Letting Go Of A Dream…

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2013 has not been the year that I thought it would be for my running. For the past few months I have been looking forward to running the ING New York City Marathon as a perfect way to cap off a difficult year and to show the world what I am still capable of doing. Unfortunately, it just is not in the cards for this year. Letting go of my dream of running New York this year has been very difficult for me, but it was a decision I had to make.

 

After a rush job to get ready for the Boson Marathon in April, I was relieved to come off   that marathon feeling healthy and motivated.  I turned my focus to the track, getting my speed back and thinking about running times in the 10,000 meters that I hadn’t run in years.  I was really enjoying my training leading up to the USATF championships in Des Moines Iowa.   Even though I knew my big goal for the year was to knock it out of the park in the big apple, I was loving the track sessions and the change of pace from my normal marathon training.  Unfortunately, I faltered in the 10K  in Des Moines. A combo of a bad race strategy and tough weather conditions left me outside the top 3 required to move on to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.  I was devastated, but quickly found the silver lining in the fact that I could now do some summer road racing that I have never had the opportunity to do before.  I felt hopeful. Things happen for a reason, right?

 

Before Shalane left for Europe to begin her altitude stint before the World Championships we did a 10.5 mile tempo together.  It was great, working together like we did before the Olympic Marathon, pushing each other in a strong fast tempo.  But on the cool down my right foot began to ache.  I stopped and retied my shoe, but it just kept getting worse and worse.  I hobbled back to my car and drove home to put my foot in a bucket of ice.  Hours later it still swelled.  What had I done?  Had I tied my shoe too tight?  Did I take an awkward step and twist my foot on the run?  The next morning I woke up and my foot was still swollen and still very painful to step on.  I made a decision to take the day off.  For those of you who don’t know me, this is a very big deal.  I run every day.  Every day.  It makes me feel normal. Sane.  I only took one week off after giving birth to my son before returning to running.  I realize this makes me crazy, but in fact it makes me not crazy.  I need to feel my body move.  Anyway, when my coach, Jerry Schumacher heard I was taking the day off, his immediate reaction was to ask me if it was broken.  Since I never ask for a complete rest day, he knew it was bad.  But I was sure that it wasn’t broken.  It came out of nowhere. Surely it would clear up in a day or two.  After hobbling around for a week, and getting increasingly cranky, I went in for an MRI.  I was devastated by the news. Jerry was right. My 2nd metatarsal in my foot had a stress fracture.

 

After lots of frustrated tears and a meltdown or two, I focused on my cross training.  If I couldn’t run, I could still cross train.  My body would feel like it was building a base, and when I finally got healthy enough to run, my cardiovascular system would be ready.  I started with aqua jogging and then added the elliptical when I got permission from the docs.  I cross trained for 850 minutes a week (Two+ hours a day.) Every week I would do my “long run” which was 1 hour and 55 minutes on the Elliptical.  Why did I stop at 1:55?  Because I told myself that only a psycho would Elliptical for 2 straight hours.  I worked hard, visualized racing in NYC, and kept my spirits up.

 

Eight weeks later, it was time to start running outdoors.  The marathon was now 10 weeks away, and I needed to get after it!  The transition did not go well.  My foot ached and my cadence was slow.  I recently went back to the doctor and found out that my foot, is healing, but is not healed.  I needed to pull the plug on the marathon, get healthy, and stay away from outdoor running for a little bit longer.

 

Pulling out of NYC is very difficult for me, for so many reasons.  First of all, as I stated earlier, this was my chance to finally enter a race healthy, fit, and ready to go.  I had suffered through the fall and winter for my chance to shine in NYC.  Secondly, I love the NYC marathon!  It was where I ran my first marathon. It was a bit of a deer in headlights experience, but I loved every minute of it.  I felt like I discovered myself there, really learned to appreciate myself and my strengths as a runner.  I had waited patiently for 5 years to return to the place where I fell in love with the marathon.  I couldn’t believe I was going to have to wait longer.  Finally, I wanted to run this race for my family, fans, and the NYRR.  They know what I am capable of doing and they have supported me through this entire journey.  I wanted to have the opportunity to perform for them all.

