!! hang in there. i am pumped for the bootcamp just signed up! WOO!

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