Wednesday, September 5, 2007

One month later

Well more than a month has gone by since the marathon so it seems time to update.

I've been considering this lately: does anyone really care to hear about nagging injury and failed runs for blog after blog? That should give you a hint of how the last month has been. But it is time to recap, so here's the rundown.

The bad:

Firstly, the marathon took a toll that I wasn't really expecting, and I was expecting plenty of toll. Both of us have found running hard and even now barely consider ourselves over it. But then a month is probably not that unusual for the damage to heel and lingering fatigue to depart our torn up muscles. 26.2 miles is a rough ride. I'm amazed now by those I know going on to run another one already. For me, I needed this month almost free of running on many levels.
Although the fatigue seems mostly gone, for me, there are still bonus problems I'm dealing with.

I ran the marathon on a foot injury, which exploded mile 19, and left my foot mostly blue. It also hurt a lot. While this seemed concerning to me, my doctor was completely unconcerned about the whole thing. Perhaps the patient before me had a severed arm to show her. I was expecting a horrified gasp. Instead I got a 'Well, that will heal. We'll do x-rays to make sure it's not a fracture and here's a PT referral'.

X-rays were negative on the stress fracture, so off I went to PT. What I learned is that this is almost certainly caused by some tearing in one of the peronial tendons, which in turn was probably caused by tightness in the peronial muscles which run down the outside of the leg. They probably got tight from running, and since I didn't know they existed, didn't stretch them. Apparently they are there for stability mostly, but the 'push-off' uses these muscles and can stress the peronial tendons in the foot. More so on uphills. Enough of that tension and pop! If they pop, the blood flows out and turns your foot blue. Cool. Anyway, I have a plan and am working on that.

But the real problem has been IT pain. This is really something which I thought would vanish after the marathon since I never had much of it before. But it's stayed around like an annoying 4 year old. I didn't even bring it up with my doctor. At that stage I still had blown quads and hamstrings and was hobbling around with a blue foot. The IT stuff was just background noise. But not when I ran. By 1.5 miles it inflamed and put a quick end to my run. Over and over. This was depressing. Pretty soon I felt like the whole marathon was a mistake and had decided that, for sure, I would never run again. Time to move on to sitting on the couch and eating potato chips. Time to call the cable company. This is, of course, crazy. But I, of course, am crazy.

The good:

Well, I needed a good news section to this post or I may not have written it at all.

Firstly, we went to Idaho on vacation after the marathon and it was fantastic. I'd like to write a post about that, but if I could move to Boise, I would.

Secondly, I've been spending some quality time with my mountain bike and am beginning to see the appeal. I spent 5 hours on it this past weekend, including a great ride in Tilden regional park down a 1000 ft drop single track trail through the woods. We had to carry our bikes across a stream. It was completely fun.

And thirdly, the best news is that I have now done 2 three mile runs with little IT pain, both on a track.

So, perhaps there is life after a marathon.