Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Miracle Maybe?

I had my sports massage yesterday for my brand-new, screaming IT band issue, and it was worth the time and money for sure.  The massage therapist was knowledgeable and had lots of experience working on endurance athletes.  She worked out a lot of kinks in my lower back, glutes, and hip flexors (which were particularly vile!).  Told me where and how to tape up my hips.  Told me to listen to my body, don't be afraid to walk, pay attention to my breathing, and I just may be able to go the full 26.2 miles on Sunday.  That made me feel a little better.

Following the massage, I went to the local running store to pick up more tape.  The owner told me she is running Pensacola Marathon on Sunday as well, and that she has been having IT band issues.  She felt confident that foam rolling, taping, rest and a little ibuprofen would do the trick for her.  That made me feel a little better too.

This morning, freshly taped in bright pink and blue from my waist to my knee, I set off for a slow mile around my neighborhood to get a status check.  Other than some mild achiness in my left hip, things felt okay.  That made me feel a little better, but one mile isn't 26.2. 

At lunchtime today, I'm still a little achy.  An ibuprofen would feel good right now.  More than anything, I am scared.  This race was supposed to be the big test of my ability, the first marathon I have run on my own.  My family is supposed to be there, and that's a lot of pressure.  I would not want my children to see me hobbling in pain, and I wouldn't want them to see me quit either.  I think it's entirely possible for me to have a good run, and even a mediocre run could give me a PR.  I may be able to switch my registration and run the half instead, but I'm not sure I want to do that.  I want a good marathon.  I want to overcome something.  I want to push my mind's limits as well as my body's.  I want to do all this without intense pain.  I'll have to make a decision soon.


Monday, November 5, 2012

A Real Pain in the Knee

About two weeks ago, I came home from an 8-mile run and shortly thereafter my left knee started to ache.  Nothing major: a little ibuprofen did the trick and I was fine to run the next day.  Since then, it's appeared after some of my runs, but not all.  No correlation with distance or speed, just a random ache that goes away within 24 hours. My left hip has also been feeling tighter than usual, which I suspected as the root of it.

Yesterday, I had an easy 10 scheduled as my last double-digit run before the Pensacola Marathon this coming Sunday.  I made it about four miles into the run, and my left knee started to ache.  It had never bothered me DURING a run before. Hmm.  Stopped, walked, assessed:  all better.  Within a quarter mile, it started to hurt again.  Worse this time.  I alternated walking and running, then took a good long stretch break at mile five.  My left hip was exceptionally tight by this time.

For the next couple of miles, I hobbled along.  I'd run for a few minutes, then I'd feel my hip starting to clinch.  I could feel the tightness moving down the outside of my thigh until -- SHAZAM! HOLY PAIN! --it hit the knee.  There was no running on that.  I'd stop and walk, and the muscles would immediately relax and the pain would disappear.  So I'd give it a go again, and sure enough, excruciating debilitating pain would hit me square in the knee.  Strangely, walking was perfectly comfortable.  I had to walk the last 3.5 miles, which was pretty humbling.

Maybe I sensed something was wrong before, because I had already scheduled an appointment with a sports massage therapist for today to deal with the tight muscles.  I've had far too much time on my hands since yesterday morning to search the internet and self-diagnose.  I'm pretty sure it is my IT band, which may or may not be treatable in time for Sunday's marathon.  I can't imagine, nor would I even want to attempt, 26.2 miles on this leg right now.  I don't think I could run one mile today.  I am praying that my massage therapist can work a miracle.  I don't need to run a marathon on Sunday, I just need to run.