Turpentine…and Texas? a.k.a Respect the Distance!

So, after Wordless Wednesday, I almost feel the need to spend some time explaining the pictures.  Is this what is supposed to happen?

If you couldn’t tell, I am really trying to do everything I can to prevent what feels like an imminent injury.  Though really, if I had spent more time doing this stuff in the first place, then I probably would not be dealing with any heel/knee weirdness right now.

While I wasn’t planning on doing a “marathon lessons learned” list until AFTER I actually finished the marathon, I’m pretty sure I’ve determined what Lesson #1 is.  Spend way more time “rehabbing”  and “preventing” then you think is necessary.  Twice a day at least. Rolling, icing, stretching, taping if needed.  Even when everything feels great.  In my (albeit rather limited) experience, there is a little bratty body part just waiting to give you grief.

I think the problem with reading running blogs as a hobby is that you start to really believe that EVERYONE runs marathons and that it is a completely normal way to work out.  If you take a step back from the computer and look around (assuming you aren’t in fact at a marathon), you’ll remember that marathon running is not “normal” and most people don’t do it.  In fact, as of May 2012, only half of 1% (i.e. .5%) of the population has finished one.

I knew going in that it would be a challenge, but I truly didn’t internalize that the process was going to be so hard on the body.  Looking around at various marathon bloggers, I have determined unscientifically that 100% have had some type of injury at some point.  Half Marathon training was not so bad for me.  Just some minor IT issues back in January, but nothing too crazy. And while a marathon appears to be the next logical step after getting comfortable with a half, I think I forget sometimes that it is TWICE the distance.  You are literally running for longer than it takes to fly across half the country.

I’m definitely not saying “don’t do it.”  Quite the opposite, actually.  I think it is possible to train for a marathon and not have problems.  My mistake was in not, as blog friend Dominick said the other day, “respecting the distance.”  (I’m totally quoting him out of context, but I think it applies regardless).  26.2 is  A LOT of miles to work up to and it will be hard on your body if you don’t take care of yourself, and as a first timer, I really needed to respect that.

Anyone want a hat to remind them? Source.

I started having annoying heel pain last Thursday/Friday.  Right now, I am icing it twice every day and taping it every night.  If feels mostly fine until I workout, and then it hurts for a little bit. However,  I think this is close to being cured.

Then Monday I started getting sporadic sharp (pretty uncomfortable) pains in my knee. After extensive Wikipedia/Web-MD searches (my favorite), and then confirmation from Aaron the Expert, I realized that EVERYTHING, including my foot pain is really stemming from IT band issues.  I’ve been rolling, icing, stretching, and wearing flat shoes.  I’ve also been wearing KT tape on it, but I’m not necessarily convinced that it is helping. Basically, it feels like I need to trade my entire right leg in for a new one.

I’ve had this talk before.  I keep having new symptoms in different places, but it keeps coming back to that one pesky IT band.

Two people have recommend these little bands to help IT issues.  I think I’m going to get one. I’m willing to try just about anything right now, including turpentine Volcanic oil (also used as lamp fluid, by the way).

I am taking care of it.  I’m very lucky to be married to someone who, for example, has taken entire classes on how to properly tape someone.  I’ve definitely taken it easy this week.  But I’m a little annoyed by it. And I hope my premature lesson learned can be of some benefit to someone else.


In other, more happy news!!!

At some point in the next several months (being ambiguous so the evil burglars don’t come to steal my succulents), Aaron and I are taking a whirlwind road trip through Texas to visit family in various cities! We know all the stuff to do in San Antonio and Austin, but we are also heading to Houston (never been) and Galveston, which is a beach town, apparently.  I don’t know too much about Texas beaches (except of course not to mess with them!), but living in a landlocked region makes one slightly desperate for a beach, even if it isn’t the world’s nicest.  All I know is that I will be horseback riding my little behind on that beach so I can cross it off my bucket list!

Our big challenge (aside from not eating Texas sized meals all day) will be finding running routes.

If you have ever run in Austin, San Antonio, or Houston, do you have any recommendations for running paths/trails?

Any good “post run” eateries (or, you know, breweries) worth noting?  

And most importantly, any tips on running in what I’m sure will be crazy humid conditions? 

I hope everyone has a fantastic (and thoroughly preventative) Thursday!

18 thoughts on “Turpentine…and Texas? a.k.a Respect the Distance!

  1. One of my good friends and her husband live outside of Houston. He is an avid runner, I will get in touch with him and post the route on my blog if you would like. What distance are you looking for? Hope the IT Band gets to feeling better.

  2. Memorial park is a fantastic 3 loop running trail in Houston. Also the 3-mile loop around rice university is also a great place to run. In Austin the Lady Bird Lake running trail is a must! If you like trail running you should consider heading out to The trail that runs along Barton springs. It is flat and a lot of it is shaded. Have fun! And evil burglars…stay away!

  3. Good luck with your IT band. Such a bummer to have to deal with a potential injury. I always feel like it’s more time consuming to try to deal with preventing an injury than actually dealing with one (typed as I sit with ice on both shins and my right knee because I’m paranoid). Sounds like you’re headed in the right direction, though!

    • It is so time consuming! I think that’s why I didn’t do enough of it…it takes like 10 minutes just to roll followed by 15 minutes of icing. That’s quite a chunk of day if you do it multiple times!

  4. YES! Rice University is LOVELY to run around, and if your ambiguous Houston trip coincides with mine (late October) then I would totally meet up to do a few laps and then grab a beer (though I would probably slow you down because I am not frequently exposed to heat), because my parents’ house is two blocks away (totally giving too much information here).

    • I wish! I already checked your race schedule, and they don’t coincide. That would have been fun though! One of these days.
      It will be kind of a crazy trip with 4 cities in 4 days, so we are going to be running around like crazy people!

  5. I’ve run a few half marathons and everyone keeps asking when I’m going to do a full and…I have no desire at all to do a full. I imagine that could change but you’re right in that it’s a lot different training for a full mary than it is training for a half. And I’m not exactly comfortable in the half yet to say, “Hey! I could run twice that distance!” ha ha ha!!! You’re awesome for doing it!

    • Yeah, I never really thought I would do a full, but here we are! And I’m constantly amazed when I look at my training schedule and see the number of miles I have to run! Definitely different than a half!

  6. Yes- it is a distance worthy of much respect! I learned that my first time too… and although I still want to do a few more, I plan to stick more to the half marathons for the long term.
    When are you coming through Houston?! I’d love to meet you! As other said, Rice is a great little trail- and there are a few others (Memorial park) etc. Take care of that foot!

    • For some reason I’ve always thought you lived in Austin! I’ll email you! I’m also thinking that I probably won’t do marathons too often. It takes up so much time to train and prevent injury!

  7. It is so true that when you read blogs about running/marathon training every day you forget that it’s not the norm! I live in Texas =) I love Austin, it is really pretty there (for Texas anyway). I ran the Austin 10/20 there in April but I am not that familiar with where to run. I do know there are LOTS of hills!! The Houston area is SUPER humid so depending on what time you visit, you might be miserable running there. Galveston beach is okay, it works for us who don’t live near a beach but definitely not the prettiest one ever. Hope you enjoy your trip to Texas!!

    • Where in Texas are you from? I have it in my head that you’re from Lubbock, but I couldn’t find any proof! I am nervous about how hot and humid Houston is going to be. And for some reason, I was really surprised to see how hilly the Austin area was. I guess that part of the state is called “hill country,” and now I know why! We’re very excited about our vacation even though it will be pretty busy.

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