Friday, March 4, 2016

Running Update

Running has been a bit blah of late.  It hasn't been the same since that awful twilight half marathon run towards the end of last year.  I've struggled with enthusiasm for Great Ocean Road Marathon training despite being exactly half way through my training program this week (10 of 20).  

I've been struggling with the 21.1 distance.  It's been HARD & I've been REALLY SLOW which has been doing my head in.  I know its already a long way & it doesn't matter how fast or slow you run, but the whole idea is to improve on your time right??  Or at least maintain a certain level which I've struggled with.  I'm guessing all this should probably tell me that something is amiss, but I'm blaming it on Febfast.  

This is Jim about to fall off the wagon & into the plonk at a dinner I was at early in Feb.  I think a girl cannot run on food & chocolate alone. I need wine which I gave up for the month of February during which time included my first run over the the 21.1km distance 2 weeks ago @ 23kms.  

I was quite stressed about the distance during the week & ended up asking my old PT give me a pep talk!!  I set out  committed to not worrying about the pace & after 5kms felt pretty strong & happy until 21.75kms..............when my right knee started to feel like a knuckle that needed cracking & then the familiar ITB knee pain set in.

I actually stopped & walked 200m to the drinking fountain ahead, had a drink & a reassessment, then shuffle ran the last km home feeling teary.  I was disheartened to say the least.  Iced & took anti inflams straight away + wore recovery skins all day & night.  It was actually feeling OK on Sunday & I started to wonder if it was all in my head!!  Put it through a PT session on Monday night without pain, but was still dubious about running.  

My lovely (new) PT recommended me her Myotherapist, whom I was very lucky to get a 1 hour appointment with on Wednesday afternoon (I've lost faith in my Physio, but that is a story for another day & probably not one for a public place).  Below is an image of injuries a Myo can treat.

She was very surprised I could run more than 10kms without pain & believes that my anatomy on the right side isn't doing me any favours (I'm knock kneed & duck footed on that side) & that my TLF & a little muscle in behind my knee which tries to keep it stable being tight as all get out are contributing.  She inflicted a fair bit of pain on me to loosen both of them off.

Long & short is that I'm doing most things right but need to spend more time on trigger point release all along the ITB & the hip area in addition to the regular foam rolling I was doing.  I had a follow up appointment yesterday & she's given me the all clear & only need to come back if it flares up again, so I am feeling hopeful.  

So much so that I finally ran some hills last night along the Maribyrnong river on a trail & felt great!!!!  More so mind than body - I was still slow & the hill was hard work; but I was HAPPY to be out there & happy to be running up a hill LOL!  Post run below.

I also found a great youtube on foam rolling & ITB last Friday which I believe has made a huge difference in my understanding & ability to self treat.  

Backtracking, I ran 5kms on the treadmill last Thursday after the Wednesday treatment & knee felt achey all day Friday.  Set off with trepidation for 15kms on Saturday & made it through without pain so the test will be tomorrow with a 25km run (having done 5kms on the treadmill after PT on Monday night & 7km hills last night without soreness). 

It hasn't been all doom & gloom however.  I arrived home from holidays beginning of Feb to find a parcel awaiting me:

My runamok tights from Char-  Aren't they snazzy!!! Fit is fabulous (similar to Running Bear fit), they are super comfortable & stay where put.  

I've joined the Rundownunder community & am currently virtually 48.30kms from Sydney (you start at Canberra) from the kms I've run this year.  Should get there next week.  That has helped with enthusiasm as it's pushing me to record & update my results so I can see where I am on the map (& in comparison to a few friends who are also part of this community - racing!!!)!

I bought some new sneakers on advice from a fellow runner friend who also worked for a number of years as the manager of a sports store.  She's a Saucony girl & I tried on a few pairs of her sisters recently & did some due diligence before heading into Podium Sports to try on my sizes before making a purchase.

I've ended up with a pair of Hurricanes (purple) & a pair of Guide 8's (blue) as recommended  - click on the links for some independent reviews & explanations of the shoes if you are interested. 

