Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Game on !

On Monday I went out for my last long run before the marathon... I delayed this by a day because of work and not wanting to start it tired and dehydrated....

I planned to use this run to test my refuelling strategy and also to make sure my hot weather running gear didn't rub in any uncomfortable places. It was also a chance to run a long run in the trainers that I will be wearing on race day. Note the word WILL be wearing :)

I managed to run the full 18 miles without any major problems. My knee still isn't right and I will be back to the physio this week but it only caused me "discomfort" rather than acute pain.... So, I will be there on the start line, as nervous as hell to run my first ever marathon.

Monday's run started out in fog and finished in brilliant sunshine, it was good practice for running in warmer weather although who knows at this point what the weather will be doing in the next 2-3 weeks....

I am still having to keep the speed down so my 4:00 - 4:30 target is well and truly out the window and I am more likely going to be 5:00 - 5:30 but to be honest I don't really care, I'm just pleased that I will make it to the start line.

My race number has arrived, so now all I need to do is iron my name on my tee shirt and decide what to wear.... (really the choice is between shorts and 3/4 length trousers) I have run long runs in both so it will depend more on the temperature on the day.

I also had my first ever ice bath this week, something I never though I would do and it did provide Phill with some amusement to watch me sitting fully dressed in a very cold bath drinking ovaltine.... The sad thing is I found it quite enjoyable.... Not sure that is quite right ! The theory behind ice baths is that it forces the blood back to your muscles and helps speed up the healing process, but you do need to spend 10-15 minutes sitting in it and you mustn't get straight in to a warm bath or shower afterwards; hence the reason I was fully dressed, trying to keep my top half warm while my legs enjoyed the chill. I must admit I have got to the stage when I will try almost anything if it helps me stay running.

So, I now begin my taper, cutting down my mileage each week to let my legs recover so that I start the marathon rested. I will be keeping up with the physio, massage, foam roller and ice baths so that I do manage to start the marathon.

I have lots of people who will be along the route to support me, some I know well and some I have never met before in my life, but they will all be there to encourage me.

I will be running this marathon in memory of Phills brother and sister, Derek and Pauline, and to raise money for the myotonic dystrophy support group, there is still time to sponsor me using the just giving link on this blog.....

This photo is the foggy start to my run.... And then my race number :)

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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

This evenings run

Just back from this evenings run. 7.5 miles along the River.... Evenings like this are made for running :)

Update from the Physio

Well, I went to see the Physio on Tuesday morning.

The problem with my knee does come from my IT band. This article explains it quite well.

The other impact of this is that it has been stopping my kneecap moving freely and this has been another source of the pain. When he examined my knee he found that one of the tendons was "stuck" in the wrong place.

The Physio treated it with something that looks like a Black & Decker sander (without a sanding pad !) to free up the tendon and then also used ultrasound to treat it.

The advice I have been given is that I can continue training BUT if it starts hurting then stop immediately, he said I won't be able to run through this.....

I have been told that now he has freed the tendon then it may be fine, but it may not.... and I do also need to look at how I run to make sure that is not an underlying cause of the problems. I need to massage my knee and part of my leg before and after running to try and keep the tendon moving freely and to keep the movement in my kneecap. It will also take time to heal...

So where does this leave me for the Brighton marathon ?

If I'm honest I don't know. I went for a 5 mile run last night that was a lot less painful than Sundays run. I am due to do a 7/8 mile run this evening. If that run is ok (I won't use the words pain free...) then on Monday I have an 18 mile run scheduled. That run will let me know one way or another if I will stand a chance of completing the marathon. If I make the 18 miles then I have 2 weeks taper to help my knee recover. If I can't run the 18 miles then I would be foolish to attempt the marathon.

I love running. The Brighton Marathon is one race. If I don't run it this year then I will defer my place to next year, I don't want to start the race thinking I may not be able to finish it and I do not want to hurt myself to a degree that it then takes me months to recover and I can't get out running all summer.

Sometimes we are so busy looking forwards to the next goal that we forget to look back and see where we have come from.

