Sooooo ... injuries ... right now my physio knows more and sees more of my legs than my husband!
Three weeks into training (just after Christmas) - bam! knee hurt, swelled up, heated up ... didn't look good at all. I waited until the Monday after the New Year break and rang the physio at the gym to get an appt as soon as I could, he had a look, a prod, few bends, squats etc and diagnosed Patellofemoral Syndrome aka Runners Knee - probably caused by the tight ITB pulling the knee cap over, ouch. I let him know that I had a very important marathon in about 15 weeks and there was no way I couldn't be running - gave me some exercises, said to rest it for about a week and then start off with a short run every second day.
I waited until the 9th of January - it was about a week, and also my birthday, I figured that had to be a lucky! and off I went for a 5k run around the block, knee lasted until about 2k before it started hurting off and on, lasted until about 4k before it really protested ... I was seriously worried. Lucky for me I struck a really good physio, who most important runs, and has run a marathon and didn't look at me like I was some strange being when I was pleading to fix it so I could run again. Next run was about the same, kept doing the exercises, the physio did some massage and said (surprising me!) try adding a k each run ... so I ran 6k, then 8k (I've always had trouble with maths) and it was feeling "okay", still twinges but definitely getting better.
It was about then I said to him, do you think I could run a 16k race in about a week? Kind of kidding, but he said, yeah - why not - give it a go, just ease into it over the week though ... yayyyy! Only problem, over this week, I still can't really pinpoint when, my hip/back started hurting, I was getting the dreaded limpy, gait :( I did run the 16k, and paid for it afterwards with my hip/back ... back to the physio, now two appointments a week, one for my back, one for my knee.
I tried to keep running, until my personal trainer (who I see once a week for core/strenthening work) said take two weeks off, went and then went and had a chat with the physio who managed to negotiate me to 10 days. By now, time was marching on and I was getting really worried. Lots of deep massage for the ITB to keep the knee going, and massage/realigning through the back and hip and 10 days rest ... and I tentatively ran again. Not too bad, getting better ... but what is with the pain around the groin area?
Uggghhhhhh Adductors ... more massage (and gees when I say massage, no sleeping "spa" massage, it hurt! and I was walking around looking like someone had been battering my legs which were lovely and bruised).
Sooooo finally the last couple of weeks things seem to have stopped hurting, physio has signed off the back/hip issues and adductor issues they are all good now. Knee has never really totally stopped being swollen, but seems to be holding up.
I ran the Rotorua Off-Road Half Marathon on Sunday and had an awesome run, slowest half marathon I've done - a combination of the fact I have lost all the speed I had gained and it was a hilly off-road course - but I did it, and felt pretty strong. Thought my ITB was tight around the knee again after it, but the physio after MORE poking, proding, etc thinks it might be an inflamed ligament (I swear, you couldn't make up this stuff). Good news is that he thinks it will pretty much fix itself, with a bit of rest, ice and anti-inflammatories - and I should be okay to run my 32k I planned on this Sunday ... although he has said to maybe run circuits close to home in case something does flare up.
Big fat SIGH ... so where I'm at, with just FIVE weeks to go until the London Marathon?
I'm running about 40-50k a week.
I'm running just 3x a week and doing a spin class 2x a week.
My longest run so far is 25.5k, I'm upping that quick (too quick probably!) to 32k this Sunday.
I'm stretching, doing hip stabiliser, core and thigh building exercises and foam rolling every night.
I'm now seeing the physio ONCE a week instead of twice.
Funny enough, I think I'm okay for London - I'll be slow, I'm probably going to hurt more than I did after Rotorua, but I'm pretty sure I can do it!
So, that, is the long sad story of my marathon training!
I'm looking forward to being able to take a good week or two off and just let my body heal (which it is screaming to do, hence injury after injury) and then building back to some pain free running. There will be another marathon - I want to do a training cycle that I can just relax and enjoy ... I think this has been the hardest thing I've ever done, to get this far!