Week 19 Marathon Training + A Very Rough Week!

I don’t even know where to begin….These last 8 days have been really rough. I know I usually have my weekly training posts up on Saturday and obviously today is not Saturday. I just had no motivation to write a post on Saturday. It all started last Sunday when I ran my 20 miler….

PicMonkey Collageweek19

20 mile run

The run was actually going really well up until mile 15-16 when my knee started hurting. The pain would be a shooting pain on the outside of my left leg, it would stop hurting when I stopped running. Due to this pain I had to make quite a few stops in the last 4-5 miles of my run. My hubby even offered (numerous times) to run back to get the car and come pick Z and me up. I refused to give up. I didn’t want to have to try this 20 miler again the following week! I know I should have stopped, but I was so close to the end I just couldn’t quit. I was more upset that my knee was hurting and that it was affecting my run then the fact that I had an injury. Thankfully, the last mile (mile 19) I had no pain and was able to finish the 20 miles. After many stops, some tears and knee pain I can happily say “I ran 20 mile!”.

20miler

Not going to make my projected marathon time

After last Sunday’s 20 miler I came to the realization that I will most likely not be running a 4:30 marathon time. Yes, my actual running time for those 20 miles was 3 hours and 23 minutes, but my whole elapsed time was over 4 hours (due to all my stops).  Now I am no mathematician but those numbers don’t add up to a 4:30 marathon time. I guess at this point I am just aiming to finish this damn race.

The famous “taper”

I was questioning my decision on running my 20 miler 4 weeks out from my race, thinking maybe it was too far away from race day. Usually training plans suggest your last long, long run be about 2-3 weeks out and then you start your taper. After Sunday’s 20 miler I’m glad I chose to do it then and not 2 weeks out and having to deal with my knee so close to race day. At least I have a little time to figure this whole knee pain situation.

Summary of the rest of the week

I did workout every day last week, which looking back may not have been that great of a decision. The frustrating thing is I had absolutely no knee pain throughout all my workouts and my 2 separate runs I did. I ran an easy 3 miler on Wednesday and a 4 miler on Saturday with no indication of any pain.

My hubby’s 20 miler

Since my hubby has been helping me with my long runs I wanted to return the favor. Z and I met up with him for his last 5 miles. My hubby is a machine, at mile 15 of his 20 mile run he pushed Z in the jogging stroller for almost 4 miles. He said it did help take his mind off of the run and how tired and sore he was; a distraction from everything he was feeling.  I did take over for his last 3/4 of a mile, my knee was feeling good so I felt there was no harm in pushing Z for less than a mile.

PicMonkey Collagehubbys20miler

Yesterday’s “long” run or lack there of

I can’t wait until Saturday to tell you about my major fail on yesterday’s run. I planned on running 12-14 miles, but of course that all depended on how my knee was feeling. I was so nervous leading up to this run (more nervous than before my 20 miler) because I had no idea how my knee would feel. The uncertainty was killing me! I had only ran 3 miles and then my worst fear came true, my knee started hurting again!! I couldn’t believe it! I was so upset! I was determined to run at least 6 so it wasn’t a complete waste. I did the 6 and went home completely frustrated, upset, with so many emotions going through my mind.

IT band

After doing some research online (everything online is true, right?!?) I diagnosed my knee pain as an IT band issue. I iced my knee several times throughout the day. I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible (very hard with a very, very active 21 month old!).

After being emotionally, mentally and physically drained from yesterday’s run I decided to go into my local Fleet Feet to get some advice. They are wonderful! Normal people would call a doctor when problems come up I just go to my local Fleet Feet for help! I actually talked to one of the owners of the store and he agreed with me that it sounded like an IT band issue.

His advice:

  • strengthen my hip flexors (do specific stretches to help strengthen)
  • strengthen my quads (stretches)
  • roll out my IT band area (use my massage roller)
  • change-up the direction of my normal running route (so one side doesn’t get weak and vice versa)
  • do a couple short easy runs (after several days of stretching and rolling out) to see how the knee is feeling.
  • don’t do any more long, long runs!

I think the most frustrating thing about all of this is that my knee doesn’t hurt at all throughout the day, even while doing my cross training and short runs.

As I write this post I have exactly 20 days until my very first marathon and I am more scared now than I have been throughout my whole training. I am scared of the unknown and the uncertainty of when and if my knee pain will flare up.

Anyone have something similar to this happen to them?

Any advice, tips, suggestions? Anything?

On a lighter note, How is everyone doing out there? How was your weekend?

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11 Responses to Week 19 Marathon Training + A Very Rough Week!

  1. Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures says:

    I have so much to say.
    Please don’t be discouraged, I literally had the exact same thing happen to me – like almost exactly.
    I realized I wouldn’t hit my 4:30 goal time either (I came in at 4:50) but damn was that a proud moment. At some point or another, you just say F it, and just finishing it is accomplishment enough, trust me. Do NOT ever let this time thing affect the fact that you’re about to run a marathon and regardless, you will finish! It might not be easy at some points but it will be rewarding – for like months afterward. Heck, it’s been 8 months and I still brag about mine.
    Next, your IT band… I had the EXACT issue a few weeks before my marathon too! Holy crap! I also went to the running store and did some research and here’s what I did:
    I foam rolled like crazy. Like, all the time when I could.
    I took more time off from running and kept my long runs under 10 miles. I also slowed my pace down a lot and just generally went easy on my legs.
    I bought this: http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Tec-Athletics-Band-Compression-Wrap/dp/B005B00J5K
    Which you can get at Dick’s or Sports Authority if you want…. and I wore it for the marathon and it helped me immensely. I had never thought something could help so much but it really does if you get it on properly. My sweet boyfriend got it for me and it really saved the day.
    I ran the race with a bit of pain but that compression really helped the feeling. I also took some Advil before the race so the pain would subside for the day. I know that’s not healthy, but just saying – it definitely helped. After the race I didn’t run for a few weeks to heal up and that absolutely was necessary, both mentally and physically. And now, I’m back at it, training for another one, and this time – much more smartly. Just remind yourself that you’re going to finish no matter what and that once you finish, you get to be on a runner’s high for a really long time! 🙂 You’ve got this my friend, don’t let this injury get you down, because it happens to the best of us. ❤ ❤

  2. I second Meghan’s thoughts about the time goal. Just finishing IS such an accomplishment. I’ve heard so many people recommend not shooting for a specific time during your first marathon but just concentrating on completing it. Easier said than done, I know! I’m sorry that your knee is hurting you…I hate to hear that!!
    I also think it’s great that you go to Fleet Feet for injury advice. 🙂 It sounds like they had a bunch of it…I hope that it makes your knee feel better!!

    • Yeah I know I need to not worry about my time, just focus on finishing 😃
      This injury might be a blessing in disguise, it is forcing me to slow down… I’m always go, go, go all the time! Now I am just focusing on taking care of my body (and of course my son too!😃). Thank you Angie for the kind words! That’s why I love the blogging family, they are always there when you need them ❤

  3. Sorry about the knee pain girl! I had a similar thing happen to me last year while marathon training. My knee pain was more on the top inside part of the knee so I knew it wasn’t an IT band issue. I ended up seeing a sports chiropractor and he helped me tremendously! Hope yours feels better soon!!! I know how frustrating it is!

  4. Bummer about the knee pain! I’m glad that it stopped bothering you for your last mile and that you seem to have a good feel for what might be the problem, and a plan of attack on what to do. Have you thought about icing it after your runs to help keep the swelling and inflammation down? That might help a little, too.

  5. Pingback: Run, like how you live your life, with no regrets. | onemotherofaday

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