 

In the end, I had to realize that this was not the year for me.  I have run two of my last three marathons with rushed preparation and I deserve to run a marathon at my best, so that I can truly be a contender again.  I realize that my family, sponsors, and fans all want me to be healthy and run at my best.  They don’t want to see me out there at 70%, trying to outsmart people rather than being able to freely run my own race.

2008 post race picture with (left to right) Ludmila Petrova, Grete Waitz & Paula Radcliffe (Photo by Victah Sailer, PhotoRun.net)
2008 post race picture with (left to right) Ludmila Petrova, Grete Waitz, & Paula Radcliffe
(Photo by Victah Sailer, PhotoRun.net)

 

What does this mean?  It means 2013 was a rough year for me as an athlete.  I have had many great moments in training and with my teammates, but unfortunately it didn’t get a chance to translate into my races.  But I know how hard I worked this year, and last.  And I know that the opportunity will come when I can finally run the race that I am capable of.  I’m not finished, I simply had an off year.  My plan now is to get healthy.  I would love to do some fall road races for fun, and as workouts to build my fitness as I come back from this injury.  And I am already looking forward to 2014.  I have put together a loose calendar and I’m going to be racing quite a bit.  I get excited just thinking about it.  Until then, I will continue my 100+ miles a week running on my AlterG treadmill and keep thinking about one special moment at the 2008 Olympic games when Constantina Dita of Romania became the Olympic Marathon Champion at the age of 38.  You see, I will be 38 in Rio 2016.  And I still believe.

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74 Responses to “Letting Go Of A Dream…”

  1. Ward Carpenter

    The right choice for all the right reasons and a role model for those who need to understand that hard choices have to be made sometimes. God bless you and your family as you continue to get healthy and ready for 2014. Your final line in your blog says it all, “And I still believe”…. that is so powerful!

  2. Shannon @ moveeatcreate.com

    Kara, I feel heartache for you! I have been watching your career as I have fallen in love with running and was excited to see you in New York this year. I have no doubt, though, that you’ll return with a vengeance when you’re fully healed. Best wishes to you on your continued recovery. You’ll have plenty of runners out there in world rooting for you!!

  3. Sarah G

    Don’t think of it as letting the dream go, you’re really just postponing it a bit. Best of luck to you Kara!

  4. Kyle Heffner

    Kara,
    I can relate to the injuries and having to post-pone your plans. I have covered over 85,000 miles in my running, since I am now in my late 50′s. Years ago, while in graduate school, I was running around 70-80 mi/wk and had a fibula stress fracture that forced me to be off for minimum of 6 weeks. Cycling and cross-training was my alternative as well. The examining physician pointed to the X-rays which showed additional layers of bone forming around the fracture and wanted me in a cast. I declined and decided to cross train instead. When I started running again I ended up running a marathon after one month and surprisingly won in the low 2:30′s! So hang in there. You WILL BE BACK!
    If the bone is having difficulty healing in the stress fracture, you might read about taking vitamin K2 which helps move calcium from the blood into the bone.
    Take care and all the best! His Highest Blessings, Kyle
    ’80 US Olympic Marathon Team 2:10:55

  5. michael

    Sometimes you got to let things go but don’t worry greater things are right around the corner ..you just have to be willing to fight for em !

  6. LeAnn

    Kara, I had to pull out of the Berlin Marathon when a late, long-time-nagging injury make it suddenly impossible to run without ice-pick stabbing pain on every step. It’s difficult — but there’s a silver lining in there somewhere. (I found mine in a couple of days.) Best wishes on a complete, thorough recovery and a strong 2014!!

