Yesterday, I had a follow-up appointment with my sports medicine doctor. The PT suggested that I do a test run on Monday afternoon to see how it would feel to run again for the first time since the Marine Corps Marathon. Well, I guess I had run a little at Savannah, too, but I hadn't run at all since then. 16 days off from running. I was hoping for the best, and bracing for the worst. I guess I got somewhere in between. I did feel the tightness come on, and discomfort. I can't say it 'hurt' but it definitely didn't feel normal. I tried a 3/1 interval, and I did that for 30 minutes total. I rolled and stretched before and stretched afterward. Monday evening I was pretty sore. But then I woke up yesterday and felt fairly good.
I told all of this to the doctor, as well as recounted all of the details of MCM and Savannah. He checked out my knees thoroughly and declared there was no damage to them, which is great! He said it's still just the IT Bands and he's seeing a lot of that right now (must be marathon season, he said). We talked about my January plans for Goofy and he instructed me to keep on training (even though it will be painful), and then to take significant time off. When I asked him what "significant time" meant he replied, "January and February." I'm sure he could see my disappointment on my face. He told me I could continue to cross-train during that time. Then he said if it's not completely better by March I should see him again and we would try another round of physical therapy. He also gave me an anti-inflammatory gel to use on my knees daily and then before and after I run.
As he was leaving, he said, "It won't hurt forever!" I forced a smile and said, "It just seems that way!" He smiled and said, "You just need two things that runners aren't good at - patience and rest." Then he patted me on the shoulder and said goodbye.
I spoke to Steve, my PT, today during my session and told him what the doc said. He didn't seem too thrilled with his advice. I also told Steve that I can afford two more visits with him, so he suggested that we do one next week and one the following week. He is going to work on further developing my home program to hopefully get me ready for Goofy.
My current plan is to go on down there, prepared to run - like I did with Savannah. I will see how I'm feeling on the half marathon day. If I feel well enough to run/walk, then I will. Same goes for marathon day. I'm not sure about running right now... if it will make it worse or what. Since the doc said it was OK, and I have friends who have trained through while they are recovering from ITBS, I can assume it's safe. But I'm worried, still. I am thinking about joining a local discount gym that advertises $9 per month, and doing the elliptical there and the recumbent bike. And I'd still swim, of course. But is that sufficient for doing a half marathon and a full marathon??
Lots to think and pray about!!