Monday, 27 October 2014

How NOT to return to running after a marathon

  1. DO NOT attempt to run 30km after a two week break following your first ever marathon
  2. DO NOT wear shoes that have done over 850km and are likely to have worn out midsoles
I managed to hold out a full two weeks with no running.  It was tough, but I did it.  Of course, upon resuming the sport (yes, it is a sport), one presumes one is supposed to ease back into running in terms of distance and speed.  Well, not this idiot.  Such was my enthusiasm for getting back into it, I decided to run a cruisy 30km (!!!) on Sunday with Rob, who is training for the Queenstown Marathon in November.  We met out in Maraetai at Te Puru Park, and headed off on our run at a leisurely 6'30"ish pace through Beachlands and Omana Regional Park.  We met up with Deb at the beachfront after about 12.5km and continued on along the Maraetai Coast Road to Duder Regional Park before turning around and heading back.  By the time we reached Duder, my knees were getting quite sore.  On the way back along the Coast Road, it was fairly evident I wasn't going to make the full 30km - the pain in my left knee was radiating up my thigh and down my shin.  I had to take several walk breaks along the way.  Rob took pity on me and decided to call it quits at Deb's car, 25.8km in, rather than continuing on back to Te Puru.  Brunch was in order at one of the local cafes so it wasn't a complete let down, but I was disappointed to discover that my old nemesis - Runner's Knee - has never truly left me.

Ah, yes... Runner's Knee.  It deserves capitalisation.  Thinking that I had fully recovered from the marathon (how could I not be?  I felt really good, and I hadn't run in two weeks just to be extra careful!) I did not expect to be dealing with this.  Sure, a 5km or 10km run would probably have been a better option, but damn.  Are you kidding me?!?

Today, my knees are a little stiff and sore in various places, and I've noticed a dull pain that extends from the arch of my left foot, up the back left side of my ankle, all the way up to my thigh.  Must. Do. Stretches.

Looks like the next week will be full of yoga, cross training, walking, cycling and maybe some swimming.  I'll see how I feel by the weekend and decide whether or not to go for another run.  Here's a tip for you: do not neglect your strengthening exercises!  Lunges, squats, core work, etc etc etc.  This is a timely reminder that I really need to get back into it.

It was a good run - the scenery was beautiful despite the overcast day (which was actually perfect for running - not too hot, not too cold, and zero chance of sunburn), it was just unfortunate that my body wasn't quite prepared for it.  And I forgot to take my phone with me, so I don't have any pictures :(  I'll have to go back again some time to remedy that, and hopefully complete the run sans painful knee issues.  I am not prepared to call it an injury.  Not yet.  I'm not ready to give up my injury-free year quite that easily!

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