Target 26.2 - First Timer Steve's Journey to Paris

Long runs, speed sessions... and a pair of rather tight leggings.

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20/03/2013 at 14:31

Hi guys,

Another cheeky update from work... Luckily my boss tends to look very bored when I talk about running so it's unlikely he'll be following this thread... Famous last words

So I went to see the consultant yesterday - it was a bit of a trek as all the local clinics I could have gone to didn't have any appointments for weeks so I went a bit further afield to try and speed the process up!

I find the whole process slightly ridiculous - Sarah checked me out at the training day and thought that it was likely I have torn the cartilage in my knee... therefore I would benefit from an MRI scan - however, physiotherapists can't refer (surely they should be able to, given that this is their area of expertise!) and so I had to go and see the GP.

The GP examined me basically from scratch and eventually formed the opinion... that I had probably torn the cartilage in my knee and that I would therefore benefit from an MRI scan. So he referred me to a specialist consultant.

So I went to the Assessment Centre where, and you may start to notice a theme here, the consultant examined me himself and concluded, brace yourself, that I had probably torn the cartilage in my knee and that I would therefore benefit from an MRI scan.

Sarah told me that two weeks ago! There's our hard-earned taxes at work...

As it happens, the consultant I saw was great - he was very funny and really seemed to know what he was talking about. He was Japanese and his name was Dr Kin Kong. I kid you not.

Basically, he thinks the scan will be done before the end of March and I have a follow-up appointment on 15th April to discuss the results and work out the next steps.

Obviously this is post-marathon! We discussed what I should/shouldn't do and he was of the opinion that I should just be guided by symptoms - if I am able to run then I can run, if it is too painful/swollen to run then I shouldn't run. Simple really!

I am paraphrasing here, but he as good as said: "you've knackered the knee anyway, so see how you get on in Paris and I'll fix it for you afterwards".

So good news on that front

He did say, longer-term, that I may experience issues with the knee. He said that if it is what/where he suspects then it is likely that they will need to remove some of the cartilage. From what he was saying, this means that my knee will wear out quicker than otherwise... although he was very pessimistic with it all! He said knees start wearing out from 50+ and mine will, if the surgery went ahead, wear out from 40+! He recommended changing over to swimming in a few years

But I'm sure all that was just worst-case scenario stuff and I have trouble looking ahead to the end of the week, let alone a decade or more away so I'll cross those bridges as when I get there (yes, on crutches if necessary haha).

The main thing I took away from it was that running this marathon won't do any long-term, irreparable damage so I'm good to go on that front.

One thing that has been bothering me for the last few days, though, is that all of this happened before I had got my medical certificate signed by my GP to clear me to run in Paris... I'm wondering whether this might now turn out to be a bit of an issue for me. Would a GP clear me to run given that I've just been referred for a suspected tear in the cartilage in my knee??

We'll see...

Anyway, not long until I have internet at home so I can hopefully get back up to speed on the thread.

I have absolutely no idea what to do training-wise now - I have managed a couple of short runs and been ok(ish) but I feel like I really should give a long run a go on Sunday maybe, just to see how it reacts... O

20/03/2013 at 14:31

...

Or would I be better doing as little as possible on the knee to preserve it for the big day.

Any advice, Sam and Sarah?

20/03/2013 at 15:17

Steve - some good news, sort of....at least the specialist was n't called F Kin Kong, now that would have been hard to take.

So big dilemma - run, not run, train, not train?

Trust your support group and I hope it goes well whichever way the coin lands.....good luck! 

20/03/2013 at 15:55
Mike Sheridan wrote (see)

....at least the specialist was n't called F Kin Kong, now that would have been hard to take.

LOL - brilliant 

We once had a Japanese client called Mr. Hau Hau (pron. ho) but Kin Kong is way better.

Steve - Good to hear that you have a date for the scan. You're being incredibly positive about it which is highly admirable. I probably told you before that mys sister had a cartilage op done in Feb and she says it's made a huge difference so there is light at the end of the tunnel for you.

