Sunday, November 14, 2010

We're finally here

Is it just me or was this a really long week?  I'm looking forward to starting fresh tomorrow.  This next week is for sure going to be better than the last week.

Last week was pretty rough for me.  Fainting while babysitting topped off my disappointing week but I was also really tired and dragging.  I was also having to deal with sore legs.  My legs took a loooong time to recover from the half marathon on Saturday and were still tender by midweek.  I skipped my 3 mile run on Tuesday because I knew my legs weren't up to it but by Thursday I felt like I needed to get out and do something.  I went for my usual 6 mile run and felt great... for the first 3 miles. 

Then on mile 4 my IT (iliotibial band) started to hurt tremendously and I started feeling shooting pain up and down my leg and I ended up walking a lot of the way home.

I've always had issues with my knees and I've had to be really careful with them.  Several years ago I was running 5 miles a day without proper stretching and I ended up hurting my knee so badly that I had to completely stop running.  I picked up running about a year ago and the same problem came right back immediately.  The problem was so bad that I couldn't even make it around the block one time. 

I've been so amazed and impressed that this time around I have had relatively few problems with my knee and I've been running so much further and faster.  I self diagnosed my knee pain and am pretty sure that I experienced/am experiences IT Band Syndrome.  This time around I've been really good about stretching and icing and I've just been thrilled that I haven't had problems that have prevented me from running.

However, on Thursday the pain that I was feeling was back to the level of pain that I felt several years ago when I had to drop running completely.  I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to recover from this and that I wouldn't be able to complete the marathon.

Thankfully, several days before this I had ordered a large foam roller and a special brace for the IT Band.  They came in the mail on Friday and I promptly started rolling myself out on the roller (can i say OUCH!?) and wearing the brace.

I had planned to run 17 miles this weekend but was very doubtful that I'd be able to do much after my experience Thursday.

But wonder of wonders, I ran 17 miles yesterday!!!

I took it very slow, so slow in fact that my poor mother started worrying and was in tears by the time I came home :(.  When she realized I had been gone for awhile she started calculating what time I should be back based on my half marathon time.  I also miscommunicated with her and she thought I was running 15 miles.  Oh man, I felt awful!  It took me about 3 hours and 15 minutes.  The first half was great, the second half... not so much.  I had to start taking stretch breaks at every light to stretch out my extremely tight IT band. 

I also didn't bring enough fuel with me.  I only brought 16oz of water and was needed more.  I did end up stopping at a gas station but next time I'll have to bring 3 water bottles instead of just two.  I also ran out of energy gummies. 

I'm proud of myself and amazed that my body is able to run 17 miles.  I know I can improve the time and I'm not worried in the least.  I wanted to be gentle with my knee, especially since I knew I probably shouldn't be running on it at all. 

Since my run:

Ice baths...

...My feelings exactly
Whoever imagined hell as a fiery dungeon was obviously never subjected to an ice bath ;)

Lots of icing

Lots of time spent with the heating pad :)

Several brisk walks and of course lots of stretching

And I'm recovering much more quickly than last week.

I'm extremely optimistic about some new stretches I found for the IT Band:

And I'm positive that if I saw that much improvement in my knee after half a day with the foam roller and the knee brace that I will definitely be able to continue training for the marathon :)

I use mine right above the knee cap


  1. Did you ice bath? That is something I haven't dared to venture into yet but I have been feeling that way with my knees around mile 4 lately. I keep telling myself I need to stretch more.

    I just hit 7 this weekend so I am VERY amazed and bowing to your 17! AWESOME!

  2. I did ice bath. It was my 3rd ice bath and they are not getting any better, they are just awful! I think it's worth it though, I skipped it last week after the half marathon because it was so cold out and I took a lot longer to recover (could be due to other reasons of course).

    Stretching really does amazing things for your body. I think we can always use more stretching. I know you sometimes have pain in your IT band too. Do you do any of the stretches that are specific to the IT band? I haven't in the past, I didn't feel like they worked but I finally figured them out. Turns out I was doing them wrong. They really helped me get through those 17 miles.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement! :)

  3. Maybe I will just start with cold water and move up to ice :D

    I am trying to stretch every day no matter what I do to make it a habit. I think those days off are the ones getting me tight since I spend all day in front of a computer.

    I look forward to stepping up to your speed in 2011 :D