Saturday, March 18, 2006

Being a Smarter Athlete

You know what's one of the harder concepts for athletes, weekend warriors to grasp? The art of rest, backing down when the body sends signals things aren't cool. I had a 6 hour run today. Great first 3 hours - some of the best miles I've run, nasty second half - some of the worst miles I've run. The last 2 hours I had a problem with my right IT band at the knee. Basically I had pain on my right leg, just above the knee on the side. It's not the joint but the IT tendon muscle band that runs from the hip, past the knee and attaching itself right under the knee. This band of muscle/tendon helps stabilize the legs as you move, walk, run whatever. Press your fingers on the top of your thigh, now press your fingers on the side of your thigh, feel the difference? That hard springy stuff is the IT band. Pain is usually felt at the hip or the outside of the knee. It gets inflammed and it starts rubbing on bone. I know much about this condition because it's my achilles heel. It's a chronic re-ocurring injury. It's the injury that got me out of running marathons and into trail running and eventually ultra-marathons, which in the U.S. is run primarily on trail. It's also the injury that got me into Triathlon. What I'm trying to avoid now is a full blown flare-up. A major inflammation of the tendon that takes weeks to heal. 3 weeks no running followed by a slow build up. In my case it is usually brought on by too many miles too soon or speed work. I'm going to guess speedwork is the culprit, that and the spin classes. I've been kicking butt on the spin classes but I've felt my IT's tighten up.

Anyway I had a 14 mile run planned with J.P. tomorrow morning. He had this great idea of running to the start of the Emerald Across the Bay 12k which was in Fort Baker by Sausalito and then running the race back to San Francisco, about 14/15 miles. He was then going to go on and lead the club trail run at 11AM - Animal! I just called him to cancel and it was the toughest, toughtest thing to do. In fact I grabbed and dropped the phone twice before finally making the call. I hate bailing out on anything. Second I hate bailing on a good run. Third I hate letting people down. I think I made the right decision. Actually my workout schedule doesn't have me working out after long training runs. I just do it because I love hanging with my Tri-Club:) Alas this time I won't be able to indulge. Why must my body be so weak!!! Something tasty must be consumed to assuage my spirit!


  1. Good decision, don't dwell on it.

  2. I just came back from the event. I went to cheer and socialize with friends. Definitely the right call, my knee has been stiff and sore since I got up.

  3. tough decision, but a good don't want to be out all season!