Women Who Run | Part 2

Last week I told you how I became a runner. Six months into it, running was no longer solely about fitness and weight loss. Running had become something important I shared with friends. When I became injured, I felt like a big part of my world was taken from me.

It could be argued that I didn’t slow down enough after I realized I’d been injured. I am the “crazy runner friend”— that obsessed friend every runner has, the one who doesn’t know when to slow down.  All I could think about was the goal I’d set, celebrating a year of running by completing a full marathon.  Because I didn’t want to lose the endurance I’d built, I went wild with the cross training. I rowed, swam and lifted weights the first few weeks, often working out three hours a day…desperate the endorphin fix and hoping I was at least maintaining my cardiovascular fitness.  When the worst of the knee and hip pain was gone, I switched to jump roping. When the range of motion returned, I began aqua jogging and added monster sessions on the Stairmaster.

I’d suffered over-use injuries before, and they were always quick fixes. When one week turned to two and then stretched to six, I was ready to try anything. Cindy, one of the women I met in a half marathon training group, had experienced some calf issues while running. She shared what her chiropractor did to help her and suggested I visit him.

Meanwhile, I realized I’d missed too many long runs to complete a spring marathon, and I barely had in the medium length runs that would make a half marathon possible.  With Cindy’s encouragement, I scheduled a demo session on the Alter G with Dr. Phillips at the Inside Sports Clinic.

I cannot tell you how happy I was to run again! My heart pounded. When I finished, I looked like I’d gone for a swim instead of a run. I was thrilled to be exhausted and sweaty again. For the first time in months, I felt like I got a really good workout.

Around this time, I feared I’d been misdiagnosed. I scheduled an appointment with a sports medicine doctor, who referred me to a physical therapist.  My own chiropractor’s diagnosis was accurate—an IT Band injury that would take time to heal.

I started using the Alter G three times a week, in addition to my other cross training and physical therapy sessions. Once I was able to tolerate short runs, I alternated twice weekly Alter G sessions with three to five mile outdoor runs. The Alter G allowed me to push my body hard enough to train for my spring half marathons. (Remember—I had planned on running a marathon. According to my initial plan, back-to-back-to-back half marathons would have been training runs.)

One year after completing my first 5K, I ran the Olathe Half Marathon with my training group.  My longest run in the three months since the injury occurred was six miles; I was barely ready, but using the Alter G, I felt confident I would finish.

I completed the half marathon with absolutely no IT Band pain during the run–but with a bit of ITB-related hip and knee pain in the days that followed. My quads hurt from lack of training, and it wasn’t my fastest finish ever, but I felt good about my effort given the training setbacks I’d experienced.

I continued to use the Alter G twice a week. Two weeks after I ran Olathe, and three months after the onset of my injury, I completed the Lincoln Half Marathon (discussed in last week’s post), setting a new PR!

As of this week, I’m injury-free and feeling 100% again. I pushed my body too hard, too fast.  I’m looking forward to a more relaxed training schedule—and plan to achieve my goal of running a marathon in the fall.

Has anyone competed in these marathon’s?  We would love to hear your story!  Please feel free to leave your feedback.