Tuesday, September 08, 2015

The Road to PDX26.2

It takes a marathon to get to a marathon.

I've been meaning to post here about my experience training for the Portland Marathon, on October 4th. I'm registered, and I'm in week 15 of an 18-week training plan.

Any time you try to stick with something fairly rigorous for 18 weeks you're bound to get sidetracked, off-schedule, screwed up, whatever, especially when the enterprise is as dodgy a one as running is for a 46-year-old with no distance running experience to speak of.

All this is to say, my goddam knee hurts. And I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised at how much this is bothering me.

So here's the story. All was going pretty well according to plan (the plan being a Hal Higdon training schedule I'd downloaded and entered into my Google calendar). I was hitting my miles, I felt good, I'd ramped up slowly and deliberately and avoided injury. Through the week of hitting 16 miles on my long run day, I was on it. And then.

And then, I took a trip to Portland for work and figured I'd get some miles in there. My first run was supposed to be 18 miles. Around mile 12 a familiar thing happened--I started having knee pain. This was familiar because I'd previously worked through some IT-band issues with my right knee. And I'd gotten past it with discipline strestching and foam rolling. Regardless, I had to cut the run short (in the downpour I found myself in, I didn't mind so much at the time). And I redoubled my efforts at knee maintenance.

The rest of the week, every run went well. I was happy. I'd had a problem, figured it out, and solved it.

Problem was, I paid too much attention to just that problem. So this past Saturday, out for a cut-back week long run of 14 miles, I split the distance between road and dirt. On my way down at the end off the trail I had a little tenderness in my left knee, but nothing too serious, so I kept going.

Mistake. I sit here nursing severe pain in my left knee--a totally new thing, pain in the left knee--as I nurse this beer I'm drinking.

And it won't go away.
And it won't let me run, or this time hardly even walk.

I tried for an easy 5 miles today and couldn't get past 5 minutes or so of jogging before having to stop and walk. And it still hurts. I'm supposed to do 10 miles tomorrow, while I'm not sure how I can walk from 10 Barrel to the studio to do my radio show without bad pain.

I'm 4 weeks out from the race. This weekend, I'm supposed to hit my long distance mark of 20 miles--the longest run of the training calendar before I taper for the race.

So wtf. I'm flummoxed. I'm waiting and seeing. And I'm discouraged to the point of wanting to cry. 

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, right? Except if I don't stick to this plan, I have no idea if I can make it anywhere near 20 miles, let alone 26.2. So I suppose what I'm doing is confronting failure.

What do I do about it? I'm not sure yet. What I do know is that this is not the update I'd been wanting to post. But it's the update I have.

Any tips out there for me?

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