In my ongoing injury diary of my knees, I have discovered the problem. On a visit to the chiropractor today, it was discovered that my knees are too loose and have too much mobility. This increased mobility leads to hyperextension with every single stride I take while running. At first this may not seem like too much of a problem but over the course of a long run, marathon training, the muscles and tendons wear down around the knee and become inflamed. This hyper mobility also leads to instability within the joint and causes pain in the ligaments.
"I see!" said the blind man!
So what now. Well I have a few things I need to work on. First and foremost I need to change my running style just a bit. I need to shorten my stride, keep my feet underneath my body rather than out in front, and stay away from heel striking. I need to land mid-foot and keep my knees low and bent while maintaining a tall rest of my body. This style of running has commonly been referred to as Chi Running, or a variation of Pose Running. Both styles emphasize the importance of short quick strides and landing mid-foot rather than heel strike. I also must strengthen my quads and hammies. I guess I'm not hitting my strength training hard enough.
I'm still probably going to switch my run to the Mini Marathon for now but there are a couple of other full marathons later in the year that I can participate in. If I can focus on changing my running style to accommodate this issue, I think I'll be OK.
On a completely unrelated note, There is a great fundraiser coming up on Memorial Day. It's for one of our fallen soldiers and the workout is a staple in the CrossFit world. For more information, please visit http://memorialdaymurph.homestead.com/index.html. I encourage everyone to participate and contribute to an extremely worthy cause. And get a crazy good workout in the process.