Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pre-Marathon Pains & Jitters

After tossing restlessly all night, I woke up with a migraine at 4:45am that caused me mild blindness and eventually to vomit.  Steamtown is a mere 5 days away (10/9/11) and I haven't had a good run in 10 days - since my last speed workout on 9/23.  I've been plagued by aches and pains that barely made an announcement over the last 200 training miles.  September was an 80 mile month, and by far my highest for a 4 week period (considering 1 week I was sidelined with back spasms).  A year ago I struggled to finish my first 5K (and I even had to walk for some it).

So what's got me besides nerves?  Shinsplints, calf pain, Achilles tendon pain, metatarsal pain, lower back (L4-L5) pain, and the latest additions, runners knee and Plantar fasciitis.  Jeez, can anything else possibly go wrong?  (Hamstring pull - but I'm not going there.)  I've bought more crap for remedy over the past 2 weeks, and I'm even drudging things out of my wife's closet to help alleviate the maladies.  Here's what I've got going on:  KT-Tape for the shinsplints & runners knee, mineral ice for the ankles, Frozen ankle/knee ice packs (2), plantar fascitiis rolling pin, The Stick roller for my calves, Tens 3000 electric stim kit for my back, Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM for joint pain including metatarsals, McDavid neoprene compression sleeves for runners knee and calf pain, melatonin to help me sleep, too many other supplements to name, and a super-sized bottle of Advil for good measure.

I feel like Kevin Costner from that scene in Tin Cup where's he's trying every contraption possible to get his golf swing back.

So today I recovered from my migraine and decided I would go for a little run and try to forget everything else.

I took a look at the KT-Tape instructions for taping shin splints, and decided I'd have to man-up and shave my legs from the knee down to avoid tape-pull unpleasantness.  Did that and taped my legs, popped a GU and set out for a little hill run (hell, it's all I've got out my door anyway).

I started out real easy, and found out quickly where my other aches and pains are (on the uphill and the downhill).  The shin splints weren't really bothering me - perhaps the tape was working.  The sides of my calves just below the outside of my knees are screaming, but they always do so I'm not overly worried about that.

Halfway into mile two I was forced into a porcupine bush on the shoulder by a non-attentive soccer mom talking on her cell phone while speeding.  And in mile three, which is usually my best mile of any run of any distance, I finally found my legs and goal marathon pace. I used the new version of Runmeter for the iPhone, and my slow but completed run is here.

While still sore in a few spots, I think I can manage at least through 20 miles.  The other 6.2 may take adrenaline and a little something else.  Whatever it is, I'll find out on Sunday morning about 11am.

The rest of the week is about carb-loading and mental preparation.  I'll go out for an easy 2 mile run on Saturday with wife and kids after picking up my race packet and then get my last serving of carbs.  Hopefully all goes well and it's just another long-run day.

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