I see I’m not the only one getting way ahead of myself… (Rick)
This past Saturday I was supposed to do my first in a series of long slow walks ( 15 miles maximum )… at least that was the plan. I was kinda dreading this walk anyway because Id been experiencing a lot hamstring and knee pain for the previous couple of weeks .Well despite my better judgment, I did the walk anyway and sure enough , at around mile 9, I could feel my right knee start to stiffen up .When I would stop and try to bend and stretch it out, the back of my knee hurt like hell ( a sure sign of a hamstring strain and/or weak quads) Oh great..Just what I need in the middle of marathon training.
OK, so I’m limping my way through the remainder of my walk, when at around 2 miles from my finish, I run into a friend who was just starting his walk in the opposite direction. He’s kinda new to the whole walking thing and is training for the Rome marathon as well ( plus he’s my Dentist), so I figured I’d walk a few hundred yards with him to give him some pointers. Well, we got to chit chatting and before I knew it, I had backtracked almost 2 miles.
So now , rather than having only 2 miles left of my walk … I had 4 ! (For a walker… that’s a full hour !)
Well, those last 4 miles were not pretty. I had to stop and bend out my knee every other block which was excruciating but necessary to prevent a full on cramp. It got to the point where I was afraid to stop moving for fear that my knees totally lock up. I even thought of the unthinkable, like hailing a cap or hitching a ride on the trolley to get back to my car! Honestly, if this had been a real marathon, there’s no way I could have finished it. What started out as a relatively easy 15 miler , turned into a painful 18.7 miler. Thankfully , my lungs didn’t bother me that much until I got home, but now of course, I’m paying for it.
I guess the most frustrating thing, is that a lot of these types of juries are preventable. Things like legs cramps, runners knee, pulled hamstring muscles, ITB problems,etc, can be minimized if you educate yourself , use a little common sense and PRE-STRETCH before going hog wild on the course. Cramming in X number of miles in a short a period of time is not going to make me more prepared for a race, it’s just gonna injure me faster.
I should have waited until my legs were feeling better before attempting such a long walk, but I’m on a tight schedule for this upcoming marathon and I felt I couldn’t afford to miss even a single training walk.
Oh ..there one thing that was kinda funny though, when I got home I immediately filled bathtub with cold water as I usually do after a long training walk. After finally easing myself all the way into the tub and straightening both legs out, Winston my cat ( not knowing that the tub was full of water), sees me behind the curtain and decides he wants to play…so he leaps right into the tub ! Well, you can imagine the cats reaction when he realized that he was diving belly first into a tub of freezing water! Lucky for Winston, I managed to catch him in mid- air just as he hit the water , but the sudden jerk sent my right quad muscle into a major cramp.
Meanwhile, Winston takes off a like a bat out of hell ,circles the house and comes back for more. He thinks this is a new game!