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Calling all runners - I need your advice!

Well, here I am, less than a month from my first marathon, and I don’t know if I can run it.  Here’s what’s happening: In January, I couldn’t complete a race because my knees were so painful.  Just walking to the finish line (with H helping me) had me in tears.  I went to the doctor and was told that I have IT band syndrome, also known as runner’s knee.  And guess what?  It hasn’t healed.

I returned to the doctor at the end of last week to ask him about the marathon.  I’ve been doing the physical therapy, I’ve been trying to strengthen the rest of my body, but I have also needed to run to keep up with the training schedule.  So I haven’t been allowed to just let my knees heal.  The doctor did an ultrasound of my knee, and said that, while I am not doing any permanent damage, my IT band is extremely swollen, irritated, and full of scar tissue.  I am getting an MRI tomorrow to confirm, then he said that I could get an injection to help with the pain.  Okay.  Great.  But here’s my question:

Is it worth it, just to run a marathon?  I mean, I want to run one eventually – it’s on my bucket list.  But it doesn’t have to be now.

My thought is that I should sit this marathon out, finish the race season, then take some time off from running so that the swelling in my knees can go down and I can truly take the time to strengthen my hips and core without worrying about the long runs.

I’ll be disappointed.  I’m already disappointed.  But I think it would be worse for me and my psyche if I started the race and wasn’t able to finish.

I need some opinions from other runners.  What are your thoughts?  Do you think I should start and risk not finishing?  Or do you think I should take a step back and listen to my body for a change?

I’m currently at a loss, because I have advice coming from both directions.



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