As promised, though once again a few days later than I intended… 

OK – chapter by chapter:
The knees.  The knees are doing well.  I’ve just come back from my friend, the physio who is also an acupuncturist.  Very interesting.  In her view, the problems stem from my Q-angle, something I’ve long suspected.  My kneecaps are very high, which is just how they are, and if my quads get tight (which they are prone to do because they are strong and I don’t stretch enough) they pull my kneecap up even further.  Overpronation further exacerbates the problem.  To my relief she thinks that basically everything and everyone I’ve seen has helped – the physio stopped me from running when I might have really injured myself had I carried on, the podiatrist has dealt with the overpronation, the osteopath has loosened the tension around the kneecaps.  Now I just need to keep stretching and make sure that I don’t let the area under the kneecap get inflamed again.  To aid the healing of the minor inflammation that is still there she then used acupuncture.  I won’t go into further detail about why this is thought to work, but will just gross you out with a picture of the procedure..
The white ones (which you can’t really see very well) on the inside of my knee hurt – the rest was fine.  I’ll keep you posted on the situation and whether it works. 
The running is good.  Last week in Holland I managed 19 miles comfortably and then upon my return I ran a 10 miler.  I’m babying my knees – I ran 1 mile, walked 1 minute – but still got round in a respectable 1:43 which I’m very happy with.  I stretch my quads well after 1 mile and do a thorough stretch afterwards and, so far, I’m fine.  Check me out with the girls below and then in my ice bath afterwards (with son hamming it up).  This week has not been great, purely for time reasons but I’m hoping to go out and run 8 later this morning and then see where I am. 

Camera Charles asked me which camera I use – I have a Canon Digital Ixus 75.  They seem to bring out a new model of this one every 2 months but it’s a winning formula.  I’ve had some really high end cameras in the past but I really wanted a light point and shooter and this one does the job.  The video on it isn’t half bad either – certainly suits the purposes of what I need.  I bought a small case with it (LowePro) and it hooks onto my fuel belt when running and honestly – I am very very happy with it.  It’s also survived a few run-ins with mud, rain and the road and seems none the worse for wear. I highly recommend it for running bloggers.  I’m very trigger happy at the moment – this is me after a very wet run on Wednesday night.  Don’t you call me a fair weather runner!

Training program Thank you all so much for your input re training programs.  I have really listened to what I’ve heard and have decided, on this occasion, to not go for Furman.  I am too concerned about the effect of the fast work on my knees.  I am very tempted by Jeff Galloway but time (which is ever dwindling) is running short and his programs are 29 week ones – a bit late for that I fear.  Mulling things over I realised there was a great big elephant in the room of my considerations – my ego.  In all fairness I should still consider myself “on the mend”, not “recovered”.  Yet when I read about the mileages some of you are clocking I think “I want this too!”.  I have given myself a severe talking to – my objective, in this race, is going to be to get to the start uninjured and be in a position where I can get round uninjured.  At this point in time I really need to force myself to not think about PRs or even course PRs.  Just get round comfortably without doing any lasting damage.  And added to this, this is the first time in my marathon training that I’m also working a lot while training.  Time is in so much shorter a supply than it has been before.  I’m only just beginning to realise what the impact on my life is and, while I really enjoy my job, I’m having to acknowledge adjustments here.  I’m getting some more help in the house (why do we women always want to do it all ourselves until we collapse? Side issue here, but still) but still time will be limited and energy levels as well.  I’m focusing on diet this time as well – not so much to lose weight (though I would not complain) but more to give me energy and strength and support me in everything I’m trying to accomplish in the next few months.  
So after all that, after all the houses I’ve been round, I’m going back, cautiously, to old uncle Hal’s Intermediate I, with the following adjustments. For the time being, I’m doing the long runs with walk breaks. And I may replace one of the shorter runs in the week with cross training.  Tomorrow is Week 1 so I’m going to set up my Buckeye Outdoors schedule and will link to it from here as soon as it’s organized..  
So that’s it folks – training starts tomorrow.  On your marks, get set, GO! 

13 thoughts on “Update

  1. Did you do your toenails just for that accupuncture picture?

    Glad that you are out there running again, and even better to hear that you are taking it easy getting back onto the road (and trails).

    “I love it when a plan comes together” – I think the best thing about a plan is choosing one and sticking with it! So great job and look forward to reading about your training!

  2. You are one tough chick! Taking pictures while getting stuck with needles? That’s great!

    I’m glad you have a plan picked! Have you booked your travel yet?

    I can’t wait to run with you!

  3. Woo-hoo! You look so healthy and happy! I think Hal will be good.

    That’s a lot of needles girl. If my husband sees that pic, he’ll pass out…lol. Seriously. 😉

  4. Sounds like the acupuncturist gave you some good info, and a lot of pins! Interesting info about the q-angle – never heard of it. I hope the acupunture helps – I’m very interested in knowing! I just started getting some twangs in my knee myself!

    Love all the photos!

    Good luck to you on your HH intermediate program. I bet you’re so excited about getting started! I’m so excited for you!

  5. I am glad that all the treatment helped – although I got to say, those needles look pretty intimidating!

    Hal’s good, given the time and your knee situation. I think it will work well for you.

    You tempt me now with the canon. I have a high end one too and its just too big to take anywhere.

  6. Your entry had me on needles and pins. Glad you’re back to running and sounds like you have a plan and an The camera I bring on all my runs is a disposable Kodak, you know, with film, $5 at the drugstore then you get it developed. I keep the photo section in business, me and the other 50 something men that still think (wish?) it’s the twentieth century. I see a shot weeks later that I just know made so much sense at the time and go, Where, and What, is that?

  7. That picture with the needles is awesome. I have always wanted to try accupuncture. Can’t wait to hear what you think.

    I’m glad you found a plan that suits you. I think walk breaks and cross training are great ways to alter the plan. The most important thing is to get to the starting line healthy! Good luck with your training! 🙂

  8. Why are you needling me like that? Just kiddin’! I’m not as oPIN to suggestions or treatments like that!

    I am looking to managing the back of the pack! Really lookin’ forward to meeting you!

    The training is on!

  9. Petra, wonderful to hear that your running is going well. That Q-angle issue causing knee pain is common amongst women runners but it sounds to me that you probably had various issues contributing, which is probably why it’s been so frustrating to diagnose and treat. Hope the acupuncture will help. At this point, what have you got to lose by trying it?

    I also wanted to say how proud I am to hear you say what’s right for you in terms of training, goals, etc. That is huge. MarathonChris has successfully used Galloway’s run/walk method while following a modified version of Hal Higdon’s programs and I’m sure many others have as well. Best of luck to you, my friend!

  10. Dear Petra, I really could not pay attention to the needles but to your pedicure. Well done, beautiful feet, picture deserved.

    I am with you on not going with Furman because the speed work is intense. Last year I did a combination of Furman-Galloway, meaning that the intense work was doing with walk breaks. My main point is that with 3 disciplined work per week, and logging a good mileage, a marathon can be done. Remember “I ain’t no fast”.

    I am really happy you are recovering well and are able to do the long runs. You got to be kidding me with 1:43 for a 10-miler. That is good!!!

    I wish I could join you in that race, but I don’t think is possible.

    Keep running girl…

    lizzie lee

  11. Oh Petra — I feel like I am right there running alongside you! (in my dreams, that is — I’d trail behind!)

    Love the pics. I love a trigger happy blogger! I need to photograph my new running paths. You have inspired me to do it!

    You’re just the best. Run Petra run!

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