Two years ago I couldn't run to the end of the road. I can now run 17 miles and run a half marathon in under two hours.

I have found something that I LOVE doing and I am fitter now than I ever have been in my life.

I am lucky to be able to run any distance at all; there are plenty of people in the world who would love to be able to get up and walk outside the door yet alone run through some of the amazing countryside that we have around here.

I may not get to run this marathon, but I still think I am one of the luckiest people around to be able to do what I can do :)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Just a quick update

Well, according to my GP I haven't done any serious damage to my knee, the joint looks ok, the cartilage is fine and the kneecap is fine. He thinks the pain is being caused by an inflamed tendon. The downside is he doesn't know what is causing it so he has referred me to a physio who should be able to help, as my GP said "if anyone can get you round this marathon he can".

The other slight problem is that my appointment isn't until next week. Until then I am keeping the mileage right down (honest !) I'm just running 2-3 miles twice during this week and maybe 4-5 miles at the weekend depending on how my knee feels.

It is really hard because I know my tendon needs time to recover from whatever has hurt it but I also need to get the mileage in for training, but, if my knee isn't right I won't be running anyway ! Aaarghhhh !

So, temporary plan...... I need to be able to run 18 miles without my knee causing a major problem in the next 2 weeks if I am going to be able to run the marathon.

Will I be able to do it ? At this point in time I just don't know.

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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Hanging in there!

Well, after quite a restful week (2.5 miles tues & 4 miles thurs) I thought I would head out for my long run today. It should have been 18 miles but I cut it short at 17 because my knee was getting more painful....

It was a lovely morning and I met more runners today than I have for a long time :)

It is only 5 weeks now until the marathon and if I'm honest I'm not yet sure if I will be running it. I'm going to boom an appointment with the doctor tomorrow and see what his advice is regarding my knee. I think it is fair to say I will be fairly gutted if I have to pull out at this stage but I don't want to risk serious injury and be off running for months by continuing....

So, the plan is out the window and it will be re-written depending on the advice I get tomorrow.....

These are a couple of photos taken on my run today :)

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Thursday, 8 March 2012

Iliotibial Band Syndrome

I have been reading up on how to fix my knee problem.... That turns out not to be my knee but my IT band.... I'm hoping that a mix of stretching, specific exercises, sports massage, ibuprofen and a knee strap will keep me running.

I have cut the running right down this week, ok, so far this week I have run a grand total of 2.5 miles..... All this in the hope that I can get my IT band back to a state that means I can still run this marathon.

Last weekends half marathon really did show me that it is FAR more painful running downhill, to the point I had to walk. Luckily Brighton is predominantly flat...

From what I have read I *should* be able to get this under control enough to continue training, but it may hurt.....

Anyway, these are a couple of articles I have found so far..



I only have three more long runs to do before cutting down the mileage for the final two weeks of training....

So, no more racing between now and then and I must keep the pace down on all other runs.....

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Monday, 5 March 2012

Steyning Stinger - Photos

Just thought I would post a few of the "Official" photos from yesterday. Free downloads are included in the entrance fee :)

And yes, I did try and smile for the camera !

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I survived !

Today I survived the Steyning Stinger half marathon. I think "ran" may be the wrong word to use because although I did run most of it with the weather conditions the word "survived" seems a bit more fitting.

There was an incredible amount of mud. That trainer gripping ankle deep mud that just seems to suck you in as well as the incredibly slippery when you are trying to go up/down a hill type mud. Throw in the sideways stinging rain, winds and dropping temperature then "survived" really does seem a better word.

The Steyning Stinger was my first ever half marathon last year in much kinder weather conditions. This year I was slower (still have a painful knee) and I was taking it easy to try and avoid any injury that would threaten my marathon in April..... running downhill at the moment does seem particularly painful and I really didn't want to end up on my bum :)

Next time I attempt a run like this I should really run in off road trainers... Then I may just have a bit more grip :)

Anyway, I'm back home in the warm, trainers are washed and drying by the Aga and I am wondering how long it will be before my knee stops hurting.

Trainers when new :)

Trainers after today's race :)

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