Forgive me, Hal, for I have sinned…

November 3, 2009 at 1:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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10K Training Day: 32

10K Mileage so far: 36 miles

Miles this week: 3 miles


Forgive me, Hal, for I have sinned.  I have NOT followed your training program exactly as you instructed, and I am paying my penance now.

*gasps all around*

So we all know the background.  I’m training for a marathon, but first, I’m training for a 10k so that I’m in fighting shape when it comes time to really buckle down and start the m-training (approx. Dec. 7th).  Right now, I’m following the Hal Higdon 10K Novice Training Schedule.

I had to adjust the days, since the Turkey Trot is aptly named in honor of  a Thanksgiving Day run.  But this is neither here nor there.  Do you see where the schedule says such words as “Cross Train” and “Stretch and Strengthen”? These are just words to me, they have not been actions.

*more astounding gasps*

I know.  I know.  I hang my head in shame that I have not followed Hal’s advice and guidance to a “T”.

Hal Higdon

Master of the Marathon Himself

This is Hal.  Doesn’t he have trusting eyes?  I betrayed those eyes.  I bet he wouldn’t be smiling if he knew I was such a lackadaisical runner.  I think Hal is kind of like my dad — he would never get angry with me, he would just get quiet and disappointed.  This is worse.

I didn’t really do any of the cross train days or the stretching days.  And by “not really” I mean I did the first ones and that’s it.  I didn’t think they were important.  I thought they were just filler.

I was wrong.

I’m now working through a bout with iliotibial band syndrome.  What?  I know.  All these new words!  Sound it out with me (um, I had to the first time I saw it): ih-leo-tib-ee-uhl band syndrome.  I don’t know how people ran before they could Google their aches and pains to find out the proper running term.

This is your iliotibial band: iliotibialAnd I’m sure that’s just what mine looks like, too, being the finely tuned athlete that I am. *ahem* Moving on.

What I’ve learned from Google, YouTube and Runner’s World is that the iliotibial (besides being fun to type a bajillion times in a blog that no one is reading) is a band of connective tissue that runs from your hip to the outside of your knee.  When you flex your leg in a running movement, this tissue moves back and forth across the outside of your knee.  Now, let me take this moment to impress upon everyone not really reading this blog that I am not a doctor and I only got this knowledge from the interwebs.  Okay?  If this were the 1800’s, I’d be the medicinal equivalent of the shady cod liver oil dealer who promises it will cure all your ailes.

Now, where were we?  Oh yes, the band moves back and forth back and forth backandforth — thousands of times over the course of a long run.  My internet research reveals this can be problematic if: one of your legs is shorter than the other (for real?), you have under-developed quadriceps (uh-oh) or over-exertion of the band (oh boy).

I haven’t gotten out the tape measure to double check, but I’m pretty sure I’m a culprit of at least two of those — and no, I don’t actually think my legs are uneven.  Now, I’m starting to see why maybe cross training and stretching and strengthening would have been a good idea.  It probably would have help build up my quads and would have adjusted my iliotibial band to all the work I was putting it through — which for a former couch potato, was a LOT.

So now, I’m taking a couple of days off the training and am beginning to stretch daily.  I need to figure this all out before I get back into training.  The pain in my knee is starting to take away from the joy I feel when I run and I CANNOT HAVE THAT!!!  Instead of starting off a run thinking, “this feels great!”, I think to myself, “wonder how long this is going to last?”  I will be doing stretches like this:

Forgive me, Hal.  You are wiser than I am.  I know that now.  I won’t stray from your running flock again.

And now, I leave you with this quote I saw somewhere that I’ve been smiling about fora while:

“My slow running is STILL faster than sitting on the couch.”

Now go take a jog for me, since I’m on rest until Friday. 🙂


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