Friday, September 12, 2008

Phantom pains?

Thanks for all the crossed fingers yesterday!

I saw my PT last night and she checked me over only to reveal that everything seems fine. As it turns out, my IT band is not tight, my quads are not tight, nor are any of the usual suspects. She gave me a thorough massage and some active release therapy, recommended some stretches and told me not to worry. Easier said than done!

My hubby forwarded this article on Runner's World and it has me thinking that maybe I'm just having a taper tantrum.

There is something about those last couple of weeks before the marathon, when you are cutting back your mileage, getting more rest, and preparing for the big race, when everything, and I do mean everything, seems to bother you more.

Call them taper tantrums--the phantom pains, panic attacks, and much more--that plague most marathoners during the three-week period of decreased training just before the race. "Runners develop not only a physical but also a psychological dependency on running," says Troy Smurawa, M.D., a 2:46 marathoner and physician at Akron Children's Hospital Sports Medicine Center. "So when runners take time off, they go through withdrawal." Hence, the weird constellation of mental and physical symptoms that crop up during the taper.

Note page 3 of the article: Phantom Pains

Cause: Twinges and passing aches are all part of the body's rejuvenation process. "During a taper, tissue repair on the microscopic level causes muscle twitches and sometimes muscle cramps as the body adapts," says Dr. Smurawa. Also, when we run less, and worry more about our marathon, everyday aches and pains-which would normally be ignored--get exaggerated to the point of lunacy.

Sounds about right.

So after 4 days off I'm feeling sluggish and my mind is running away with me. I'm determined to put a stop to the madness and get out for a decent run today, and that's that!


Mel-2nd Chances said...

phew! that's a relief! glad things are alright. :) i won't uncross my fingers yet lol

Jess said...

I was gonna comment yesterday that it might by phantom -- kind of a natural mental by-product of tapering -- but I didn't want to belittle anything that might be legit pain. At any rate, it's good that your PT checked ya over and gave you a clean bill of health!

Nitmos said...

Hear this all the time as the marathng approaches. Sometimes it's for realsies and other times it is just the madness part of taper.

Christy said...

Glad all is well. Very interesting article, definitely see how it is true.

Marci said...

Glad to hear your pains were Phantom! I have never heard of this before, so I found that article interesting. Have a great weekend, and no more worrying!

Marcy said...

Phhhhhhhheewwww thank goodness you're alright ;D ;D I've heard of the phantom pains before, never dealt with any myself but it seems to be a common occurrence.