I’m in Eugene, Oregon with my mom writing from my hotel bed. The marathon is about 60 hours away.

The Final Training Block

Training peaked with weekly mileage totals of 76, 80(!), and 76. The cherry on top was the 6/6/6 long run progression. The goal was 6 miles at ~6:05 pace, followed by 6 miles at ~5:55 pace, and finally 6 miles at ~5:45 pace. I ended up doing 6:03s, 5:54s, and 5:43s feeling fantastic on a windy day.

That workout told me I was ready. I think it was realistic to target 5:45s which translates to just under 2:31. That would’ve been an A performance, with a B or C performance being sub 2:33. I was all in. The work was done. Now it was time to taper.

The Accident

On Wednesday of last week, a freak minor accident occurred at work where I seemingly strained my MCL. I ran 8 miles later that day. The next day it was a little sore but I went off for my run as usual. 7 miles in, out of no where, I had to stop. My knee really hurt, and my body was telling me it couldn’t really handle what I was doing. I walk-jogged home.

Since then I’ve tried to be careful. I’ve run two miles total while doing the elliptical most days to get a sweat in. With two days left, I can still feel my knee. It’s not that noticeable, but it is there.

Stages of Grief


Right after it happened I was pretty confident that 11 days was enough time to recovery. Sure, I may not get my final 14 mile long run in, but there’s not much fitness to gain in the last 10 days anyway. Just take it easy and I’ll be good.


On Sunday, a week out from the race, it started to hit me that this may actually derail everything. I tried not to let the negative thoughts get the best of me, but it became impossible to shake. Each day I’d eventually conclude “If the marathon was today, I wouldn’t be able to finish“. I was trying to wrap my head around the idea that the last four months of nearly perfect training / sacrifices weren’t going to have the big pay off, and it was devastating.

Tuesday and Wednesday were especially rough. I was on the verge of tears multiple times throughout each day. I’d visualized success in this race for so long but now the visualizations were just at what point I’m going to drop out and how much I’m going to cry when I do. The worst was people reaching out wishing me good luck and asking if I’m ready to race. I can’t say “No actually, I think I’m going to DNF, but thanks“. I started to feel stupid that I was even making the trip. I wanted to just fast forward past the weekend and have this whole thing behind me.


Now that I’m in Eugene, my feelings have changed. I’m still pretty doubtful that I’ll finish the race, but I’ve accepted that result. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to toe the line and if my knee holds up, I’ll do everything I can to run fast. But the pressure is no longer there. It’s not going to be as soul crushing as it felt like it would be a few days ago. My mom and I are still going to explore Eugene, enjoy the bonding experience, and treat it as if Sunday will be great. And if it’s not, that’s okay.

There’s an element of “wow, you’ve already given up and you’re still days away from the race??“. I know, I know. Miracles happen. Maybe I get out there and it feels great and everything goes perfect. But I can tell that something is wrong. It sucks. It really sucks.

I was also unsure if I should post this. It feels like I’m asking for sympathy. I’m really not. It’s just rare that I feel this strongly about something which is when I try to post.

On the bright side, this was just really unlucky, I’m still in great shape, and if I so choose, I can train for another marathon and be confident that I can get in this shape again. But I’m not looking ahead right now. Right now, I’m going to be present in Eugene, enjoy this weekend, and try my best on Sunday.