I officially began training for the ING New York City Marathon today, and was extremely relieved to find that the instructions for Day One were, simply: "Rest."
So I did my regular core conditioning workout, which includes a mix of exercises like ab crunches, planks, side hovers, bridges, and some dumbbell lifting. Usually, I do this routine once a week. In the past five days, I've done it three times.
That's because I haven't been running very much. My concern: iliotibial band syndrome. I've had a couple of bouts with it since I started running last September, but none that have lasted quite this long -- it's been about five weeks now, if I'm remembering correctly.
At first, I figured it was flaring up because I desperately needed new shoes. (I ran on my Asics 2140s until they had more than 480 miles on them.) But the cushiony Saucony Omni 8s I picked up a few weeks ago don't seem to have eased the pain.
Anyway, after feeling significant discomfort while running six miles worth of hills last Tuesday (I was in pain, but not limping), I decided to take four full days off from running. Surprisingly, I didn't miss it much -- thanks to a good hard bike ride Wednesday night, a decent swim workout Thursday morning, and the core routines.
By Saturday morning, the ITB was feeling good, and I went into the Run For Your Life 4-Miler cautiously optimistic about the injury. Unfortunately, less than halfway through, I could feel a dull ache coming on. And later in the day, I was rather sore. So I started an icing and elevating regimen; even did some ITB stretches like the one at left.
How will it hold up under pressure? We'll see. Like I said: I've had two other bouts with iliotibial band syndrome, and both other times, I ran through the pain and it eventually went completely away. (I should stress that it was never bad enough that I ran with a limp.) I'm concerned that it's lingered so long this time around, so I'm planning to pick up a Cho Pat ITB strap this week. I also just rediscovered some orthotics I purchased at Charlotte Running Co. awhile back -- they were in some cheap New Balance shoes I bought when I first started running but didn't use for long. The orthotics seem to be in relatively good shape, so I just transferred them to my Sauconys. And I may eventually invest in a foam roller, which a running buddy has highly recommended.
I'm fully prepared to back off of the training in the event the situation gets worse. It's a long road to New York, and I'm determined to find success, not failure, on Nov. 1.
As mentioned previously, I'm using the 16-week Bart Yasso intermediate program that appeared in the July issue of Runner's World magazine. I don't want to bore you guys with too many details, but I do plan to blog every Sunday about how the training is going. Hopefully, more often than not, I'll be able to tell you that it's going well!