Yeah, there I am after my last 20 miler today. In all my sweaty glory. Phew. I feel so much better having run that last long run. My IT band did act up about 75 minutes into the run, and I thought I was done. I decided to keep going though. It was a risk, but without this run my last long run would have been 6 weeks before the race...turns out the initial tightness didn't get any worse. It was distracting and irritating, but I got through it. Also, very boring. I decided to run on the treadmill. The treadmill is flat, definitely has no camber, and has more give than the roads. It just made more sense, but wow, did it require focus.
For obvious reasons, I've been looking into the whole IT band thing and found that lots of people wind up with IT band issues 3 or 4 weeks before a marathon. Big surprise. It's an overuse injury, blah, blah, blah, often caused by weak hip flexors, running on cambered surfaces, running too much too fast. For me, I think it's the hip flexor thing. My hips are in a constant state of soreness. Note to self, work on hips.
During my IT band Google fest, I stumbled onto some people who seem to have good luck using KT tape to help get them through IT band issues. I just happened to have some KT tape, so I thought, why not? And had a go at it. I do think it helped. Plus, it makes you look like you're going into battle, and that's just cool.
Anyway, I haven't been able to run longer than 7.5 miles since this whole business started, and I managed to finish the 20 miler. It's been 10 hours since the run and my knee hasn't hurt walking around or going up or down the stairs. That's something. (My hip flexors are sore though, hmmm.)
With 17 days to go, I think I'll be taking a lot of time off. I'll run a few more times, but I've trained as well as I can. Now it makes more sense to rest (given that seems to be the only real solution to calming down an irritated IT band.) Of course, I'll keep foam rolling. I've also discovered the glory of a rolling pin. If you can't make it hurt enough with the foam roller, go ahead and have at it with a rolling pin. That's what I say. I did have a sports massage that focused on myofascial release, and I'll have one more before the race.
But mostly, I'll be chilling in my super sassy lime green compression socks. Eating, thinking, and dreaming marathon. Good luck to all you Boston runners out there! I can't wait to follow everyone!