My marathon is on Saturday. As in, just four days away! I'm nervous and excited, sure, but mostly worried. My last three long runs have not gone well, and there is something wrong with my knee. On August 13th, I ran the Provo River Trail Half, and at mile three, the knee started to throb again. It felt like a repeat of the Utah Valley Half, as I had to adjust my goals and work on just doing the best I could to manage the throbbing (only this time the pain was in my right knee instead of the left!). I pushed through the pain and finished only five minutes behind my time in June.
On the bright side, after Saturday's 26.2 miles, I can take a long rest from running and let myself heal. On the down side, that's still 26.2 more miles of running I've got to get through, and I'm worried about handling the pain if/when it happens again. It's so discouraging to feel strong and ready to run, and then be required to take walk breaks not to keep my heart-rate down or my breathing steady, but because of some dumb knee pain!
I saw a physical therapist yesterday who gave me some hope. He worked my knee thoroughly, says the pain is caused by swelling in the joints and the muscles (so nothing's broken, thank goodness!), showed me how my right IT band is much tighter than my left and assured me there is time to work on that before Saturday's run. After twisting my feet and legs this way and that and having me show him when and where it hurt, he said it's likely I'm over-pronating when I run, which means my feet turn to the inside, causing extra stress on the knees and building up as swelling and pain in those muscles. A runner himself who works with runners, he said it's too late to change my stride by Saturday, but that I should consider shoe inserts in the future.
I feel much more hopeful after yesterday's session and I'm working on the stretches he's given me, but still . . . Saturday is only a few days away! Pray for me, okay?
(Another bright note: after Saturday's run, however it goes, I'll have run over 500 miles this year, 250 of which have been since I've been pregnant. I've also completed the equivalent of a half marathon or more ten times, nine of those since I've been pregnant. I'm proud of myself for seeing this through.)