Jaynes Your Way

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Sidelined before my First Marathon

09 December, 2010

My first marathon is this Saturday- The Kiawah Island Marathon. I meant to update along the way with training and such, but I was too busy running 30+ miles a week and I didn't think anyone would really care... Things were going great until Halloween. I at the end of 18 mile run when I definitely felt something pop (not like an ACL tear), but something just didn't feel right.

 I took a few days off and then tried to run again, no go. A mile or two into the run my right knee just wouldn't move and there was excrutciating pain on the outside of it. This is not what you want to feel two miles into a run when you have 18 more miles on a that training run and have to run 26.2 miles in less than 5 weeks.

After trying the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) treatement for a week I decided to finally see a Doctor, and since I am a terrible person and didn't get a doctor when we moved to NYC I was able to find a Sports Medicine/Family Practice.

After the intitial diagnosis, torn Gastrocnemius (calf) muscle, my GP asked me to come see the Sport MD to get an ultrasound. The look with the ultrasound didn't reveal a tear, but showed signs of stress. I was ordered to not run for a few weeks.

Here's what I learned from not running for a month:

1) The best laid plans can always be ruined.
Like I said I had been training since last January, not specifically for this race, but for two other half-marathons. This was my plan, but I had to cut out he last 4 weeks.

This was my plan (pdf):

 I took a few weeks off here and there during the months of previous training, but for the most part I was following a pretty strict 4 day a week plan. Even the best laid plans can be sidelined or have unexpected hiccups. Luckily, I peaked early and don't think I've lost much endurance--hopefully. So I just had to adapt and change the plan. Plans shouldn't be that concrete anyway.

2) For me, not running on a regular basis sucks
 Looking back at those times I grumbled about early mornings or running after I long day of work I realized that not being able to do either is terrible. Running for me is very cathartic. I normally don't listen to music, but instead try to just zen out, which is probably why I have been extra snippy this week. Getting out and logging some miles is a chance to defrag or just let out some steam.

3) Foam rollers are awesome.
I'm good about stratching after runs, but it felt weird to stratch not having done anything. Enter the magical foam roller. This oversized foam noodle is a great way to message the muscles. Which bring me to. . .

4)Sports massages are even better.
I had never had a massage before being sidelined. I have a professor at Clemson who had one every week (He's run 12 marathons) and had nothing but great things to say about them. After getting over the initial "someone's touching me while I am not wearing clothes" issue it really helped my legs recover quicker. I actually had one final session Wednesday and Donna really dug into my calf, trying to alleviate the knots and scar tissue. Today it feels better than it has in weeks.

5)Everyone needs to rest.
Strangely enough with all the resting, icing, and stretching my legs actually feel stronger. I've noticed this is just about everything I do: School, Work, Reading, Writing. . .Superhero-ing.

Anwyays, I wanted to get these out pre-race and update it post race to see if anything changed.


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