Hello Bloggies! I have been MIA since last week, I have learned that no running makes for a very boring blog.
So to rewind, Saturday I attempted a long run with Penny, I made it 3 beautiful pain-free and quick miles before my knee freaked out and I had to turn around and walk back- yeah that bad. I vowed right there that I would take the entire upcoming week off from running to see if I could salvage either of my races in the next 10 days.
Saturday football = bad, tailgating was good as always, but football...bad.
Moving forward to Sunday- weights and cross-training. I found a lovely machine called the arc trainer which worked my quads, left my knee pain free and really got my heart rate up, a positive pay-off.
Monday- I sent my coach another discouraged email asking what options we had left to salvage one or both of my races. We talked through EVERY possible problem and scenario and came to 2 conclusions
1. If I want to race, pick one, gut it out, and plan to need another week recovery afterwards- FAIL!
2. Maybe you need new shoes....interesting thought!!!!
My current shoes had exactly 300 miles on them, and while I have always been able to make it to the 400-500 range, the mizunos I have been wearing recently are a much lighter shoe than all my previous pairs- maybe they couldn't handle the same mileage, hmm interesting.
After looking at the bottom of my shoes I noticed something very disturbing, the only wear on them was in the middle of the fore-foot area- I am (was) a very bad pronator with some decent heel striking- but that was not what my shoes were telling me. An hour spent in my local running store having my weight distribution, gait, and arch scrutinized, and trying almost a dozen pairs of shoes we MIGHT have a solution!
For whatever reason my natural stride has completely changed over the last 6 months and I am now running normal with minimal pronation and zero heel strike- so I have been wearing the completely wrong shoes for the last 14 or so weeks. I am still suspicious that the shoes are the culprit since nothing flared up until post-marathon, but either way I do need to be in the right shoes, so time well spent.
I tried to cling to my beloved Mizuno brand since I really did love the pair I have been in most recently, but there was another pair that felt so perfect on my feet. The felt super light and springy despite the fact that they were 2 ounces heavier than the mizunos...
So I know I professed my absolute hatred for Asics after my last pair destroyed my feet, but I could not deny how perfect these shoes felt, I ran outside, on the treadmill, jumped up and down, and did pretty much everything I could to try to find something wrong, so at the end of the day the Asics Gel Cumulus 12 came home with me, but with a promise that if they gave me blisters or any other problems, to bring them back and the would exchange them for a new pair of Mizunos.
I was supposed to give them a test run this morning, but before I even climbed out of bed I could feel my hip was stiff from the strength exerices I did yesterday. I know the route of ITBS is weak hips/glutes so I have been trying to do a little strengthening to get them back up to speed. As much as I wanted to run I knew this was not the day to push it, so they will have to wait for another day.
The last resort which I don't want to try with the new shoes on the first time out is one of those IT band knee straps. Almost everything I have read swears they work, but that many people become dependent on them and can't run without it. I don't want to get to that point so I figure I will save it for the race if I can't get my knee to calm down before then.
So there you have it, the full knee update- it seems like such a weird case of ITBS that it flared up only during the race and was still just as prominent after a week of complete rest. and another 2 weeks of so little activity, but I guess it doesn't discriminate.