Well, the bad news is that I appear to have really injured my knee.
Yesterday during the 31 mile extravaganza I did: (https://lornpearsontrains.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/wk24-31m-dunbar-hospital-thurso-to-wick/ ) I felt the familiar pain of IT band friction in my right knee and leg from about mile 16 onwards (anvinjury I had about 2 years ago)
I (perhaps stupidly) continued to run the next 15 miles through the pain, but despite the pain then and now I’m glad I accomplished what I did.
Now I’m nursing a hell of a sore knee and trying not to moan too much as I know it is very much self inflicted and my own stupid fault.
Here’s why I think it happened:
Injury due to increasing milage too much after having 1-2 weeks of lower milage, as well as perhaps too much training with not enough recovery weeks (3:1, rather than 2:1)in too short a build up period (5-8 weeks).
I aimed to train to run 40 miles in 8 weeks of training. I thought I had ‘the marathon in my legs’ so thought I’d be fine – I possibly should have built training up more slowly and over a longer period, say 3-6 months.
I ran 26.2 again a few weeks ago and was fine, then it all went a bit wrong 10 days ago on the Thursday I was meant to run 32 miles. Pain in my right ankle after 6 miles. Then continued pain (and self doubting for the next 16 miles.
So I decided rest was in need. I took 6 days off running, did a short gym session and an 8 mile trail walk during the 6 days but rested totally from running. I thought I was being sensible.
The day before my 31 mile run I tried out a 5 mile run and felt comfortable and strong. I was ready to run the longest distance I’ve ever run.
It was physically and mentally challenging, and perhaps I could have done it differently (slower on the day perhaps or with more weeks of training) but I’m glad I did it.
Perhaps my mistake was in my training plan? 3 weeks of progressive increases in training followed by a recovery week. Perhaps I needed 1 in every 3 weeks as lower milage recovery weeks. One thing is for sure, from week 3 I was finding the training load hard by that point. I felt like I needed more rest and recovery.
Week 2 was my best week where I ran 54 mikes including a marathon from Glasgow to Greenock where I didn’t feel any I’ll effects after it and managed a good negative split. After that I’ve been averaging about 35/36 miles a week.
Now, despite my rest enforced rest periods I now have an injury which feels like it needs at least a two week recovery period.
I want to be sensible and am 95% sure I’ve scuppered my chances of starting (and finishing) the Clyde Stride in 3 weeks time.
I’m almost comfortable with the fact that it might not be the right time for me to do it now, but that perhaps next year I can use what I’ve learned and train smarter based on my learnings. I’m also comfortable in the knowledge that yesterday I ran a very poignant 31 miles home with the support of friends and family locally and via Facebook. I didn’t get a medal but I have a garmin route to show for it (and the scars/injury to proofs I succeeded in completing the specific challenge that I bet no one else has).
I think I’ll rest from running for around about 2 weeks then consider if I’m going to pull out from the Clyde Stride or not. We’ll see.
I don’t want to risk being out for longer than need be, it just isn’t worth it. Perhaps it’s just my body reminding me that I’m still human after all? 😉
There is also the fact that if you look at the bigger picture the Clyde Stride isn’t the most important thing in the world. I feel grateful that I’ve been able to run as well as I have been and perhaps it’s time to restock and think about what it is that’s important in life.
Perhaps I could spend the next few weeks resting and perhaps refocus on improving my nutrition and my training goals and plans instead?
Here’s a question: What would you do if you were in my position?