  7. Katherine Payne

    Kara – You are a true hero. I have watched you and followed your career and I know you will come back stronger. Thank you for the hard work and encouragement both you and Adam have always extended. We are so proud of you and will be there to cheer your return. Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. Ellen London

    You’re my hero, Kara! Keep your chin up! Tons of good things to come for you and our awesome community of female runners in 2014…and beyond. We’re all pulling for you. Thanks for inspiring us to get out there and get it done every day!

  9. Scott N

    I still believe in you, too. I’m no professional. I’m a good enough 49-year-old amateur runner and triathlete. I’ve had to take nearly this whole year off from training and racing because of some advancing lung disease and because my partner has advanced tongue cancer and it’s been a difficult 9 months of surgery and treatment. But your attitude is instructive for me, too, and I appreciate your sharing it. You’re a pro–running is your career, and you’re amazing. If you can have this attitude about not racing for a time, so can I :) I’ve seen you run a few times (Boston in 2010 and Chicago in the half you won), and you can never know how inspirational your attitude and ethic are–but they are.

  10. Gary Johnston

    Good decision to not push and sustain permanent or longer lasting injury. Come run the Tallahassee Marathon February 2. Not a super big race but awesome flat fast course with great support, great race directors and a great finish on the FSU track. There is a great running scene in Tallahassee with some great trails and some fast young runners that would love to see you here. You are a great role model to so many and I appreciate your hard work and dedication. Hope to see you there.
    http://www.tallahasseemarathon.com/

  11. Wendy Wells

    Kara, I feel your pain. I have a partial tear in my achilles and have had to let go of my dream of running the Chicago marathon this year. It’s hard to watch other runners during this season–my favourite season to run. I too, have been cross-training by swimming and using the elliptical. You are such an inspiration to me and to so many runners. I know you will come back better and stronger!! I hope I will too. A speedy recovery to you!!! Wendy

  12. Britney

    You are one of my running heroes!
    I can feel your pain (kinda)..
    I ran with my second pregnancy up until the day before I had my son, this pregnancy I’ve made the decision to back off running entirely. It’s a painful decision but I know for longevity’s sake it’s a decision that had to be made (I’ve had a lot of complications with my health).
    You will be great this upcoming year and hope the best for you!!! We are rooting for you, Kara!!

  13. Anna

    Kara….you are still a hero to me. Keep the faith.

  14. Amy Peterson

    Your fans love and support you no matter what! Let that foot heal properly so that you can do your best. Thanks for inspiring women and mothers and runners everywhere.

  15. Keren

    Thanks Kara for sharing your story. Even the best get injured and have to make these tough decisions. I feel for you but you’re right. You’ll come bask stronger than ever!

  16. Sandy

    You’re still truly an inspiration to me. Watching you race in Boston was amazing, keep up the hard work and I have faith you’ll nail it in 2016!

  17. Natia

    Kara….thank you for sharing this! I am so sorry about your injury, but I so admire your strength, heart and determination! Since I started running just over 3 years ago, I have followed your career! You are an inspiration to me! I will be praying for a complete recovery and that 2014 will be just the beginning of an even greater career! I got chills when I got to the last line of your post! You ROCK!

  18. josé

    I hate to hear that you are backing off of NY. The thing here is that you are doing the right thing. We runners are stubborn when it comes to injuries, and not running, even for one day, is a big deal. You have made the right choice. Grind at your x trainning and keep up the good vibes. You have to work on the mental aspect of this injury. Play it right, beautifull. Regards from México… Rio You Gone Kick Ass

  19. Twins RUN

    Thanks for sharing your story.
    You inspire us!
    Always believe!

  20. Liz

    Thank you for sharing your story, Kara. You are such an inspiring woman and athlete. I appreciate your honesty and courage. I believe in you!

  21. tazie

    Kara, you’re smart to step back and heal. You’re an inspiration and I love watching you compete. All the best to you and good luck in 2014.

