Yesterday my plan was to do 18 miles, but that morning things just felt different.
I started my long run a little later due to a previously planned marathon along my running trail. So that was different, but usually the first 5 miles along my trail is a piece of cake. The weather is nice, it's mostly a slight downward incline and I have a great scenery to keep me entertained. Like I said though, yesterday morning was different. All those factors were in place but by mile 2 I was feeling tired, which is weird because I had been getting plenty of sleep the few nights before. I shrugged it off and tried to get pumped up by my shuffle music. At mile 8 I met my sister and that boosted my spirits and in turn my energy, however it was still hard for me to stay at my goal pace (which isn't very fast on a long run anyway). Things were okay until mile 12 when tiredness hit me again. I thought maybe it was time to get some carbs in me so I slowed to a walk to get out a date. As soon as I slowed I felt this intense burning pain on the side of my right knee every time I would lift my foot off the ground to take another step. Ah, I was so upset! NOOO! I had been trying so hard to stay healthy and strong to avoid injuries while training and I had come so far. As I kept walking the pain started to subside so I sped up to my pace again a few miles later I stopped to grab a drink and the pain started up again. This time it was worse. :( So I decided to "walk it off again" but was not as successful as the first time. I decided it was time to finish at mile 15, I was not taking any risks of making this injury worse.
Iliotibial band syndrome.
At first I thought it might be a partial tear in my LCL but that didn't seem right. After reading this article posted by runnerscorner.com (a great reference), I feel hopeful that I won't miss more than a couple days of training and my injury can heal quickly so I'll still be able to run my first marathon. Here's to hoping!!