Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday 19/9 - A sad truth

So my post titles are beginning to sound a bit like chapters from a novel...and this one, I guess, is no exception.

Firstly a run down of my activities and then a sad "face up to the facts".

Saturday 18/9

Type: Run
Distance: 7.25miles
Time: 1hr 5mins
Pace: 9min/mile

A trial run in my old shoes (no support). Knee was fine until about 3 miles when pain got gradually worse. ARGH.

Friday 17/9

Type: Swim
Distance: 46 lengths (f.c)

Thursday 16/9

Type: Cross Train + strength training
Time: 30 mins x-trainer + strength training

Wednesday 15/9

Type: Cross train
Time: 15 mins

Tried to also run on the treadmill in my bare feet just to check whether that would hurt (plus the gym was empty) but the staff stopped me...annoying!

Tuesday 14/9

Type: Swim
Distance: 56 lengths (f.c)

Monday 13/9

Type: Run/Power walk
Distance: 2-3 miles
Time: 40 mins

Saturday 11/9

Type: Run
Distance: 3-4 miles
Time: 45 mins


Ok, now to the fun part.

My run on Saturday (just after my blog post) was still really sore, however I kept on stretching and afterwards it didn't hurt as bad as it normally does.

So I saw the physio on Monday as planned and the very first thing she said to me was that I had a mishapen left leg. I saw what she meant immediately and I guess I notice every day...but I think I just never really NOTICED properly before (if that makes sense). It's maybe easy to see in this picture:

My left leg bends outwards at the knee and goes quite far out when I'm totally relaxed. This is perhaps due to the fallen arch in my left foot but it's something which had never really affected my running...until I started trying to correct the fallen arches.

The physio thinks that this has transferred the strain from the inside of my foot & leg (which are used to coping with it) to my knee and shin. She says it's very likely the cause of the shin cramping. This was all good to know, except that she then went on to say I have incredibly weak hips and really need to work on those to be able to stop myself getting injured on long distances.


Her recommendation was to stop wearing the orthotics and stop wearing my "new" (since April) Brooks shoes altogether, as she doesn't want me to wear anything which try to correct my feet. She said go back to my old running shoes (which have very little in the way of correction) and put a non-tailored, padded insole in those. She pointed out that the root cause of all my pain stemmed from me buying my new shoes (which I guess was true) and if I gradually wean myself back into my old ones we can go from there.

I was glad that she said it's not an injury and is something which can be fixed.

So, also this week I had my very first sports massage at the Garscube. The guy was quite nice and immediately noticed something else which he thought would have a negative impact on my running - my right leg is over an inch longer than my left leg. I guess this is quite normal, but he said it's probably putting strain on the muscles in my left leg, and with the weakness of the hip as it is, that would be a problem.

He, however, said I should keep wearing the insoles as they should give me a bit more support when running. Something else he noticed too is that I have a bad muscle imbalance in my quads. The main muscle and those down the outside of the leg are ok, but it's the inner leg which is really weak.

Since this is the sight of my pain:

He thinks part of my problem might be to do with that weak muscle not kicking in to pull the kneecap over when I bend my knee, so my knee stays quite rigid. So he gave me some strengthening exercises to do which I've been doing each day since.

Now comes my dilemma.

I have the Loch Ness marathon on 3rd October, that's 2 weeks today. My run yesterday (7 miles) proved I CAN run, but I am in pain for the most part which is not fun. Other than anything else I do not want to injure myself further. And on top of that, I have done VERY little training - the furthest I've run since the Devil is 13 miles.

So it is with a REALLY heavy heart that I think I am going to have to pull out of Loch Ness. I am absolutely crushed and part of me thinks "well, I could do'd be sore but I could try and push for an ok time?" but is this just stupid? I think it is. I know there is always next year, but come race day if I'm lying in bed thinking "I could be running a great, scenic marathon right now..." I know I'll be really upset.

But on the otherhand I could be standing at the start line not sure if I'll be able to finish, or worried about how much pain I'll be in.