  22. Annie Mitchell

    It’s just a dream deferred, Kara. Keep the faith! You’ve made the right decision and are still such an inspiration to all of us in the running community. Looking forward to seeing you come back stronger and nailing it in 2014!

  23. Raciel

    You’re courageous and intelligent — taking a step back to heal is difficult but you have recognised that, and have not lost hope! You have your fans waiting for you when you return and will definitely be cheering for you at Rio! Heal, enjoy your family even more, and when you’re ready, your running family will be welcoming you back with open arms! GO KARA!

  24. Lindsay Owen

    And we believe in you. You’re right – it’s an off year. That’s all. And that’s how life goes. You sound like you have your mind straight and that’s the most important thing. Now go and get better, enjoy time with your family and we’ll be rooting for you in 2014. In the meantime, if I make it to the NYC start line this year (I was injured last year), I’ll run a mile for you. You are an inspiration to me. Never. Give. Up. Oh, and see you on that podium in Rio…..

  25. Michele

    Sorry to hear this, Kara, but you are making the right decision and one with which many of us none elite athletes fail to make most of the time. It would be wonderful if you can make it back in time to run Boston this coming April, as I think that would be a celebration of all things good. And well, isn’t 38 the new 25??

  26. Darla

    Kara you are such an inspiration to me. I have enjoyed following your career and have learned a great deal from you. I no the heart ache you are feeling about pulling out of NYC. I too am going thru a similiar perdicament although I am not the calibar of runner you are but I have just as much desire as an elite/professional runner. Your blog gives me hope that my injury will not hinder my passion for running. Thank you for your words!

  27. Bog7811

    Get well Kara! We support you!

  28. Kathryn

    I’m so sorry to read this, Kara. I broke my foot last year (4th metatarsal) during training for my first marathon. I was devastated, so I can’t imagine how hard it is for a professional athlete to go through this kind of ordeal.

    BUT I can say that it turns out it was probably for the best – weather on the day of my would-marathon was not ideal and it probably would not have been a good experience. The injury also made me realize how important running is to me and also forced me to incorporate cross-training more than ever before. Now, I KNOW that I am a stronger runner. I PRd all of my races this past spring coming off of my injury and now I am doing really well in marathon training take 2. I know it will mean that much more to me when I finish in November. Next year, you’ll get New York, and it will be that much sweeter.

    You’re an inspiration to me and I look forward to reading about your amazing comeback from this.

  29. Carrie

    Thank you for continuing to be such an inspiration! It’s always easy to tell others to listen to their bodies and take time off when they need it but very hard to take that advice for yourself. I, too, had a less than ideal year of running and am looking forward to 2014. While I won’t be in Rio with you, I hope to run with you at the Olympic Trials (that’s my big goal)! Then I will root you on as you bring home a medal in 2016!

  30. Carrie

    Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration! I, too, had a less than ideal year of running and racing and am looking forward to 2014. While I won’t be there in Rio with you, I hope to run with you in the Olympic Trials Marathon (that is my big goal)! Then I will cheer you on as you bring home a medal in 2016!

  31. Lisa @ RunWiki

    Healing from injury and taking time off is more difficult than mile 22 of a marathon. To hear you handle this with such grace and maturity shows the world what a champion you really are. Kara, you don’t need to run any races, and you still show us the meaning of success. I am as hopeful about Rio 2016 as you are! You can do this! Sending healing thoughts!

  32. Melinda

    Kara, you are an inspiration to all of us who have struggled with injuries and setbacks. Grandma’s this year was supposed to be “my year” (actually the way the race falls it should have been on my birthday, but was actually a week later). I should have had my IT band issue sorted out, my weight where I wanted it, and had my dream half marathon. Sadly, it didn’t work out like that. Yours is the first injury related post I’ve read that left me in a positive place. The way you approached this injury lets us all know there are things we can do when we can’t do what we want. I sometimes run on a Lightspeed treadmill designed and made here in Duluth. It helps. Thanks for writing this and I hope to read more of your journey soon!

