If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter on Instagram, you already know I conquered 32 kilometres on Sunday.
I’m still baffled by this. I look at this picture and wonder if I was dreaming and my Garmin produced imaginary data.
Yes, my knee and IT band are still achy and I am still wobbly, but I’m improving – even after running this massive distance. I am amazed and so grateful for medical advice, treatment and the glory that is New Shoes.
Let’s back up a bit. Much has happened since my last post. I ran 3.5 km that night and felt OK.
Thursday: I continued with my physio exercises (bridge and clam shell – here’s a link from a random website), ran 6 km on the treadmill then found a couple short videos on YouTube for stretching and strength exercises for runners.
I also saw my family doctor to get a referral for physio, so I can get insurance coverage. She was very supportive of my running goals and also wrote me a prescription for Naproxen, an anti-inflammatory similar to Aleve.
Friday: I returned to physio and learned a few more exercises for core stability. Had more acupuncture and hot/cold therapy. The physiotherapist wasn’t too keen on me taking the Naproxen. Why mask the pain with medication when we could work on strengthening and fixing the problem directly? I agreed (thinking I’ll fill the prescription anyway, because those things could come handy after the 32 km I had planned for the weekend).
New exercises I learned included lunging with one foot balancing on a stability ball; walking backwards on a treadmill (activating those glutes) and doing side shuffles on the ‘mill, working on keeping my body in alignment.
After work I headed down to Alex Coffin’s Fitness Shop to pick up some new kicks. I wanted the exact same pair of Brooks Glycerin because I love them so much. But I knew mine were worn out.
Alex was notably alarmed when he saw the state of these shoes (which I only purchased last November). He suggested my form is likely off, and I’m probably not following through on my stride. I’m also clearly putting the most pressure on the outside of my foot, especially on the right side.
I left Alex’s store very pleased with my new shoes – I got black – but worried my old ways would be tough to fix this far into my training.
I came home and after putting Silas to sleep, I tackled another 6.5 km on the treadmill, plus more strength and stretching.
Saturday: Rest day but no sitting. Chasing a toddler around a few stores, then house cleaning. I ate as many carbs and drank as much water as humanly possible. Also a beer. Seriously, before bed I ate a whole Kit Kat bar and a bowl of Raisin Bran. (The shame!)
Sunday: I woke up feeling like I had a big exam. I was so scared to tackle 32 km. I had the blessing of my medical professionals, and I had really been running all week (though the runs were short), but I still had my doubts. I told Mark to stay by the phone. I fully expected I wouldn’t get much farther than 10 km before he got a call.
I struck out with a mixture of fear and determination in my belly. I held my posture high and tried to keep in mind all the tips I had heard from Alex and Rob (my physiotherapist) over the past week. I mentally focused on keeping my core strong. I thought about taking off from my big toe.
My knee and IT band were achy but the pain was very mild and I could run through it. Just knowing that running through that sensation without forcing any longterm damage helped push me along.
I tried to stay in a positive mindset. And amazingly, after the 10 km mark (my mental breaking point, or so I thought), I realized I could do it. I felt warmed up and I felt strong. I had lots of energy (so much sugary goodness coursing through me). I just took it slow and kept going.
By the time I hit the 20 km mark, I called home so my husband wouldn’t worry. Turns out he didn’t expect to come get me at all. He had better faith in me than I did.
Before long, I was more focused on fatigue and a dull numbness in my feet that comes along with long distance running (at least for me) than I was that ache in my knee. In fact, it was barely noticeable.
Could it be that the run actually made me better?
I have no idea, but since then, my pain has definitely not become worse.
I came home from Sunday’s run, had my first ever ice bath (equally dreadful and wonderful) and drank a protein smoothie.
Monday was a rest day but I did yoga and my physio exercises. Today I got up early and ran 5 km. All feels good!
Three weeks to go until marathon day. Fingers crossed this was only a blip in my training.