Week 6 Wineglass Marathon Training: When Injury Strikes

Last we chatted, my training was starting to go a bit better and instead of running being something else that stressed me out, I was getting back to enjoying running for the sake of running, rather than obsessing over hitting paces or how this run would affect my upcoming race.

Monday: I actually had a great 5-miler. It’s been a bit cooler out, and my “easy” pace is back around a 9:30ish, rather than the 10ish pace it was at before. I didn’t look much at my watch during this run and just enjoyed the views, so I was happy to see my pace get a little better.

Tuesday: yoga. I was in a rough place mentally on Tuesday and needed something soothing

Wednesday: RUH ROH. I set out to do mile repeats…and got 3/4 of a mile in before every single step resulted in a sharp pain in my right knee. I emailed Jess right away, and we decided I’d take a few days off from running to rest my knee before it got worse.

Thursday: rest day

Friday: SoulCycle with Kendra, thanks to a gift certificate I had. I’d never heard of Kendra, but she was adorable and upbeat and had lots of throwback music like N-Sync’s Just Got Paid and This is How We Do It.

Saturday: Even before the knee pain struck, I’d planned on Saturday being a rest day because it was also a beach day and I knew we’d be hitting the road early. I woke up and my calves were incredibly sore from SoulCycle. WTF?!


But hey, the beach was nice. And I totally got a resistance workout by walking in the sand, right?



Jess recommended four laps of the park on my bike in lieu of a long run. It’s 2 miles up and 2 miles back, so I did a total of 28+ miles. I have no idea how long it took…because my (fully-charged) Garmin died about 1.5 hours in.

Laura joined me for my first lap, which was wonderful. I will say this: riding 4 laps of the park was both easier and harder than I expected. Physically, it didn’t feel super-draining or demanding at the time, but I got home and passed out HARD. Mentally, it was a challenge to ride the same loop over and over again. The first lap was fine, because I had Laura to chat with. The second lap, I was still happy I’d gotten to catch up with her a bit. The third lap I just thought “seriously? Two more laps of this?” The fourth lap, I was obviously happy to be almost done.

I still <3 running more, but I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would, other than the onslaught of tourists on the east side of the park.

I got an intense sports massage last night to try to work out some of the muscle tightness (in addition to the pain in my knees, I’d just been feeling achy as hell all training cycle, especially in my quads), and I feel a bit better and am going to try for 3 easy miles today.

The massage therapist told me that my outer quad was overdeveloped and my inner quad was underdeveloped, and that it really needed to be strengthened, and so my knee wasn’t tracking correctly. Dear Theodora: stop slacking on strength if you want to run this damn marathon healthily and, oh, have your body not hate you for life. While my knee feels better, and I suspect this is likely just runner’s knee (which I’ve dealt with in the past), I’m going to have a doctor take a look at it as soon as I can just to make sure and so I don’t hurt it further.

What do you do when you are injured or feel an injury coming on?

16 comments on “Week 6 Wineglass Marathon Training: When Injury Strikes

  1. Victoria

    When I feel an injury coming on, step #1 is a PT appointment! My PT is awesome and always gets me fixed up ASAP no matter what I’ve done to myself.

    I hope you knee is better soon! Nice work with the long bike substitution. I once did 14 loops of Hains Point here in DC. That was not very exciting.

    1. Theodora

      @Victoria: Yup!! I want to just get to a PT but need a prescription from a doc first. And my insurance is extra awesome…

      Wow, 14 loops of Hains Point sounds miserable. Just the looping that MCM did was bad enough.

  2. Katie

    Your massage diagnosis is the same that I got from my doctor when I was marathon training this spring. Single leg lunges are a great way to strengthen your inner thigh. I’m super Jess will have some other ideas also.