  33. Meg Gibson

    Kara, you’ve been my role model for years! I also broke my second metatarsal and was out of running for 4 months. The road to recovery was one of the most difficult experiences I’ve ever had, but it made all the difference and I’ve p.r.’d significantly since then. Through out it all you have been my inspiration, and I often look to one of my favorite quotes you posted when I feel frustrated: “Don’t try to rush progress. Remember- a step forward, no matter how small, is a step in the right direction. Keep believing.” Getting healthy is a step in the right direction, and progress will come in due time! I believe in you. Thanks for sharing and stay positive!

  34. Lauren

    Live to run another day, Kara! You’re still a lot of people’s hero. Mine especially :)

  35. Dee Dee

    Metatarsal! So sorry to read about your injury. I am just a beginner amateur duo athlete and have been fighting with metatarsal problems for the past 6 months. Really slowed me down and stole alot of my dreams of improvements for the races I scheduled. I completed the races and had to just decide that I was there to live it and love it, that I was stuck at the back of the pack for the time being. I understand still healing. This is frustrating at my level. I cannot begin to feel the pain in your heart and not being able to fully spend yourself. Thank you for sharing this. You inspire.

  36. John Odom

    Kara, do what ever it takes! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Good Luck!

  37. Jus

    Thanks for sharing your story Kara. I know first hand how devastating metatarsal stress fractures can be to recreational athletes and how long they take to heal! Stay positive and strong, we’re all human and appreciate you sharing your human-ness with us.

  38. Beth

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Kara. I had the same sfx in the same place in 2011, and it came on just as suddenly (at the end of a half-Ironman triathlon). The good news is, it will heal and you’ll come back stronger than ever! Since recovering from mine, I have run better than ever before and now listen to my body much better than I ever did. Blessings for a complete recovery.

  39. Krystin

    Kara you are an inspiration and your fans do want you to return healthy, take care of yourself and you will be back stronger than ever!

  40. Elaine

    I’m so sorry Kara but am proud of you. That choice to not run is harder than actually running I’m sure. I’m no where the runner you are but got my foot x rayed the day before I left for the 2010 Portland Marathon and had a stress fracture. I was too stubborn to throw in the towel and ran anyway. Very dumb and painful!! Now 1 more kid, 3 years later I am stronger and listen to my body! Take good care of yourself!

  41. cara

    I got chills reading this. You are and have always been my inspiration. I thought the same thing of myself when i once did 140 minutes on the elliptical during a stress fracture. We’re all insane. Cheers to you, though. You are and will always be my role model.

  42. Amy

    Hang in there Kara. And as Dara Torres has proven “Age is just a Number”!

  43. Scott

    The ONLY good thing about an injury is that it allows you to appreciate running healthy even more then you ever thought possible. I had a 3 month hammy and was so down it was scary, now back, every run is magic and the best run of my life. It will be the same for you Kara! GO KARA!

  44. Julia

    You are not the only runner who runs to stay sane. And I loved your line about people staying on an elliptical for 2 hours being psycho:) So glad you still have your sense of humor.

    And I believe too. You are a big inspiration to this late-in-life runner because you share your ups and downs and triumphs and doubts with all of us. We feel like you’re family. So, this part of your family is sending good thoughts and prayers for a speedier recovery and that gold medal in 2016:)

  45. Kara

    You amaze. Making such a hard decision, but clearly the right one, is a testament to your strength as an athlete, and more significantly, a person. Plus you have an awesome name;)

  46. Bob West

    Sorry to hear you can’t run NY. Not that I’ve ever run at your level but have had enough stress fractures for a small village and there was a point where I wasn’t able to run for 1 1/2 years. I know it has to be exceedingly frustrating for you but know you’ll bounce back – 2014 will be an awesome year!

  47. Ken

    Don’t worry about us fans, we’re all 100% behind you. Do what you and your team think is best for you. Hoping to see you out on the roads soon, dicing with the world’s best.