I think the train/no train dilemma is the big one. Knowing Steve the run/not run will be a no brainer

Very best of luck to you as always.

Edited: 20/03/2013 at 15:55
20/03/2013 at 17:14

Steve - a difficult dilemna but I'm sure you can manage it through to Paris mate

When I worked for a building society a few years ago we had a customer and her name was:

Fu Kin Haw - I, also, kid you not!

20/03/2013 at 19:50

Thanks for the update Steve. It must be all so frustrating for you. But we all know when we run outdoors we take on the elements and we take on our own human frailty, that what makes running such a challenge.

Take all the best advise, and do what's best for you.  x

21/03/2013 at 10:20

Thanks for updating Steve.

  What to do, glad I am not Sarah/Sam giving this advice   but pain seem the most logical thing to guide you as Kin kong suggested  but as long as it won't make it any worst???

 

Keeping eating well - always think that helps psychologically 

21/03/2013 at 10:43
Hi steve
Ruth is right in that pain is going to be your guide - the problem we have at tge moment is that we don't know if the pain will get worse or stay the same, or even ease off, over the course of a long run. So either you try a run of say, an hour and see how it goes or you remain in blissful ignorance and see what happens on the day. The problem there is that if you end up in real pain you may have to drop out the race. It's a tricky situation: I would no way be suggesting you ran if you had a different type of injury than this but I kind of agree with the specialist's attitude of 'it's broken anyway and I'll fix it after' so long as that doesn't exacerbate the problem. There is tge risk of sustaining a compensatory injury elsewhere... So there's some thinking to be done. Good luck!
21/03/2013 at 11:05

Hi Steve.

What a tough problem to face!! if it were me, I would do nothing and just go for runnign on race day, safe in the knowledge you've done the training...  Sooo, this probably would mean you wouldn't come to the Colchester Castle Parkrun test event this Sunday 

Paris is your A Race, so enjoy!

Good luck with whatever you decide!

 

21/03/2013 at 11:11

SamMurphyRuns,

Thanks for ur tips on the Marathon webchat.  My half marathon and marathon courses, are a bit different.  The half had significant up and down in the first half, though relatively flat the second half, whereas the full has been described by many others as 'undulating'.  I got a pb of 1:56 in the half on Sunday, so technically that could mean a faster marathon than I was initially planning (4:15-4:20).  I think I'm going to try and pace the race for a 4:15 anyway.  I have a couple of 20 mile long runs to get in before race day, so hopefully they can tell me something too!

Do you think there is such thing as being too conservative?

21/03/2013 at 12:26

If I've understood it sounds like your specialist said something along these lines:

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Waites will be that man. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster."

So that's the future sub 3hr marathon sorted now back to Paris and the question in hand "to train or not to train"? 

Well, I know what I would do.........................

But I also know what that would probably result in too!

 

 

21/03/2013 at 12:31
Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)

Do you think there is such thing as being too conservative?


Great question Angela, I've got my first Half Marathon lined up for Sunday and over the last couple of weeks my confidence has gone through the roof, to the extent that I'm seriously questioning whether my already ambitious target is actually going to be challenging enough (sound familiar Steve?).

At the moment I'm wandering around continuously telling myself to stick with the pacings to at least half way and then ramp it up from there if I feel up to it.

21/03/2013 at 12:51

Steve, you need to keep the knee as calm as possible the less swelling and inflammation before the race the longer it will last and the better it will feel so def use symptoms as your guide. You do however need to keep training and I would do as much as this as possible on the cross trainer as no impact or bike though cross trainer better Cv wise. Heep your quads and core as strong as possible as they will be inhibited and keep switching off from the pain/ swelling and keep icicng. avoid too many anti inflamms and they don't mix especially before the race can lead to kidney damage combinned with the dehydration.

