So two weeks out from doing the marathon and I have been diagnosed with ITB friction syndrome. This is a really common overuse injury in runners. It typically presents as pain on the lateral or outside of the knee while running, this is the spot where the ITB rubs alongside the lateral femoral condyle causing inflammation.
Common causes are:
· Muscle imbalances
· Weak gluts
· Worn out shoes that are not supportive enough
· Running on an angle (or running a track in the same direction all the time)
· Running downhill
· Just doing a lot of kilometres
My physio has prescribed RICE for the inflammation, foam rolling and stretches and to not run for at least a week…… Not really what I wanted to hear but if I don’t get on top of it my chances of finishing the marathon are slim. My physio made the comment that it is very rarely lack of fitness that stops a runner from completing a marathon, it’s pain. I think that is so true because to even contemplate running a marathon you need to have done the training and be pretty fit, you also tend to be mentally strong so it would take more than fatigue or muscle burn to cause you to stop.
So I have been on my bike, well actually not my bike, it’s my 11 year old daughter, Lily’s, bike. I took my bike out of the dark hole it had been hiding in for the past five years and washed it down, got rid of all the cobwebs, pumped up the tyres and took it for a spin. By the time I got back the tyres were flat. Pumped them up again and again they deflated, obviously a puncture but as I have absolutely no idea how to fix a puncture the only other choice is Lily’s bike. Her bike is a pale blue push bike with a nice little brown basket in the front, it has no gears and is more pretty than functional, but a bike’s a bike….
I have to say riding alongside the Life Fit runners has been a real eye opener for me. The first thing I noticed was they all run pretty fast! I thought I would have to ride really slowly to ride alongside them but I actually had to put a bit of effort in! When it came to hills the runners took off ahead of me whereas I was out of my seat huffing and puffing to get the bike up the hill! I was pulling so hard on the handle bars I felt the bike was going to flip backwards and I had to get off and walk!
It was at this stage that a little old woman (who must have been about 70 if she was a day) flew past me on her skinny wheeled super duper, 24 speed bike. She hardly even looked puffed, and not a grey hair out of place under her bright red helmet. I am not used to being over taken by wee old women so I got back on and started pedalling hard to catch up to her. We were neck and neck at the crest of the hill and then there was a steep descent on the other side.
I had already discovered by this point that the brakes on Lily’s bike where very ineffective (in fact the first time I was free wheeling down a hill I had to jump off at the bottom to stop myself from crashing into a hedge!) So with that knowledge I knew I had to engage the brakes early on so I wouldn’t go too fast but surely fast enough to beat granny?! But Noooo…. Granny took off! She must have been doing 50km per hour and had absolutely no fear, she might as well have turned around and given me the bird. Touche old woman!
So I am relegated to bike riding (which I do poorly obviously) but it should give me the necessary rest I need then I can start back next week for the last week of training! Wish me luck!!