  48. Meg

    I needed to read this, Kara. I have been dealing with a DOUBLE stress fracture (1st and 3rd metatarsals) in my foot for NINE weeks… with still no improvement. I tried working through it (which requires me to be on my feet for long days) and biking through it (but still felt twinges during spin classes). So I’m rockin’ the boot on my foot, embracing aqua jogging, and taking time off from work (per the doc’s orders). I had to bail on my fall marathon (and Boston 2014 qualifier), which was heartbreaking. Without my daily dose of “therapy,” I’ve had more meltdowns than I care to admit. To know that someone with a well-earned rockstar status, such as yourself, is feeling what I’m feeling makes me realize how important it is to really take care of yourself, no matter how frustrating it can be…especially with my favorite running weather approaching (man, I love fall in New England)! Take care, Kara. I look forward to seeing you come back stronger than ever!

  49. Janet

    While I’m no where the class of runner you are, I understand what you’re going through. I had a femoral stress fracture in April that pulled me out of marathon training this summer; I won’t even be ready to do a half. You’re right in saying that being healthy is what’s important. Without a healthy body, it doesn’t matter what you want or have planned to do. I wish you a speedy recovery and pray that you will be able to find peace in what has been laid before you, even though it’s not what you would have picked.

  50. Kristin Tetrault

    If admiration-filled positive thoughts could heal you, I think the comments on here would send you off on the run of your life right now. It’s tough to back off from the mapped out path toward your dream, and while this is obviously difficult for you, the fact that you shared it with us in so personal and honest fashion is inspiring. It’s comforting for us to know that making sacrifices and putting the work towards your dreams ahead of so much else in our lives and then having it all be for seemingly nothing feels miserable no matter what level of a runner that individual may be. While it is much easier to say this then to be the one that has to hear it, this year will eventually turn into the fuel you need to fire up a new training period. Your foot will heal and the lingering effects of having to be so mentally tough during this unplanned time off will push you through challenging training runs and will make you that much more of a threat to your competitors. So I hope in this time off you are able to read and reread all of the positive comments that people around the world are sending your way and soak up the love the running community has for you.
    You have overcome much more in your life than this and you will come back stronger again, when your body is ready. At that time we will all be there, lining the course and cheering you on. The impact you have made to the distance world has been remarkable and the impact you still will have will be even more spectacular.
    So heal up, enjoy your time with Adam and Colt, and trust that the future has something worth the wait for you!

  51. Sydney

    Kara, you are a very gifted, hardworking, passionate person and I’m grateful for what you share with all of us runners out here (I follow your simple training plans from your book and they rock!). A friend posted a graphic on Facebook today about not forgetting the joy of the journey that is running, the journey to a goal. You’ve had to set this goal aside for the moment, and I’m sure that, given your passion, it’s difficult to accept. Painful to accept. However, as you hinted at in the end of your post, there is still a journey ahead, and there can be joy found in it. I’ve seen how hard you’ve been on yourself after races where you were disappointed, and while I believe you 100% that you love to run, I wonder how much joy was lost because of how the race went. I know I’m not a pro and my livelihood doesn’t depend on how well I do in a race, but maybe just a resurgence of some “joy” is needed. Maybe, as you heal and train, you could anonymously volunteer at some random small races and watch a person finish their first 5K and see their joy at what s/he accomplished. Bring your boy and have him hold up a cute sign for tired first-time marathoners slugging to the finish line and see their smiles. Every time I do a race, I see so many people running that remind me that anything is possible in this world, and I can do more than I’m even aware of. Maybe getting to see this in the context of a volunteer (and not having to worry about your pace, etc) would give you a boost :) Bless you and your family, Kara.

