Week 17/18 for Hamilton Marathon

The majority of this week was spent not running (in fact, I did not run a single mile), doing stretching and strengthening exercises, using the elliptical, and generally just trying to let my body recover as best I could.

I’m hopeful that things will come together and I’ll be able to run the Hamilton marathon next Sunday but I need my knee to feel a little stronger yet. It will probably be another last minute decision. Assuming I can run by then, I hope to still go for a decent improvement from my last marathon time of 2:41. I think I should be able to run 2:35 but I’d really have liked to run under 2:30. I might try to run the first half at 1:16-1:17 and then see about picking up the pace for the second half.

Nothing exciting on the training front but here’s how the week came together:

Monday: I was in pretty rough shape. I had a noticeable limp while walking and by the end of the day my knee was feeling pretty tired. The problems in my left leg seemed to be jumping around between the shin, calf, knee, and hip. The only thing I knew for certain was that running wasn’t an option. I borrowed my parents’ elliptical to try to get some cross training in over the next two weeks.

Tuesday: I visited a chiropractor to get his opinion in my leg/knee. Acupuncture in a few places around the knee. I did my strengthening and stretching routine in the evening (lunges, squats, etc.).

Wednesday: Still limping around while walking and didn’t feel like my knee was strong enough to try out the elliptical.

Thursday: Visited my favourite physiotherapist, Jenny, at Archway and she helped narrow things down to the IT band where it connects around the knee. She did some checks to make sure I wasn’t dealing with a stress fracture and that the meniscus was fine so that was reassuring since those were the two problems I was afraid of. She did her best to loosen things up around the IT band and prescribed lots of foam rolling and massage for the quad muscle ‘in front’ of the IT band (Vastus lateralis), the muscle that attaches to the hamstring ‘behind’ the IT band (Bicep femoris), and where the IT band attaches in my hip (Tensor fasciae latae).  I also bumped forward my massage from next Thursday to this Friday to try to get this fixed. It’s funny how simply understanding the problem better has changed my entire outlook; I’m feeling much more positive and hopeful that I’ll be able to get back to running in time for Hamilton. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then my strengthening and stretching routine in the evening (lunges, squats, etc.).

Friday: After spending some time on the foam roller the previous night, things were feeling okay but my knee still felt weak. I had a massage that focused on the muscles mentioned above. Walking felt comfortable after the massage so I think I’m headed in the right direction. I did 30 minutes of elliptical and then spent some time in the evening on the foam roller.

Saturday: from the time I woke up, my knee was feeling achy. Spent a little time on the foam roller and massaging the area.

Sunday: ‘Rest’ day. I was at the Michigan Beer Festival on Saturday so Sunday was a recovery day after getting my fill of hoppy carbs. ;)

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