I wore the Guides on the treadmill Monday night & my feet felt like they were in heavenly pillows of softness.  Mind you that's how the Nike Lunar Glides felt too & look where they got me.

I wore the Hurricanes last night on the hill run & they were nowhere near as cushioned as the guides.  I had to undo the lock lacing between the car & the start of the trail as the tongue sides were bothering me.  I still don't think I had the lacing right as I felt like I was right in the toe box for the whole run although didn't feel any heel slippage.  

It is clear that I need stability for longer distance to help with the ITB issue, but one surely needs cushioning too!! Jury is out on both for now but the guides were lovely on.  The big decision is what to wear tomorrow!

The last thing that has given me hope is reading other bloggers who are having fun with their running.  In particular you Carol - you & Mike's antic's & pure joy with your running has helped me keep the faith.  So thank you!!!!


Char said...

I think all runners get the blahs about running every so often. I really struggled a couple of years ago and ended up getting incredibly anxious about events. I was worried that I wouldn't perform very well - so stupid! I'd get myself into such a state that I couldn't eat beforehand and then of course I wouldn't perform well. I had to take all the expectation and pressure away before I started enjoying it again.

As for the ITB - man, that hurts. It's so debilitating! I've had a few bouts of it through my running life and what helped me was doing some work to strengthen my hips. I got through all of Melbourne marathon without even a twinge. Might be worth looking into.

AlleyCat said...

Thanks Char. It's good to know I'm not alone RE the Blah's!!!

The physio (2 years ago?) had me working on glute strength predominately followed by hip strengthening which I've been doing. The physio who did the recent running assessment said they were firing in the right order & quite strong although the right side isn't as strong as the left. She recommended 1 legged standing strength work as during the running motion you are on 1 leg at a time so each leg has to be independently stable & be able to hold a neutral pelvis even when fatigued which makes sense. I'll keep working on it & keep you posted!!!!!!

Blue Grumpster said...

Yes, those tigjts are snazzy! I wonder if they would enhance my look (wink wink ouch ouch). Hey, take good care of yourself. You only have two knees.

AlleyCat said...

Thanks Blue - the sore knee is much better & I made it through the 25kms!!!!! Whoop whoop!!!!

Carol said...

Well this was a big hamburger with the lot post wasn't it. Firstly about the blahs, bah to the blahs. You have worked so hard so you're entitled to the blahs (for only a moment, now snap out of it!! you hear). :-) But the ITB ouch, interesting reading about what a Myotherapist does. I haven't heard that term before. As long as it helps you. Love the tights you got from Char, I still am yet to purchase, but now she has cow print, yay!!!! Good to hear that they are a similar fit to Running Bare (RB are one of my fave tights). And I love RDU, I'm between Brisbane and Darby and it's a long haul, I don't think I'm ever going to get to Darby darn it. But then I did it all last year too. It's fun when you're out in your shirt and you see others out and about too. I've seen so many more blue shirts this year (last year's was an icky grey, I think I only wore it once). And that's so nice that Mike and I are entertaining with our antics. Only thing is the man is having some achilles trouble at the moment and hasn't run for over a week. I did however strap him up with rock tape which he was quite impressed with and wanted to wear shorts down the street so he looked like a true (injured) athlete. Honestly I've created a monster!! Okay now get out there and get the joy back, wear your Char tights and make yourself smile. XX

AlleyCat said...

Thanks Carol - I think I'm starting to kick those blah's in the butt!!!! I hope Mike's achilles heals up quick - LOL @ the tape!!!

There are so many practitioners out there it's hard to know what or who to see! I've done so much research on ITB - what it is is easy to understand, but from what I can tell, each individual can have difference weaknesses or tightness that causes the band to tighten up & sometimes a combination of things. Hopefully I've got it under control now & can continue to self treat without having the pain come on!!!!

Nothing like a funky pair of tights to brighten your run :-)

Thanks for the encouragement!!! xo