running

CIM – countdown! (part 2)

With less than one week to go before my first ever marathon, I am running out of time to train let alone play with options. Two weeks of cold symptoms and bronchitis had destroyed my running schedule before the fated long run where I injured/strained my knee only 10 days before the race. And though I was really happy with my 10:39 pace on Nov 5th when I finished the Run the Parkway 20, I really didn’t want 6 months of hard training to end without ‘the big one’.

I took a deep breath and recovered some hope after talking with friends and family, and kept on. I bought a compression sleeve for my knee and did a couple of short (2-3mile) runs over the weekend in my Adidas Pureboost X’s, and I did still feel a dull pain in the knee but not too bad. Running fast on a downhill did not seem to aggravate it, and there was no swelling or bruising afterward. This convinced me it was the proverbial ‘runner’s knee’ people talk about.  I began to wonder if I might forsake the Nikes for the Pureboost X’s but nowhere online could I find anyone who ever ran an entire marathon in these shoes! I just didn’t want to wear the Pegasus again, due to their weight and something about them just did not feel right toward the end of my first race. The Pureboost X is a lightweight shoe which is incredibly comfortable and is mostly reviewed online as a 10k or less trainer with floating arches, and good for the road. So I decided to run a counterintuitive 9 miles yesterday with only 6 days to go, just to see if the Pureboosts (and my knee) could handle long distance.

These are the final variables for my race preparation. I have brought my weight down to 169lbs (i am 5′ 11″ tall) by eating mostly tilapia, pasta, oatmeal, cup of noodles, and drinking Jamba juice, muscle milks, tea, water, and V-8. I take B-complex and multivitamins and green tea extract pills daily. I am happy with my in-run energy plan which consists of Roctane (higher amino acid levels) GU gels every 45 minutes, and S-caps (salt pills with potassium) every hour. And of course water/gatorade provided on the course. Needless to say, shoes and a knee injury are 2 very critical variables to have at such a late stage in training. Up until I got sick and subsequently injured, my training regimen (Hal Higden’s intermediate schedule) went perfectly well, too.

How did yesterday’s run feel? Pretty good. The Pureboost X’s felt fantastic all 9 miles, so I think I will go against the grain and run the marathon in these beauties! Maybe I will be the first one ever to do so? I think they can go the distance. As for me, well, my knee got a little funky after I took a bathroom break midway through the run. It began to hurt in mile 5 and I really thought my plans to run the marathon were about to come crashing down. But I decided to try and run through it, and this time — miracle of miracles — it worked! By the end of the run it was feeling quite good and so was I. My plan is to stay off my legs as much as possible the next 5 days, do a lot of yoga and quad stretching, buy some glucosamine supplement and KT tape (kinesiology) — which seems to have worked wonders for other runners in trouble with runner’s knee — and keep my head up and heart skipping beats as Sunday fast approaches.

running

CIM – marathon countdown!

Countdown to the California International Marathon = 5 days! Wow. I am excited but nervous. I sustained an injury of some kind — probably ‘runner’s knee’ — on my belated long run last Thursday (postponed due to bronchitis). I had reached the 14 mile mark on the Hoka Bondi’s I have been breaking in, and I was feeling great physically but got blisters. I had never run far on the Hokas so I had planned for problems, and asked my boyfriend to carry my tried and true Nikes (Pegasus 33) in his backpack as he rode his bike alongside me. These were the ones that I wore when I raced the 20 mile Run-The-Parkway. So he helped me stop and switch out, and I got back on the river trail near Sacramento State. Within a mile I somehow developed a throbbing pain on the outside of my right leg just below the knee. I thought it might be a cramp and tried to run through it from mile 14-16 (on an 18 mile run), but I began limping and could not go further without risk of further injury. I walked the last 2 miles alongside Tosh, who was kind enough to stay with me even though he had places to be and it was approaching 4 hours since we set off up the river. Sunrise when we started had been quite cold @ 36 degrees F but now the skies were sunny and it was a perfect fall day, lots of foliage to see.

I was concerned about the knee. I was gonna wait a couple of days before freaking out about the situation. I had a bad feeling that I caused the injury by switching shoes mid-run like that, because the Hokas are heel strikers and much different from any other shoes I have worn. They have a strange way of changing the impact points on your legs. Though they provide more cushion than the Nikes (the very reason I decided to buy them), I could feel great stress in my hips and inner thighs after running a half marathon. Still, I love the shoes for the way they push back and give me an effortless feeling, seem to help set a nice rhythm in the stride…    (see part 2)