I can hear it now... handfuls of expert runners and coaches shaking their heads and grumbling, "Told you so." When Liv + I first started this running venture, we were told time and time again how important it is to work with a coach or a team or basically anyone that knew a little something about marathon training so we didn't end up injuring ourselves. And did we listen? Of course not. After all, we're invincible.
So here we are, just weeks before the big race, with only one pair of good knees between the two of us. Liv struggled with Runner's Knee (ITBS) a while back. She went to the doc and did lots of RICEing, and for the most part, has worked past the pain and is hanging in there pretty strong.
Just recently, I started feeling pain on the outside of my knee, too. I didn't recognize all of the warning signs that I should have, so I kept thinking the pain would eventually just go away. But my runs kept getting cut shorter and shorter, until yesterday, my stride came to a complete halt around mile 3. I limped all the way to my running shop, hobbled up the stairs, stopped in the middle of the store and said, "I need help."
Thankfully, the team at the Running Company in Georgetown is full of rock stars. I pointed to the pain and they identified everything I've experienced. They answered my number one question which was, "Am I doing long term damage to my knee by trying to run through the pain?" Not only did they give me the answer I was looking for, but they made me feel better about not being able to knock out my 20 mile run yesterday. The gal that helped me also coaches real marathoners (as in, people that actually know what they're doing and finish in under 3 hours), and she promised me that doing a second 20 mile run was mainly for mental purposes anyway. She explained that I'm better off RICEing, foam rolling and banging out a couple more 8 - 10 milers before the race (which I'm happy to oblige).
How did I get myself in this position? No doubt because I increased mileage too quickly. I thought I'd be fine half-assing the weekday training and catching up on the weekends with my long runs. As a result, I did way more than my body (namely, my IT band) was prepared for, so here I am.
Race day was already going to be ugly. Now, it's going to be just plain hideous. But what can you do? Maybe I'll get a Rudy-like chant from the audience to push me across the finish line once it gets dark. "SALLY! SALLY! SALLY! SALLY!" I can hear it already. Let's do this, knee.