Try and mimic your long runs on the cross trainer and perhaps run evry 2 days. Keep us posted and we can keep jiggling depending on how you feel.

 

21/03/2013 at 17:28

Hi Kandinsky, now I think back, I was feeling supremely overconfident prior to Colchester, thinking I can get a 1:54... and i got a 1:56... still a 3 minute improvemnt on my pb set in 2010, and well I did 2 halves last year at 2;05 and 2;06 where I was struggling with undiagnosed/unmanaged asthma, so In reality taking 10 minutes off in the space of 6 months is actually a huge achievement, but maybe 12 was too much.  I listened to the smart people on the forums and decided to pace a 1:57 and give it more where I felt I could after I'd passed half way.  This resulted in a nice negative split of 3 minutes (I think).  Tells me that perhaps I could have started a little faster, but still over the moon with it, so glad I was conservative.

I think a 4:15 for Halstead is going to be the right way to go for me- it would still be a pb for me (by 18 minutes) but what I want of this race is to pace a marathon correctly, something I haven't done before!

Maybe I'm being too ambitious that I'll go sub 4 in autumn though 

22/03/2013 at 06:32

I managed a 4:00:13 at the Liverpool Marathon last October coming of the back of a 1:51:13 half in September so I'd think a 4:15 at Halstead should be well on for you (I really do need to pop into that thread and say hello).

I'm gunning for a 1:45 at Brentwood on Sunday, on paper it feels like a massive jump but it's the first time I've incorporated speedwork etc into my training plan (motivated in no small part by this thread) and over the last couple I've been amazed at the progress I have made and how "comfortable" that pace has started to feel.

Now if only the weather will hold!

p.s. Apologies Steve if we're hijacking the thread

 

22/03/2013 at 08:09
Ooo Kandinsky, those 13 seconds must be annoying what excellent pacing for bang on 4! Or was the plan to end with 13 seconds as that's what u had in your half? What kind of speedwork are you doing? other than doing a run at race pace each week im not doing any, but hoping to introduce it for autumn marathon training.
Yes, get on the Halstead thread... We're hijacking!
Good luck in Brentwood on Sunday! I'm planning to do the Orion 15 tomorrow but like you am looking at the weather gods concerned we won't be able to drive to Epping forest...
22/03/2013 at 12:25

You'd think the 13 seconds would have annoyed but it was my first marathon and it was only a couple of years ago that I started running again and was struggling to run 30 seconds without a break!

 

24/03/2013 at 08:22
I assume you we're going to come but FYI Colchester castle park run test event today is cancelled due to icy conditions- if anyone u know was going to come, please let them know
25/03/2013 at 17:00
Angela Isherwood 2 wrote (see)

SamMurphyRuns,

Thanks for ur tips on the Marathon webchat.  My half marathon and marathon courses, are a bit different.  The half had significant up and down in the first half, though relatively flat the second half, whereas the full has been described by many others as 'undulating'.  I got a pb of 1:56 in the half on Sunday, so technically that could mean a faster marathon than I was initially planning (4:15-4:20).  I think I'm going to try and pace the race for a 4:15 anyway.  I have a couple of 20 mile long runs to get in before race day, so hopefully they can tell me something too!

Do you think there is such thing as being too conservative?

Hi Angela

I do think you can be too conservative, but with your half mara time predicting around 4.03 and you aiming for 4.15ish, I'd say that's a sensible, measured goal and not overly conservative. Usually people are trying to push it the other way ie. their previous races predict a slower time than what they want! That's where you're really in dangerous ground! 

 

25/03/2013 at 17:05

Hi Steve,

How's it going? Any evidence of the knee settling? Or still a bit unpredictable. Sarah's advice on cross training is great - I can't, however, remember whether you have access to cross training equipment like a X-trainer or exercise bike? And also, only do it if it's painfree. Swimming with a pullbuoy is great when you've got a knee or hip issue that is irritated by leg kick. 

Really hope you're going to be on that start line Steve...

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