I have been carrying a bit of an injury the last few weeks. Actually I have been carrying a recurring injury for the last 13 years, so this is nothing new.
Back in 2004 when I decided that I wanted to try my first race, I knew nothing about adaptation and the 10% rule, and to be honest even if I did, I am pretty sure I would have done exactly the same as I did , which was push myself way too hard way too soon.
In the spring of that year I had a nasty surprise regarding my health and weight (don’t have accurate numbers but pretty sure I was in the 100kg mark, a huge rise from the 65k I was up until my late 20s), and I had vowed to get myself back in shape. I started by hiring a personal trainer and going to the gym, but my focus was on muscle. However come summer I was ready to tackle my weight properly, which I did in typical “me” fashion, following a very strict diet over a very intense period, losing more than 15k in about 3 months.
At the end of August 2004, I was coming out my local gym when I saw an ad for Honolulu marathon. I don’t know why but it immediately struck me and by the time I got home I had decided I would do it. While my family was very supportive, when I proudly told my work colleagues of my decision the next day, they laughed, telling me I was still too overweight and that I had never done more than 8k run so had no chance. This of course only reinforced my decision to participate, and I promptly quit smoking and drinking and put all my efforts into training. I read every book I could find with the one I most appreciated being “The Non Runner’s Marathon Trainer” , really is a fantastic book and I highly recommend for anyone starting out. Me being me though, I thought I could ignore the advice and push harder, longer, faster etc… and sometime in September, I suffered a full on ITB injury while attempting to jump from 12k to 25k long run oer a period of two weeks. To cut a long story short, the injury never really went away, and I completed my first marathon in December that year in pain, surviving on pain killers all the way around.
I guess the damage I did was permanent, as I have had a whole host of issues since then, including massive swelling on both knees as well as ankles, which in turn lead to polymyalgia rheumatic, a nasty auto immune disease. I have recovered pretty well, but I still suffer regular swelling and stiffness which I have had to learn to manage, often including one or more trips to the doctors to have my knees drained.
A few weeks before my last race, my knee started playing up again, with slight swelling. I immediately cut back on distance and intensity of my runs, and utilized an elastic sleeve to give support. This worked to keep things form getting worse, but obviously impacted my training, most notably my endurance. I completed my race without any real issue (although much slower than normal), but as soon as I started training again, the stiffness returned. Not getting worse, but not getting any better, I have been getting pretty frustrated.
So… I made a decision yesterday. It isn’t bad enough to get drained, and I don’t want to be faffing around on half arsed training, so I am going to push ahead on full workouts. I followed the RICE technique (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate), after both bike (60 minute intervals) and run (30 minute speed workout) yesterday and this seems to work pretty well. This morning I feel positive and with less stiffness, but will have to see how I am after the hills and endurance workouts later this week. If over the next few week it get worse, then I will go to the docs and get it drained, which is normally enough to fix it for a few months. If not then I can follow my training plan fully, and hopefully hot my target of a 14hr or below Ironman in September.
Yep, still sticking to my mantra of disposing of the reasons that stop me from following my schedule, looking for answers rather than excuses, determined to get the run done!