Training for My First Marathon, Week 11 & 12

Posted: June 18, 2011 in Personal

WEEK 11 – June 6-12

The pain on my right knee has gotten progressively worse. By the end of the week, I could barely run. I didn’t feel it while I walked so I completed my target distances by brisk walking. I was still able to log 35K though at a very slow pace.

I did some research on what I was feeling and all signs point to Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). Perhaps it was overtraining. I also tend to lean ever so slightly to the right based on the soles of my shoes – that couldn’t have helped. This injury takes weeks to heal through a mixture of stretching, strengthening exercises, deep tissue massage, a long break from running, and a whole lot more.

What a thing to happen during the crucial stage of my preparation. I should be doing the really long runs by now to build endurance, and yet I’m sidelined. Does this mean I should just call the whole Milo Marathon thing off? After so much work…

WEEK 12 – June 13-19

I’m trying to balance the treatment for my ITBS with keeping myself in shape. No more running for 3-4 weeks while I do my brisk walking instead. I’m letting the knee heal while developing the core muscles that would prevent its recurrence. Rest days are for core strengthening exercises (Youtube has lots of them).

I managed to do a decent total of 25K this week in just 2 days – Wednesday (10K) and Saturday (15K+). Walking has its own challenges. Since it’s slower, it takes quite a while to reach my target distances. 10K used to be over in an hour and now it takes me 1:40+. 18K needs around 3hrs. My work schedule suffers a bit as a result.

For now, I’m going ahead with Milo, even if I have to walk all the way to the finish line. Did you know that top racewalkers can finish 42K in 3hrs? That’s insanely fast. The cut-off for Milo is 6hrs so my average pace should not go over 8:30. My brisk walking pace used to be 12:00 but I’ve lowered it down to sub-10:00. Just a little more. I’m hoping my knees will get well enough for me to run a bit during the actual race.

As a back-up plan, I’m thinking of joining the 21K of Rexona Run on July 24. That’s a week prior to Milo and the course is the same. It seems like the best gauge as to whether I can hack it or not. There’s no time limit and a medal awaits the finishers. It should soften the blow if I really can’t make it to the Milo 42K. Otherwise, I think I might cry.


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