pasta and a movie: The Long Green Line

Not only am I actually blogging for the first time in several weeks, but I actually had pasta this time!

I'm solo parenting again so the wee one and I headed to Homeroom, Oakland's spot for "fancy mac 'n' cheese," as said wee one calls it, after his dance class this afternoon. We had an early dinner (thus avoiding the crowds) of little mac for him and vegan mac for me (I didn't want the cheese so much as the mac - I'm not vegan but just, you know, feel better when I consume fewer animal products, moreso as I get older and especially before a run). Delicious, as always. And yeah, we may have split a homemade oreo cookie after but I gave the wee one the bigger half.  I swear.

If I wrap up all my post-solo-parenting-13-hour-day stuff soon, I may actually watch a little of The Long Green Line, a cross-country running documentary about legendary high school running coach Joe Newton. Unlike a lot of running movies, this one has a great online presence.  Available on Netflix (but, alas, not streaming), you can also watch the entire documentary on Hulu.  When a Twitter friend recommended it, whoever manages their Twitter account replied directly to both of us. Now that's promotion!

So how are things going for me? Well, with just over two weeks until the marathon, I'm honestly not sure what my game-day strategy is yet.  After a two-week hiatus from running, partly because of IT band issues I've mentioned before, which have been plaguing me since late January, and partly because of a nasty virus that swept through my entire family, even developing into pneumonia for the wee one (not fun, by the way, for the record), I surprised myself with a pretty decent 10.5 mile run last Saturday.  It was supposed to be my 20-miler, my longest run pre-marathon. So on the one hand, I'm disappointed that the most I've run this training season is 14 miles.  But considering I ran maybe 10 miles in all of February, I was pretty happy with what I was able to do last weekend and how my knee felt during and after.  I'd finally made it in to a sports medicine/orthopedic doctor the week before and a physical therapist that very afternoon. Rather than a true IT band syndrome, she seems to think what I've been experiencing is more of a neuromuscular issue with the stabilizing muscles on that leg - not necessarily true muscle weakness but kind of like the muscles have gotten lazy and are not stabilizing the knee the way they should be, resulting in that leg being slightly knock-kneed when my foot strikes the ground, creating more tension and friction where the IT band meets the outside of my knee on that leg. 

She gave me a few key exercises to do to strengthen those muscles, which I did religiously last week, and I've really noticed a huge difference in just the first week alone.  Ideally I'd take more time to recover and work my way back up to 20, then taper for three weeks or so before a later event.  But I've wanted to run the Oakland marathon (or 1/2, as was my motivation last year) for two years now and part of me is tempted to go for it with a "just finish" strategy.  I have until the morning of to decide if I want to unofficially run the 1/2, officially run the full and hope for the best, or push back to a summer or fall Team in Training event with not only more training ahead of me but a bit more fundraising as well (San Diego Rock 'n' Roll in June and Nike Women's in San Francisco in October are the leading contenders at this time, after Oakland, of course).  Whatever I decide to do, I'm just relieved to finally be up and running again. Tomorrow I'll go for another "easy 10" and see how the knee feels as I head into the final two weeks before the big day.

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