3 weeks and 2 days since my first marathon, and so far only one aborted run with a very angry knee. I've been living vicariously through numerous runners' blogs over the last few weeks, hoping that my post-race issues would work themselves out with rest, but finally had to make an Ortho visit yesterday to have my right knee looked at. Good news is that there doesn't appear to be any significant structural damage, and the pain appears to be a combination of IT Band tightness and some tendonitis around the kneecap. Heading to my first PT session tomorrow to try and get things working right again so I can get back on the trail. Like so many things, I didn't realize how much I wanted, or perhaps needed to run until I wasn't able to just lace them up and head out the door.
My training for my first marathon was a battle against the elements, and against a calf strain that I had to deal with for the last 2.5 months of my training. I figured winter training for a Spring marathon in North Carolina would be ideal in terms of temperature, hydration, etc., but we ended up having one of the coldest winters on record, and several of my long runs were in 3 inches of snow, freezing rain, or trying not to break my neck as I navigated frozen puddles on roads. The calf strain was a struggle, but introduced me to compression sleeves, Biofreeze, The Stick, etc. Overall the first marathon experience was very positive, and race day was great. I'm aiming to run the Outer Banks Marathon in November, but really want to get my body back in mostly working order before I dive into training, and try some new things this time around to address and hopefully prevent more injuries.
Interestingly, my knees were one of the things I worried about before I started my training, but my knees gave me very few problems until after the actual race. Self-diagnosing via the internet is never a good idea, and depending on the website I looked at the prospects ranged from a couple of day rest to never running again. Unlike my usual approach to things (injuries and life), rather than just charging ahead I've decided to let the experts set me on the right path, hence the Ortho and PT.
My goal with this blog is to track my experience the second time around, both for myself (a bit of mirror-looking) and for others who can hopefully share from my experiences, offer me some advice or insight into improving my running, or just be entertained by my attempts to broaden my mind and experiences through new training approaches. My biggest issue, which has always been the case, is that my muscles are horribly inflexible. Rather than rubber bands, they more resemble pieces of rope dipped in water and left in the freezer overnight. Improving this is priority number one over the next few months. That is one of the main things I'm planning to spend time talking to the therapist about tomorrow, and hopefully they can get me moving in the right direction. Should be an interesting ride.