A wrinkle has come up in my marathon training. During my last two runs it’s become obvious that my ITB is flaring up, which causes serious anterior knee pain. The ITB (ileotibial band) is a ligament that harnesses the power of the gluteal muscles from the hip down to the tibia, and provides the outward stability we need to keep our legs moving straight ahead. That little band of connective tissue is now inflamed from repetitive motion. I’m stunned by how rapid the onset has been.
With four weeks to go before the Portland Marathon, it looks like I need to seriously modify my training. That starts with taking a couple of days off, and dosing with Advil and applying an ice pack at regular intervals. I’ve run injury-free this year, and was starting to feel invincible again. High miles will take their toll one way or another. The good news is that other than a final 20-miler I’d planned for next weekend, I’m past my really high-mileage training. So my taper starts today, instead of next Monday. I think I can handle that.
In the scheme of things, this is a pretty minor setback. Compared to the serious maladies to which the human body is prone, this one is both manageable and curable. I will find a way to complete the marathon, which may include some walking breaks. I’ll crawl if I have to. My time is not important; participating is. I’ve been raising funds for Acorn Foundation on the promise of competing in this marathon, and there is no refund clause. I have the will; is there a way?