My first half-marathon is in 3 weeks. I've been steadily training all summer, and especially hard these past 9 weeks. I've had some major ups and downs, but the biggest hurdle came about 5 weeks ago, when in the middle of a 7-mile long run, I suddenly got terrible lateral knee pain.
Turns out I'm one of many runners suffering from issues with my iliotibial band, a thick bundle of connective tissue that runs the lateral side of your legs, from hip to knee. A lot of things can contribute to IT Band pain, especially weak hip/glute muscles, weak quadricep/hamstring ratio strength (running gives you massive hams), and weak core strength. So, you know, pretty much everything I have.
It's been a problem, for sure. Mostly, I've run through the pain when I can, including a very weird shuffle-run during the last 5 miles of my 10-miler last week. As soon as I stop running, the pain stops. Pretty simple. Unfortunately, there's no way in hell I'm stopping running just 3 weeks from my goal.
So, I've been stretching and doing leg-strengthening exercises. I ran 6 miles yesterday without pain for the first time in weeks. And this morning, I woke up kinda stiff and sore and decided to throw in one of my yoga dvds. This particular dvd has a different focus for each morning of the week--including one called "hip opening."
I did it. And holy cow, do I recommend any yoga series on hip flexors. It was basically many variations of cobbler's pose, wide angle pose, staff pose, half fish lord pose, and some crazy forward bends over stretched and angled legs. I have super tight legs anyway, so this would have helped even without the ITB stuff.
I'd love to say I'm going to start doing this yoga workout every day or so until the race, but let's be honest. Doing all the things? Not happening. I'm already running three times a week, sometimes over 2 hours for one run. I cross-train twice a week. I do strength training on cross-training days.
Oh, and of course there's the whole nursing school thing, which... let's just....*eye twitch*
And have I ever mentioned what a sleepy person I am? I'm not one who can stay up until midnight every night. Hells no. Last night I went to bed at 8:45pm. Yep. Granted, I was recovering from a sleep-deprived weekend and Monday, but still...
After the half, I'm planning to cut my runs down to 5-6 miles three times a week. So maybe then I'll have time for the yoga and strength training I want to do, instead of what I need to do.
Right now, everything is what I need to do.
I'm flirting with the idea of trying NaNoWriMo again this year, just because I haven't missed it yet, but I know I'm not going to be able to do it. I get the whole week of Thanksgiving off, and I only have a test on the 7th of November, but I dunno. Most of my big stuff is out of the way before November. Should I?
Or am I still trying to do all the things?