Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If it ain't Broke Don't... Buy Fancy New Shoes?

At this point it's been 17 days and 20 hours since I've last been able to really run... but who's keeping count? I finally got diagnosed at a nearby Orthopedic and Sports Medicine physicians office. If you're friends with me on "The Book" you may have seen this...
I have (in my medical opinion) what looks like a tiny alien in my knee. From the eyes of a license Dr. it's severe Illiotiabol band friction syndrome. Specifically, it's caused a "Baker's cyst" and fluid on the knee with a small edema in the band. Any IT band issues are a very real fear in runners because once you have an issue, it seems to pop up all the time. This is not my knee but it looks very similar to mine. You can see Marvin the Martian just hanging out in there.

How did this happen?
As anybody would, my Dr went to "over use" citing the 81 marathons. However, he also pointed out that I have ZERO cartilage damage in both knees and they actually look great. This is simply a tightness of muscles (from lack of stretching) that was set off by a few bad stars aligning: New shoes that changed my form and a very sloped road in the Hatfield McCoy Marathon.

There is something I have to get off my chest. I am... an over-pronator. Don't judge me! All this time I've thought I had to change, conform, be more like other runners that have ideal sloping arches and ankles that align with the knee and the hips. I've carried this secret shame my whole life and recently tried to change by buying a stability shoe... to my detriment. I told the Doc about my confliction. His advice? Go back to minimalist shoes. Run the way your body wants to. Essentially, if it isn't broke don't fix it! 

He went on to point out that each runner's alignment is different and running with a high arch and lined up ankles may NOT be the best thing for ME. He also told me that the fastest runners are the ones that run like me! Overpronation means we use our big toe to push off and it's the strongest part of the foot to use. Heck yeah! So all you overpronators- say it loud and say it proud: "I HAVE FLAT FEET AND I LIKE IT, LIKE IT, YES I DO!"

What's Next...
I complained about the "Herpes of running injuries" to my Doc. After he decided NOT to remove me from the facility he told me that TRULY it wasn't. I'll trust him-- for the sheer fact that he's telling me what I want to hear-- but he says with proper therapy and then preventative measures I can keep it gone forever. What must I do? It's bad... like REALLY REALLY bad. Please, if you're a runner with a queezey stomach, please just skip to the next section...

  • STOP Running for THREE more WEEKS! Oooooh no he didn't! I have to admit, the past three weeks have been helpful. My knee doesn't feel like it's popping out of place anymore. It's a challenge mentally. I feel like I'm losing my speed and endurance. In this time I can bike, swim, elipticize, etc. 
  • Stretching!!! NOOOOOO! I hate stretching more than anything. It takes a lot of time. I'm not good at it and I've never needed it... until now. Let's face it chaps, the old body just isn't springing back the way it used it. 
  • Physical Therapy. OH THE HUMANITY! Ok this one may not be so bad. I have my first appt today, so I'll let you know how that goes. 
  • Minimalist Shoes! YAY I like this one. Getting back to my old alignment, although it doesn't help that I cannot run yet. 
He said 2-3 weeks, but unfortunately I'll be in Cardiff, Wales next week so no PT for me. I guess it's the elliptical for me for a few more weeks... pray for the soles of the people that have to see me every day. There is no way they're all making it out of this alive. 

"Run to Win" -Meb

Friday, June 14, 2013

The first 80 marathons were ok, but 81...

At some point in life I had to realize that although my birthday cake may still says "21" my body doesn't... that day was this past weekend. My 81st marathons was looking to be a hopeful one. I won a cool new toy as a door prize at the Hatfield-McCoy skit on marathon eve...

Hanging with my marathon maniac buddies from all over! My favorite Floridians (sans Greg G.), my (now) DC buddies, and my Fellow Flower Chicks that I love to run with... as well as many, many more. Meeting some new friends in person- Danielle is on her way to 50 states and kicking butt while doing it. So happy to have finally met her in person!
Florida Friends ... plus a few others

The Start and the Finish...
I felt fantastic at the start of the race. Getting into a little groove on the rolling hills of the Hatfield McCoy Marathon. I even got that nervous "can I hold this???" panic I haven't gotten in about 4 years. I reminded myself that this is my distance and I KNOW the marathon. I also reminded myself of all the speed work I've been doing and how much it's about to kick some @$$ on this course.

That's when this little guy joined me. We found him on the bridge that sways when a lot of people are on it. He got a little scared of all the movement and we picked him up and carried him to safety. Only to reward us all by running along side... for about 10 miles. Seriously, tiny legs but a big heart (reminds me of somebody else I know...). Anyways I thought this was Buddy's (that's what I named him) way of telling me "you can do it!!!"

I was busting out some 8:00 splits and feeling like myself again. Appreciating all that the course had to offer (this is still one of my absolute favorite marathons!) And then IT happened... It started with a little twinge of pain in my left knee. I thought "ah just a little tightness... it will work itself out." Then it started hurting more so I stopped to stretch it only for it to start hurting again in a half mile. This continued until about mile 20 when I just couldn't take it anymore. I stopped to stretch/rub the knee (PS. Rubbing a knee is not at all helpful). I was definitely frustrated and even Buddy left me in the dust!

Luckily Shannon and AJ weren't too far behind and caught up. They ran/walked the rest of the 5 miles we had left with me. This is why the Maniacs are such a tight group-- we work together to make sure everybody gets to the finish line! 

Post Race
I iced and stretched as much as possible. Even though it hurt, I couldn't miss a chance to dance it out as we cheered in the rest of the maniacs. This is me demonstrating "The Scoot" (my best move) to Lori and Mr. Hatfield.

So what's the status on the knee? I haven't ran ALL week and I'm going just a littttttle stir crazy! It's been the eliptical/pool/bike for me. :( The day after it hurt like hell but it's getting stronger. No idea what's wrong with it exactly- it pops out of place and clicks a lot, but hey, at least it doesn't hurt as much. I've been doing a number of strengthening exercises to do around the IT band and knee. Positive thoughts only so this is GOING to work and I WILL be running next week with NO pain! Or else... 
That's all for now. Race ratings coming up soon!!!!

"Run to Win" -Meb