  52. Caitlin M.

    Hi Kara! As a runner who looks up to you, I want to say that you are making the right decision. Every runner has a period of time (or two or three…) where nothing really goes in the right direction. Also, every one of those runners knows that given the right amount of determination and hard work, those off-times of boring, awful!!!, seemingly endless cross-training, when we get back to the running, we yet again have a new appreciation and joy in our sport! I assume you already know this, but encouraging words never hurt! When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! I could go all day with the cliche crap, but my point is, keep going, get healthy, and get back to it with twice the force that you already proved you have! You are amazing! Please know that so many of us young lady runners and runner gents with big dreams look up to you and will forever be looking to you for motivation, inspiration, and guidance! Good luck while you fully recover!

  53. Beth

    Sending love, prayers, courage, and continued strength. You are amazing and inspire us all. We will be rooting for you when you are ready to race.

  54. Jennifer

    You are incredibly strong and an amazing athlete. Not just because of your physical talents but because of your mental strength and tenacity, too. You inspire athletes on all levels. I believe you’ll be there in Rio 2016 too. Good luck.

  55. Jennifer Caccamo

    I am so sorry. Stress fractures are no fun at all. Hang in there you will be rocking out race very soon! You are a rock star… This too shall pass

  56. Catherine Wong

    I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I wish you well and looking forward to your next (goal) marathon. Get rest, get better and get faster after the injury. Things happened for a reason…

  57. Cecilia Jones

    You are my running hero Kara. I know how it feels to let go of a dream (obviously not on your level, ha!). I had a stress fracture in my 5th metatarsal this year and had to DNS several races. But you’ll be back. No doubt! And I cannot wait to watch you! Get well!

  58. David Flax

    I’m sorry to hear about your stress fracture. I wish you a speedy and full recovery. You’re not letting go of a dream just delaying the excitement. Stay strong and it will all be worth it.

  59. Molly McEwan

    Kara, thank you so much for sharing your experience and your feelings. You are a true inspiration! I saw you run by me at the New Orleans Half this past February. I too had to defer NYC this year and it was incredibly difficult to let go of it, as it was going to be my first marathon. I had a stress fracture in my right heel and it kept me down for much longer than I’d hoped. I did the mourning, then the cross-training (though nowhere near as diligently as you!!) and now am running again but being careful, dealing with plantar fasciitis, and worrying with every ache or twinge that I’m doing too much too soon! I am truly hoping that I will stay healthy and be ready to go next November. Keep doing what you do – you rock. See you in NYC in 2014!!

  60. John padula

    Tough times don’t last. Tough people do!!!!! U will be back and better than ever

  61. Nathan

    When I’ve been injured there’s really nothing anybody can say to make it better. This really sucks! So sorry.

  62. Richard Stiller

    You’re 35. Not 25. Things take longer to heal. When I was 25 I could run with a cold. At 35 if I ran with a cold, I ended up with the flu for two weeks. Recovery takes longer. If you continue to train and compete into your 40′s it takes longer yet.
    Everything is recovery. Your stress fracture is probably the result of “running every day” and trying to do what you always did. Stress accumulates and then BAM! Something goes. You’ll be back but now recovery is king ( or queen ). More than you ever knew.

  63. Elizabeth

    Kara, have you tried Acupuncture? I’ve had foot, wrist and knee injuries that have healed much more quickly after working with a skilled Acupuncturist. I’m sorry you won’t do NYC ’13, but more important that you heal for long-term health and future racing!

  64. Shannah Hayley

    While I am in no way in your league as a runner, I had that same injury last summer, 8 weeks before the MCM. Devestation, tears, etc – I was out of the race. When I was out of the boot, I trained up and went right back to racing short distances. As I’ve built up to retry MCM, I’ve started battling PF. A direct result of not resting and rehabbing the structure of my foot as I should. This isn’t a woe is me story – it’s all to say that you are absolutely making the right decision as a pro athlete. Knowing when to say no is powerful and you will be better focused and fit to run the races you should in the future because of it.