  3. Farah Khan

    As someone who has been injured countless times from running, I feel your pain (no pun intended). In the past, I’ve taken several days off running – maybe a whole week (even though it’s hard to get over that mentally when you’re training for a marathon) – but it gives your body a chance to really take a break and heal before you start up again. PT is a definite, and so is cross-training and strength training. If you have access to a pool I’d say go swim – it’ll keep up your cardiovascular endurance but give your legs a break.

    Oh – and stretch and do yoga! Between yoga, swimming, cross-training and strength training you could probably take a week off to recover and not miss it too much 🙂

    I just started running again after taking 2.5 months off due to a stress fracture…so I totally get it. Injuries suck but it’s part of being active – just don’t let it get you down too much and try to enjoy other activities. I’ve found that if I mentally decide I’m going to take ‘X’ number of days off running (e.g 7), it’s easier to handle than just saying”I’ll test it out after a couple of days.” You cross-train those “X” days and then come back to running mentally ready for it & having given your body a chance to heal.
    Hope you get better soon!

  4. Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad

    When I feel an injury coming on I give myself a little extra rest and also work on strengthening and stretching. My issues, so far, have happened when I have neglected strength work and stretching. Since I realized that I am able to keep an injury from turning into anything serious. On another note, I really want a bike! I have been saying that all over the blogosphere lately!

  5. Jane R.

    I definitely take a rest day from running but do mat pilates or yoga instead. Or even SoulCycle! However, SC definitely makes me legs crazy sore/tired as well.

  6. Amanda

    I DO feel your pain, literally…my right knee is starting to act up too. Boo. I too need to go get a prescription to see a PT this week (annoying), but for now, I’m trying to run on softer surfaces because that seems to help a little. (Although I’m not sure how many ‘soft’ surfaces you have in NYC!) Also upping the biking and decreasing the mileage, taking ibuprofen & icing help. I should really do some yoga + strength training like you say, but for some reason I tell myself that every week and don’t end up following through. What kind of yoga moves & strength training do you incorporate? I think that’s why I haven’t started yet–I’m not sure what to do or where to start!

  7. Jenn

    I think you’re doing everything right. Taking a rest, looking for the root of the problem and how to fix it. I hope the knee pain subsides and you are back in teh game soon.

  8. joelle (on a pink typewriter)

    I have 4 weeks before my half, and started to feel some annoying IT Band pain over the weekend, so I feel ya. I’m horrible at stretching + strength training for my lower body (because we’re always on our feet running – why the heck isn’t that enough?). Can you pass along any fav strength moves please?

  9. Jen

    I take a day off (I had to on Sunday) and if its not better, I run off for some Graston. A lot of times there is an imbalance caused by a knot somewhere that I can get fixed for $50 at the chiropractor’s office. Knock on wood I’ve been good for 2training cycles now after a year of injuries, so fingers crossed that keeps up.

  10. Ash Bear

    Last year my trainer had me doing lots of lunges, dead lifts, and walking lunges during early marathon training and now that I’m joining a gym I am going to start doing more of them each week. For now I’d also suggest doing some of the yoga for runners moves that are online along with some lunges at home.

  11. Ashley

    I also tend to struggle with runners knee periodically. The longest break I’ve had to take was about 4 weeks (which if you talked to me, you would have thought was an eternity). I tried to take the time off as an opportunity to cross train, a lot of biking, elliptical (which I hate) and yoga. By the time I did my first run back, I think I cried for the entire 3 (slowest of my life) miles and haven’t looked back since!

  12. Jennifer

    I am really not a big fan of sports. I am afraid of runner knee or other sports related pain. when I was a kid, I used to run a lot,and I failed hard once on the ground, hardly broken one of my legs. After that incident, I don’t exercise a lot. However, after reading you blog, I really want to do some biking work.haha

  13. Kite Engineering

    Last year my trainer had me doing lots of lunges, dead lifts, and walking lunges during early marathon training and now that I’m joining a gym I am going to start doing more of them each week. For now I’d also suggest doing some of the yoga for runners moves that are online along with some lunges at home.


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