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The Boston Marathon is 14 days away.


“If you take a chance and run a marathon when injured or ill, the odds are high you’ll be a double loser. You’ll likely run poorly and make the condition worse, laying you up for several weeks.”
Page 270 of “The Competitive Runner’s Handbook” by Bob Glover and Shelly-Lynn Florence Glover.

If “you are no longer able to participate in the 2009 Boston Marathon, you may defer your time to 2010, provided that you notify us in writing no later than April 20, 2009, by returning your pick-up card with an explanation.”
Boston Marathon’s Web site.

An explanation may come this week in the form of an MRI. If it shows a stress fracture on my left hip, I will drop out of the race.
In 2003, while training for the London Marathon, I over-trained and suffered from a stress fracture at the right hip. I never ran the race and couldn’t run for about 10 months.
If I drop this year, I’ll find solace in the good advice I have received over the past weeks from friends, family and runners as I struggled to train with a hip pain — on the left side.

“I will urge not to run the race if you are injured. Biggest mistake I ever made was racing a marathon with an injury.”
M., who runs the Boston Marathon April 20.

“26.2 miles is a long way to run if you are not 100% into it. There are plenty of marathons to be excited about.”
“Do not let your past haunt you. Just be a lot smarter about it. Go get the proof that you will not hurt yourself if you continue to run on it. There are only a few things (like a stress fracture or fractured ankle) that will stop you from running. All the other stuff you can work around. Do not make yourself miserable, running should be enjoyable.”
C., a marathon runner currently on crutches because of an ankle fracture.

“You’ll have many opportunities to run other marathons.”

My mother, who has run 15 marathons.

“Be careful, your health is more important than anything.”
My father, who has run 16 marathons.

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