  65. Tim

    I know being injured is very difficult as the mind of a runner is to constantly train and to improve. I know Adam had similar injury problems as i have followed his career since college. Injuries challenge us and make us even more determined. I expect by Boston next spring you will be back and fully prepared. Like you said in the article everything happens for a reason. Good luck!!!

  66. vablondie

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am rather a novice runner, and just finished my first half marathon. One part of me wants to keep going and run another half, but I have other goals which running long distances sort of conflicts with. (Unfortunately.)
    I will probably continue running, just not longer distances. I found I need to run to help with stress. I just have to remember that it is still running, and it will help me reach my goals in the end.

  67. Jill

    Thank you for sharing this. Even though you are an elite athlete and celebrity you also make yourself accessible and relatable. I appreciate this so much. I think it would be very scary to be in your shoes. While it looks to the rest of us that you have a dream job it is indeed still a job and your career and it must be scary and heartbreaking to admit you are hurt and need more time. We are all fans and are rooting for you!! Try to enjoy your extra time with Colt! If it’s in the plan, maybe make a Colt 2.0! You are BAMR and you will kick 2016′s ass!

  68. Barborka On The Run

    Kara you made the right choice, you will be back strong, fast and conquering your races!!! Your determination is unbelievable, looking forward to seeing you in Rio! ;o)

  69. Nat

    My “injury” has been self-imposed. I am reading the book now to try to get back to where I was when I started. It is tough. I am glad I found the book a while ago, I am at the first mirror, and going to kick my heinie out of bed every morning. I’m old and slow, and have no desire to BQ, but that is only me. I need to get back that love of 4:30 am.

    I know your foot will be healed and strong, and I look forward to reading about your continued exploits of making young runners feel bad for not keeping up with you.

  70. RunEatRepeat

    You have a strong, smart attitude about this. Injuries are super difficult, but sounds like you’re handling it with grace. Keep truckin.
    You rock either way.

  71. Natalie Staines

    I can come close to understanding how hard this decision was for you even though I am nowhere in your league of runners. I have been a healthy, injury-free runner for 5 years and after an extremely intense all downhill marathon I am now dealing with calf pain like I’ve never experienced. My schedule is such that I had two fall marathons 4 weeks apart and I still desperately want to do #2. I will cross train as best I can and hope my calf muscles heal but it will be a last minute call as to whether or not I can run (in Steamtown). I will take your same direction and acknowledge I deserve to run this marathon at my best. Such great advice. And knowing that even professional runners deal with these same struggles actually helps put it all in perspective. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. Can’t wait to see you runnin healthy and strong again. Watch out Rio 2016!!

  72. Megan Searfoss

    I am reading this as I lay on the couch, two weeks after having my proximal hamstring reattached; 6 weeks in a full length leg brace, on crutches with no weight bearing or bending at the waist. Letting go is hard and watching what you have worked for slide by is tough but as I keep telling myself, you will come back stronger in body and mind. These non endorphin days are the biggest challenge mentally and physically that I have encountered. Looking forward to watching you get healthy and healed! Run on!

  73. Gail

    Kara,
    Your beautiful written thoughts here, could not have come at a better time for me. While my situation is clearly worlds away from yours, I can relate and you have helped me so. I was supposed to run NYC myself. While I was not where near a “contender”, it was to be my race of a lifetime … my first marathon. My training was wrought with ankle tendonitis (which was totally new to me) and I just found out last week that I too have a 2nd metatarsal stress fracture. I have been so sad and disappointented about letting go of my dream this year. But, your words are so true, no matter who you are. We deserve to run our best .. our healthiest, and it is ok. It has to be. I just wanted you to know that sharing your story has indeed helped me. Thank you for your honestly. Much strength to you in your recovery and your upcoming races. Can’t wait to see you run Rio!!! Go girl!!

  74. It’s snowing… | mbuhlah

    [...] you read about Kara Goucher having to withdraw from the New York City marathon? Kara is my favorite and it broke my heart reading her post. I have no doubts she will be back [...]

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