Thursday, 1 May 2008

15 Miles

The last three day's training consisted of trips to the gym at lunchtime for strengthening and stretching, a few lengths in the pool and into the steam room for some more heat and stretching.
I set out this morning to see if I could run the half marathon distance before deciding to run on Sunday and did indeed manage to complete 15 miles without experiencing and pain in or around my left knee (or anywhere else for that matter). However the presence of every muscle, tendon and ligament on the outside of my knee was the only sensory information coming back to my brain for most of the run (it felt like the only muscle group in my body) and I did experience the onset of some discomfort as early as mile 3 and mile 4 to 6 but it did not develop and went again. Miles 8 and 9 passed without incident and I felt very comfortable (knee wise) from mile 10 through to 13.11 (in 01:36:50) to 14. During the last mile I did experience the onset of discomfort again and reduced the pace to compensate. So while I finished the run without the ITBS pain I can't say it was a typical run - I can't help but feel that I probably altered my gait in some way as a subconscious preventative measure.
While I had no pain during or after the run. As the morning wore on at work (sedentary desk job) my knee got stiff and achy so much so that it hurt when I got up to walk and especially going down stairs (classic ITBS pain). Once warmed up it returned to normal. I went to Letti, my usual sports masseur, this evening (should have taken Michael's and Ewen's advice earlier) and got a overall rub down with particular attention paid to the ITB on the outside of the knee where she found some damaged/knobbly fibres at the joint between the tibia and fibula and worked them over (suggested that I manipulate them with an ice cube at home and apply heat to bring fresh blood to the area and repeat as necessary) . She also noticed bruising further up my leg - legacy of the physio on Monday (I cancelled Friday's repeat visit when I finished with Letti). Letti advised no running tomorrow and said I could run Sunday if I wanted to as it would give some feedback as to whether treatment is working (although I am less inclined to race) In any event it would appear that, while I applied on-line, I do not appear to be registered for the race in Bantry and therefore I don't think it is worth €55 to run 13.1 miles as opposed to race it and give Thomas the opportunity to legitimately win as well. As it is I am losing valuable peak training time for Cork and may not be in shape to run it well (am already thinking of a Plan B - perhaps Berlin in September, although I don't know if entry is straightforward given the high numbers).

Letti gave me the name of a good physio she has used in the past, whose name I also came across on an ITBS forum on the Eagle AC website (cured a girl of ITBS in 2 visits using acupunture). He's a triathlete and so may understand the issue better than a general sports injury physio.

Thur 1st May 15 Miles in 01:51:16 (07:25 pace @ 146 HR) Thomas - the stretch (left leg is the affected leg) 1. Cross the left leg behind the right leg, keeping it straight/rigid and extend it as far to the right as you can go with your left foot resting on its side on the floor . The right leg will be bent at the knee (crouching position). You will probably need to hold onto something. 2. While keeping the left leg straight lower your bum vertically towards the floor and tilt your torso to the right and you should feel a stetch come on the outside of your left leg from your hip down. I hope I've described it right. Otherwise you may have trouble explaining yourself to anyone watching you.


  1. Excellent explanation, I think I got it.

    Shame about Bantry, but are you really sure you want to miss out on your home town marathon?

  2. There'll be other chances to go for a half PB - and to beat Thomas ;)

    Berlin sounds good - at least it's a fast and flat course, and you'd always have a group to run with.

    I hope the new physio can get it sorted so you don't miss too much training time.