Sunday, October 09, 2005

Is Eight the New 26?

While we are all waiting for results from Chicago (which, like an idiot, I kept checking yesterday thinking it was yesterday, despite all evidence to the contrary), I'll tell you a little story.

"Why did eight miles today feel harder than 26 did last Saturday?!?!?," I asked one of our coaches when I finally made it back to home base yesterday, 1 hour and 52 minutes after leaving . He said it takes one day to recover for every mile of the 26 you run. So, my feelings were normal. And, hence, the four-week taper.

It was raining yesterday. No, not raining. That would have been nice. Pouring. Buckets. Drenching, cold, miserable, non-stop rain. It started Friday night, in fact, dripping through the ceiling of my third floor condo (I live in a four-story building, so tell me how that is possible??!?!) Through the night, I had hoped it would lighten up by morning. By morning, as I drove to our practice site, through massive puddles threatening flooding, barely able to see out the window, I thought, it just has to lighten up by the time I get there.

It didn't.

Out of about 400 runners, maybe 30 showed up. Obviously, the 30 with no common sense. My group had dwindled to me and two others, and we were joined by a fourth runner from a much faster group, who was a delight to run with.

This would be my first actual running since last Saturday, so even though it was only eight miles, I was very apprehensive.

I wore my brace, but it didn't do it's magic this time. I went slow. And try as I might, my form was all screwy. I was limping while running, which was doing wonders for my left leg—the good one. I even asked someone to watch me and tell me how to stop it. All they could say is it looks like you are limping.

I told my group to go on without me after three miles.

I was a sorry sight. Soggy, glasses fogged up, splattered with mud, all alone, doing this gimpy running/limping thing. I kept trying to make myself not limp. I think I was limping partly out of fear of pain, not actual pain itself. Though fear of pain can definitely seem like pain, so it's hard to tell. I was running on sidewalks, through deep puddles, so I couldn't see what was beneath them, which was making me sick with worry that I would trip and really hurt myself.

I made it to the four-mile turnaround, and from four to five miles I took two extra walk breaks, contemplating my situation, and feeling very sorry for myself. Here I was at 9 a.m, on Independence Ave., in the middle of pouring rain, by myself, with four miles left to go. No money, and not a lot of options.

I ran/limped to mile five (around the Washington Monument) and then switched my watch to a 2:2 ratio, thinking that might help. And THEN what happened was,

I ran the rest of the way back to the start with no walking.

OK, it was a sloooooow run, but every time that two minutes beeped, telling me to walk, I thought, well, let's just see if I can run for two more minutes. And I'm telling you, at every beep I said the same thing: "Just run for two more minutes, then you can walk."

Am I one determined chick, or what??!

So you've seen the evidence that my PT is physically battering me. Here's my question: With less than three weeks to go to the marathon, is she doing me more damage? She's working on building strength, in addition to relaxing my ITB, but is that a reasonable goal in only three weeks? Or is she just leaving me in a weakened state after each session, legs and muscles too sore to run?

It makes me so mad when I think how I begged for PT more than three weeks ago; had we started then, I might have been finished now, and able to rest my legs. Now, I don't know what's best. I mentioned, again, to the PT, that I had only three weeks left, and got a lecture from her on how two sessions weren't going to cure anything, and how I had to do my part too, she couldn't do it all.

No s**t, really?


That's all I have to say about doing my part.

So, while we're waiting, (and btw, GREAT JOB DIANNA!), weigh in, and tell me what you think. I'm so close and I feel like everything is falling apart at the last minute.

The end.


Late addendum: p.s. Kudos also to Susan, who kicked ass and took names in her 1/2. Congrats!


brent said...

hi jeanne. way to finish out that run! i wanted to say thanks for your congrats message on my marathon! woohoo! it was an awesome experience. i know you are going to rock yours, i can't wait to hear about the experience! i wish i had more knowledge of the whole PT thing but unfortunately i have no experience there. it sounds pretty painful though!

susie said...

Now that's the way to tough it out...I wish I had some advice for you...but if my experience is any indication, then rest, rest, rest. You've done the distance, now rest those legs. I *did* beat the heck out of my ITB with the roller pin and many, many stretches. I did't let it rest, and at times I worried that it was too sore. But it seemed to work for me. I have to admit, I'm having trouble walking today, but during the race it was all good. I'll be thinking about you...hang in there.

a.maria said...

man i'd love to help you out on this one, but i have no idea. go ask running chick or boingoblog.... they seem to know what the heck they're talking about!!!

but good job toughing it out!!! when's the M??

21st Century Mom said...

Jeanne, I know I was the one screaming PT! PT! PT! but my expecation was that the PT would pin point the problem and then give you exercises or advice on what not to do. This deep tissue massage complete with multiple bruisings seems kind of questionable. Now that you have a diagnoses of ITBS I'd skip the PT, be really good about stretching and be sure to ice down the outside of your thigh after every run. (warning - the link may be slow to open but it is worth the wait).

The most important thing is to listen to your body and don't push it. You are going to have a great marathon - I can feel one coming on!

Here is the home page for the stretches and a bunch of others.

21st Century Mom said...

Here is something else important from that site
Treatment consists of relative rest, ice massage, addressing any biomechanical or training errors, and gentle stretching . When doing the IT band stretch the "pulling" sensation is usually felt along the mid to upper thigh. Don't worry if this doesn't seem to exactly hit the site where the pain occurs. The IT band is a long structure and the goal is to get it to loosen and lengthen. Along the same lines, gentle stretching of the gluteal muscles will also help. (Please see the stretching section -- especially the additional IT band stretch.)

I don't see anything about kneading your thigh until it looks like an overripe banana.

jeanne said...

21st: THANK YOU!!! you are always coming to my rescue! I think this sports clinic sees "ITB" and then they pull out the ITB treatment plan. They're not the least bit interested in YOU or what your freakin' problem is, or what you're doing. This is PT brutality! Thanks for the links, I will check them out.

susie said...

jeanne, I was half asleep when I wrote you. what I meant to say was--I rested by not running. but when I wasn't running, I was stretching and exercising (and rolling) like crazy. 21st is right. and do those squats where you sit on your heels. you'll feel the pull! don't force it....

nancytoby said...

Way to go, Jeanne!

I'll be on the MCM course for a few miles with Holly from - not doing the whole thing, doing Baltimore this Saturday and NYC instead!

We'll be cheering for you!

susie said...

Ok, it's are we doing?

jeanne said...

Ha, hit re-load, I just posted another BORING entry. It's coming along, very slowly. I just have to trust that what I'm doing is the right thing. Thanks for asking!