My first marathon is a week away. I have been anxiously awaiting Sunday’s forecast to show up in the 10 day weather forecast for quite some time now. I was going to go into the whole “you can’t cram for a marathon” shpeal. I was even going to work in A.I. on training, or “practice.”
Since I am blogging, and not tweeting, it won’t suffice to say that things have taken a turn. So instead of tapering, carb-loading, and other fun stuff, I am talking about injuries- and perhaps one of the classic blunders of a first-timer marathoner: over-training injuries.
First up was ITB Syndrome with my right knee/leg. My ITB issues initially appeared up during my first 20 miler in January. To be clear: I first suffered ITB Syndrome on my longest run to date, almost at the beginning of my targeted marathon training. Eventually I took a week off and made my first appointment with a Physical Therapist. Although I remain skeptical of my first PT’s advice (ditch my minimalist shoes, get orthotics, stop running), I think the in-appointment treatments of muscle stimulation worked well. Now about two months removed from my initial ITB problems with my right knee I feel somewhat confidant that issue is behind me.
Fast forward to early March. Taper time- when my mileage is supposed to come down. On the return leg of a 13 mile long run, my left knee decided to start acting up. For better or worse this injury seemed different than the first, on my right knee. I ran through it. (Mistake.) I actually finished that run at my pace time. I ran a few more key runs, or shorter distance but high intensity runs. I guess just hoping it would miraculously go away. No such luck.
Finally things seemed to reach a tipping point with this morning’s long run. My early 9:00 minute miles turned into molasses-feeling 11:00 minute miles. I couldn’t ignore my knee, or run through it. For the second half of my 10 mile run I was facing a giant mental roadblock: will I even be able to run the race next Sunday? Is it a horrible idea to run on a bum knee? (Probably).
I have a week to sort things out; hopefully tomorrow I can get a referral to a running-oriented physical therapist, and go from there. My spirits are not completely in the ditch, but I am bummed. For now I am still planning to show up at the race and see how long I can gut it out, and then walk the remainder.