Week 14/18 for Hamilton Marathon

After last Sunday resting and doing some cross training, I got out for a run on Monday. I had planned 10 miles but my left leg didn’t feel great so that quickly shifted to 8 miles and then 6 miles at a recovery pace. I had a noticeable limp as my left side didn’t want to accept any load during my stride and that forced my right side to take more of the force. I bumped my physio session up from Thursday to Tuesday to get things looked at.

My physiotherapist loosened me up, stuck a few acupuncture needles in my knee, taped up the insertion point of the patellar ligament on my tibia, and then put a makeshift brace in place to help offload the ligament.

I tried to run after my physio appointment but only made it a kilometre before the pain along the front of my tibia forced me to stop and walk home. I think that the patellar brace may have made things worse by shortening the patellar ligament and thereby causing it to pull more against the insertion point on the tibia where I feel the pain. That’s my theory anyway so I removed the brace. By Tuesday evening, it hurt to walk. Just a mess of a leg.

I had an appointment with a sports chiropractor Wednesday morning to get things looked at. He treated my left leg from the quads just above my knee down the length of my tibia with eight acupuncture needles. He also loosened up my ankles (the left side really ‘popped’ loose so hopefully that was a good sign). That afternoon, I jogged down the street and back and nothing felt right so I’m back to icing, foam rolling, with another chiro appointment planned for Friday morning.

Friday’s chiro session involved three acupuncture needles in my glutes and two in the outside of my knee. By Friday evening, I was starting to feel like I could walk normally.

Starting Thursday, I’ve done a 30 minute hip and core exercise routine to hopefully strengthen my weak spots. Lots of lunges, squats, bridges, mountain climbers, planks, etc. I’ve felt like my legs (not my lungs) have been my limiter for the last few weeks/months and I recently read an article that maybe explains how I got myself into this state. This article suggests injuries can happen when your structural components (bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, etc.) don’t strengthen at the same rate that your aerobic system improves. I hope this routine helps me correct those imbalances and gets me back on the road soon.

By Sunday, the pain in my shin and hip was gone but my knee still didn’t like the impact of running. My hope at this point is that I’ll be able to get out for a 30 minute jog on Tuesday and can progress from there but honestly it’s really all up in the air. The goal of 2:28 I set for myself back in the spring seems pretty far off. There may still be some hope for 2:30 but something around 2:32-2:34 seems more likely each day.

Here’s my weekly recap:
M: 6 miles at 7:14/mile.
Tu: 0.7 miles at 7:01/mile. [XT] Physio.
W: 0.8 miles at 7:10/mile. [XT] Chiro.
Th: [XT] Hip/core exercises.
F: [XT] Chiro. Hip/core exercises.
Sa: [XT] Hip/core exercises.
Su: 0.8 miles at 8:27/mile. [XT] Hip/core exercises.

Here’s my rough plan for the final four weeks:

  • Week 15/18: Probably not a lot of running.
  • Week 16/18: Easy running with maybe a longer marathon pace (MP) run near the end of the week.
  • Week 17/18: Easy running with strides, MP running once or twice (one as a long run).
  • Final Week: One MP medium-length run early in the week and then all easy until race day.

Here’s hoping my knee heals up so I can get out and enjoy some of this nice fall running weather!

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