I've been wondering if I'm meant to run this marathon. The past few weeks of training have been brutal. My 14 Mile Slump ended at 5 miles when I face-planted into the ground. I redeemed myself last week with an awesome 5 miles, 8 miles, and another 5 miles - feeling good and ready to tackle the 16 miles this past Saturday. Then, I face-planted again. Well, not so much a face plant, more of a side plant as I tripped at mile 2 and landed on my right side, knee and hand. Just a little bleeding this time in the knee - nothing major. I even laughed at myself as I got myself up and brushed myself off. I wasn't going to let a fall stop me on this 16 miles. I was ready. I felt amazing the entire run - I was just past the 11 mile mark and was about to beat my Malibu Half Marathon time when out of no where my knee seized up. I've never, EVER had knee problems. I've had every other problem, but never with my knees. I tried run / walking from miles 11 to 12 and when I realized I was hobbling I forced myself to stop and had a good long cry the next two miles finishing again, under my goal mileage. After discussing with Marci, who has also gone through knee problems, I've come up with a game plan for this next week, even though I'm terrified about what may be around the corner.
I don't know what went wrong this past Saturday. I was feeling SO GOOD. My knee pain started on the right side of my right knee (the knee I fell on 9 miles earlier). Then it moved to the top of my knee and up my quad and IT band. I think its an issue with my IT band or calf, but I've been meticulously foam rolling and stretching after every single run so I have no idea why this is happening. I took several ibuprofen upon returning home and that helped with a lot of my knee pain. The rest of the day it was sore, but not excruciatingly. Yesterday and today the pain has moved from the front of my knee to feeling tight in the back of my knee. Better, but I definitely don't feel like I can run on it.
After talking to Marci about it on the phone after my run - she immediately called me after I texted her:
"I'm a failure! I can't do this!!!" (I know, so dramatic).
Marci has been through this before and recommended I take the week off from running. TAKE THE WEEK OFF?! That is probably one of the hardest things to do when training for a marathon. But I will listen to her because she does know best! And so, instead of running I'm jumping in the pool.
While training for the triathlon last year I swam three days a week and never had any running injuries. Why? Because I was cross training. I've definitely been slacking on my recent weeks of cross training. I haven't cross trained for a month and I think that in combination with the massive increase of running miles has left my body off kilter. Instead of including strength training and no impact endurance days I've just sat on my butt. I KNOW I should have cross trained. Thankfully, there are still five weeks to go until the marathon and now I'm just trying to stay positive.
So back in the pool I go this week to restart and hopefully heal for the last time!