On August 22nd, I was fully optimistic that I was going to run the Half Marathon from start to finish. There wasn't a doubt in my mind. I had a beautiful 11 mile run the day before and was feeling good. Surely I could add 2 more miles on race day feeling THAT strong. Right?
Then came August 23rd. I ran five miles. One mile included some cadence work to work on my form. I ran 4 long hill repeats up a .36 mile long hill (with a light jog back down each time). I then ran another mile cool down. While running the last hill I felt some tightness that was almost a pain on the back of my left leg. Later that day though, I felt pain in the center of my left butt cheek instead. The cheek pain didn't go away.
I went to the Sports Doc and without examining me (I kid you not!) he said it sounded like a hamstring. Rest and ice for a week. NO HILLS!! As a note, that Sports Doc QUIT the practice two days later. Hmmmm.
The next time I ran my right knee pain inexplicably came back at mile 4, and did so with a vengeance. I had to walk most of the way home. It was the first time I couldn't finish a run.
I began seeing my physical therapist at Proactive Therapy WEEKLY. He did some poking and prodding and testing. He is fairly certain that my left cheek pain is Piriformis caused. He then explained that to me and gave me some stretches that do help relieve the burn. I found that it fit my symptoms very well: I can run without excessive pain to that area (though I do feel it on hills!) but I definitely feel it when bent at the hips to sit or touch my toes after the run.
Then, I got new shoes. After 12 miles in short runs in them, I tried them out yesterday for my first long run (in weeks) with an 8 miler. My right knee started acting up a little at 6.48 miles but it was NOT gait altering. After the run I was walking it out and noticed my inner left ankle hurt a bit. I checked my shoe and saw it was quite loosely tied. Not sure how I did that. When I got home I iced the ankle a lot. Today, I am still icing it. That was definitely a 'duh!' moment on me. I am a pronator with very weak ankles. How on earth I ran 8 miles with loosely tied shoes is a mystery to me.
Sometimes I can be so STUPID.
- I have 27 days left to train. There is a 10 mile and a 12 mile 'long run' between now and then.
- I am fighting piriformis syndrome on my left buttock (daily).
- I am fighting iliotibial band and knee issues on the right side.
- I have an over-strained left ankle that is slightly swollen on the inside of the foot and feeling bruised (ice, ice baby!)
My 50 year old body that didn't start running until last August is telling me that this might be my last Half Marathon and I am looking FORWARD to dropping my long runs from 10's to 6's again. My goals for 2013 are to do Sprint distance duathlons. I love riding my bike. I love running those distances. There is a 5K/15 mile/5K race in April that I intend to be at.