Am I making the right decision? I wonder.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Saturday 11/9 - A long needed update

Sorry for the lack of posting of late but (and yes, you may have guessed) I have been injured. The problem I spoke about in my last few posts with my left knee has reached a peak and I am positively panicking about Loch Ness in 3 weeks time.

First off, a run down of my work outs over the past few weeks and then an explanation as to my thoughts from today onwards.

Friday 10/9

Type: Swim
Distance: 56 lengths (46 f.c/10 backstroke)

Wednesday 8/9

Type: Cross Train (25mins elliptical xtrainer, 30 mins cycle (x-country), 10 mins row)

Tuesday 7/9

Type: Swim
Distance: 74 lengths (f.c)

Sunday 5/9 - Great Scottish Run!

Type: Run
Time: 1hr53mins
Distance: 13.1miles

This race killed my knees (which were very sore the whole way round) but I actually grinned through the pain and just kept going...thought I'd finished in a much better time than this but think the congestion at the start of the race didn't bode in my favour. (was on holiday the few days before this so no workouts)

Wednesday 1/9

Type: Run
Time: 22mins
Distance: 2.45miles

*Testing my knee more than anything else. Was sore afterwards.

Tuesday 31/8

Type: Swim
Distance: 50 lengths (f.c)

Monday 30/8

Type: Swim
Distance: 52 lengths (f.c, fast)

Sunday 29/8

Type: Run
Distance: 5.6miles
Time: 47mins 10secs (6min gentle jog)

Decided to avoid the hills on this run and my knee was almost fine. I think starting off on a big hill is not a good thing for me and as long as the run if fairly flat I'm generally ok.

Friday 27/8

Type: Run
Distance: 11.9miles
Time: 2hours 10mins (stopped for a while though)

All down my left shin was agony here and actually brought me to a halt (hence the time) Walked for a bit up a massive hill and then when I started running again it was my knee that was was really pretty tender but I managed to keep on running through it.

Wednesday 25/8

Type: Swim
Distance: 52 lengths (f.c, 22 fast)

Tuesday 24/8

Type: Run - speeds on treadmill
Distance: 3 miles (4.8k)

Warm up then 5.30min/km increasing pace to 4.15min/km steadily every 250m.


So basically, I've not NOT been running for the whole time, but I've notcied that every time I go out now it hurts and also takes longer to heal. I have an appointment at the physio on Monday and I'm hoping with everything I have that she can diagnose it.

The problem either started with the Devil race (maybe I was unprepared? maybe the big downhill took its toll on me and hurt something worse than I thought? Could this be the case??)
it started with me going back into training too quickly after the Devil race (the Friday after the Saturday race I did a 4-5mile run with my insoles in...which was fine...but it was the NEXT run on the Sunday (8 days after the Devil race) (7-8miles in insoles) which the leg really started to hurt. And it has hurt since.
it started with the insoles. Maybe I shouldn't have worn them on the 7-8mile run 8 days after the Devil race? I wore them the week after on an 11 mile run (knee very sore) but I've not worn them on any run since and have still been getting pain.

I must also point out that the pain generally starts below the left knee on the outside of the leg and feels quite like growing pains...then I try to push through it (but ususally have to stop it's so sore) and that's when it migrates across to the inside of the knee and across the knee cap. I come home from my runs with what looks like bruising on the inside of the knee cap.

So... The big questions.....

Should I keep running with the insoles in and try to let my body adjust to the new posture?

Did this all happen because I didn't let my toe fracture heal properly?

How long do I leave it before running again? I often think the pain is gone and go running but it starts as soon as I hit the first hill (unavoidable round my area)...

WHAT ON EARTH DO I DO ABOUT THE LOCH NESS MARATHON>???? My biggest worry as you can see. I basically have (starting tomorrow) 3 weeks until the race and the longest training run I've done is 12 miles plus one half and an ultra.

If I manage to get my knee sorted do I try to train even though it;s a little sore? I.e. if it's not unbearable do I go out and continue my training from next weekend? And if I do 18miles next week, 23 miles week after then race on 3rd? Or do I do one long (18-23 mile) run then taper? Or do I just taper from here onwards? With the latter I would not feel confident at all.

Please, please, if anyone has any advice you would be a lifesaver.