This was supposed to be the post where I revealed my marathon goals. This was supposed to be the post where I recounted my positive changes in this training cycle. This was supposed to be the post where I talked about tapering and how much I missed the grind of training. This was supposed to be the time of positive anxiousness, where I knew I had the fitness covered, but respected the fact that you never know how your body will feel on race day. This was supposed to be fun.
Plans change. Mine changed at the 7-mile mark of my run last Sunday. My right knee is not in a happy place. Apparently my knee bone is connected to my pissed-off bone, but I’m trying to keep both in check. Per my new plan, I gave my knee a test this morning. There were no miracles. No sudden, mind-blowing recoveries. No confidence-boosting improvements from Wednesday’s run. I didn’t expect much, and I got what I expected.
I bought a Cho-Pat strap for my knee, the kind with a strap above and below the knee, and wore it on this morning’s run. The first half mile was pretty brutal. Lots of tightness and pain where the quad meets the inner kneecap. Once that loosened up a bit, it mostly settled into a dull ache, with an occasional shot of pain on the outside or inside of the kneecap. I tried to mix surfaces, and hit some hills, to see if anything made things better or worse, and nothing really jumped out as good or bad. I also made sure I went at least 7 miles, since that’s where the Cobra Kai decided to sweep the knee last time.
Ended up going just over 9 miles, followed by much Advil and ice. And perhaps a beer or two.
Net result – disappointment that the rest and ice didn’t seem to make a discernible difference between Wednesday and Sunday, with slight encouragement that I got through 9 miles.
Bottom line – unless something gets considerably worse over the course of the week, I’ll be standing at the starting line Sunday morning ready for 4 hours of hurt. Also, my knee can suck it if it thinks it’s going to make me throw out all my goals and just be happy to finish. My goal is to go sub 4-hours. My original goal, pre knee flop, was to run an 8:45 average pace, finishing around 3:50. I’m still clinging tenuously to that goal, and will hold that grip until my body tells me otherwise.
Without an actual medical opinion on this, I’m not quite sure what to do this week. Total rest? Try another short run Wednesday to keep things loose? Cross-train to try and kick my quads into gear? Maybe a couple long walks? I’ll definitely be stretching every day, icing multiple times daily, spending some quality time with the foam roller, and taking anti-inflammatories like Brett Favre on a Monday morning. I may try and get to my orthopedist, but my work schedule isn’t making this very likely.
Time to start getting my mind ready for an unhappy body one week from now. Time to channel a combination of Willis Reed, Jordan with the flu, and Kerri Strug on the vault. Or maybe Rocky Balboa, since Clubber Lang summed up my prediction for this race....
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