Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Post MCM IT Band 3 Mile Hell.

It's been nine days since HB and I finished the Marine Corp Marathon.  The tips of my toes are still numbly tingling, my knees continue to ache with every bend and my weight is still lower than it probably ought to be in spite of my excessive eating.  I feel like the world has been in slow motion ever since that mile 18 marker where each step became labored and each mile - now each day - seems longer than the last.  Obviously the change with daylight savings time can take some of the responsibility for this, but I have a hard time looking much farther than the tip of my nose for a better place to lay responsibility for my under-trained, over-stubborn pain.

I went into the Ortho yesterday - the beloved Dr. Hawken up in NOVA - and had him look at my knees.  Pleased to see I had zero swelling and to hear I've actually been stretching, he wasn't surprised to learn I finished the race or that I plan to continue my version of "short distance" running.  However, when HB outed me as having complained that my knees hurt worse during the marathon than the rest of me did giving birth to GV, Dr. Hawken narrowed his eyes and my options.  Identifying the non-aggressive approach as physical therapy and cortisone shots, he felt the boney structure of my knees once more and admitted the likelihood of continued pain following this treatment unless I were to wise up and pick a different sport.  Knowing me, as he does, he therefore recommended I skip the blood sugar chaos caused by cortisone, cut to the chase (ha) and go directly to the aggressive approach of surgery.

Explaining the details of a "release," Dr. Hawken outlined how he'd make a small incision and then punch a nickel sized hole in the IT Band to reduce friction at the knee.  Granted, surgery is surgery is surgery and shouldn't be taken lightly, but given the facts (my passion for running, the persistence of this pain and the permanence of this solution) and that he successfully fixed the carpal tunnel in both of my wrists in 2011 (not to mention HB's knee in 2012), I'm totally on board.  So sometime mid-December I'm going to have my right knee done and, once that is healed, I'm going to go back in the spring to do the left.

Course, in full knowledge of my current discomfort and what's in store for its remedy, I decided to give into my recent self-deprecating feeling of under-accomplishment (yes, post 26.2 miles I am feeling indolent) and go running with Team RWB tonight.  Having spent the past week hobbling stiffly like an injured grandma - if you can even call it that - and mentally whining my way from room to room, it shouldn't have been a surprise to me when less than ten steps into the 3 mile loop my knees went straight back to their rating of 12 on a 1-10 scale of pain... But since I didn't stop for the last 8 miles of the marathon, there was no way I was walking my head-lamp wearing self back to the car on my own to mope.

Hard not to feel motivated with these guys!! 

So, with HB's encouragement and the company of one very motivated RWB teammate, DN, I made it the full loop without stopping.  The last little bit I was able to kick up the speed a notch (logic: run faster, sit down sooner), but I know for darn sure that I am going to feel it tomorrow.   I am hoping to power through a 10k Turkey Trot and at least one more half marathon between now and the scalpel, so maybe by the will of God and perhaps a mix of my stubbornness and pain killers I'll get it done.  I'm already putting hopes of personal record (PR) times aside - which, if I am being completely honest, is very big of me.  I guess I am becoming nicer to me in my old age, go figure.

All for now.  BG is 107 and I'm going to bed.