OK - chapter by chapter:
The knees. The knees are doing well. I've just come back from my friend, the physio who is also an acupuncturist. Very interesting. In her view, the problems stem from my Q-angle, something I've long suspected. My kneecaps are very high, which is just how they are, and if my quads get tight (which they are prone to do because they are strong and I don't stretch enough) they pull my kneecap up even further. Overpronation further exacerbates the problem. To my relief she thinks that basically everything and everyone I've seen has helped - the physio stopped me from running when I might have really injured myself had I carried on, the podiatrist has dealt with the overpronation, the osteopath has loosened the tension around the kneecaps. Now I just need to keep stretching and make sure that I don't let the area under the kneecap get inflamed again. To aid the healing of the minor inflammation that is still there she then used acupuncture. I won't go into further detail about why this is thought to work, but will just gross you out with a picture of the procedure..
The white ones (which you can't really see very well) on the inside of my knee hurt - the rest was fine. I'll keep you posted on the situation and whether it works.
The running is good. Last week in Holland I managed 19 miles comfortably and then upon my return I ran a 10 miler. I'm babying my knees - I ran 1 mile, walked 1 minute - but still got round in a respectable 1:43 which I'm very happy with. I stretch my quads well after 1 mile and do a thorough stretch afterwards and, so far, I'm fine. Check me out with the girls below and then in my ice bath afterwards (with son hamming it up). This week has not been great, purely for time reasons but I'm hoping to go out and run 8 later this morning and then see where I am.
Camera Charles asked me which camera I use - I have a Canon Digital Ixus 75. They seem to bring out a new model of this one every 2 months but it's a winning formula. I've had some really high end cameras in the past but I really wanted a light point and shooter and this one does the job. The video on it isn't half bad either - certainly suits the purposes of what I need. I bought a small case with it (LowePro) and it hooks onto my fuel belt when running and honestly - I am very very happy with it. It's also survived a few run-ins with mud, rain and the road and seems none the worse for wear. I highly recommend it for running bloggers. I'm very trigger happy at the moment - this is me after a very wet run on Wednesday night. Don't you call me a fair weather runner!
Training program Thank you all so much for your input re training programs. I have really listened to what I've heard and have decided, on this occasion, to not go for Furman. I am too concerned about the effect of the fast work on my knees. I am very tempted by Jeff Galloway but time (which is ever dwindling) is running short and his programs are 29 week ones - a bit late for that I fear. Mulling things over I realised there was a great big elephant in the room of my considerations - my ego. In all fairness I should still consider myself "on the mend", not "recovered". Yet when I read about the mileages some of you are clocking I think "I want this too!". I have given myself a severe talking to - my objective, in this race, is going to be to get to the start uninjured and be in a position where I can get round uninjured. At this point in time I really need to force myself to not think about PRs or even course PRs. Just get round comfortably without doing any lasting damage. And added to this, this is the first time in my marathon training that I'm also working a lot while training. Time is in so much shorter a supply than it has been before. I'm only just beginning to realise what the impact on my life is and, while I really enjoy my job, I'm having to acknowledge adjustments here. I'm getting some more help in the house (why do we women always want to do it all ourselves until we collapse? Side issue here, but still) but still time will be limited and energy levels as well. I'm focusing on diet this time as well - not so much to lose weight (though I would not complain) but more to give me energy and strength and support me in everything I'm trying to accomplish in the next few months.
So after all that, after all the houses I've been round, I'm going back, cautiously, to old uncle Hal's Intermediate I, with the following adjustments. For the time being, I'm doing the long runs with walk breaks. And I may replace one of the shorter runs in the week with cross training. Tomorrow is Week 1 so I'm going to set up my Buckeye Outdoors schedule and will link to it from here as soon as it's organized..
So that's it folks - training starts tomorrow. On your marks, get set, GO!