It’s our second annual Marathon Month, a time we get to spotlight our patients who are running this year’s TCS New York City Marathon! In this entry we check in with 44th Street SPEARunner Rebecca Genter, who has overcome hip pain and IT Band Syndrome while training for her very first full marathon!
Why do you run? Running has always been the easiest way for me to stay in shape. I moved to New York this spring, and still haven’t joined a gym because I run outside for most of my work outs. Running is also a great way to explore a city. When I go for an easy run, I don’t map out a path beforehand. I will have a mileage goal in mind, but since training for a race can be a little stressful, adding new things like discovering new neighborhoods can make the process a little more entertaining.
How long have you been running marathons? This will be my first full marathon! I was a runner in high school, and began running 10 mile races after I graduated college. I completed my first half marathon this spring in a record-breaking rain storm in Philadelphia. A full marathon had always been a “bucket list” item of mine, and after running the half in pretty horrible conditions, I figured it couldn’t get much worse. Praying for gorgeous weather on November 2!
Which physical therapist do you see at SPEAR and what treatments have you been doing for training? I started going to Brendan Vint in early August, about 12 weeks before the NYC Marathon. I initially went for some right knee pain (Patellar Tendonitis and Iliotibial Band Syndrome), which turned [out to be] left hip pain (Piriformis Syndrome and Labral Cartilage Tear) from compensating my stride. Brendan has helped me learn that many of the issues I have are common for runners, so I am in good company! During my sessions with Brendan I work on hip and core strengthening, balance/proprioception exercises, and lower extremity flexibility work consisting of dynamic stretching, static stretching, and foam rolling. The love/hate relationship in physical therapy falls in the manual soft tissue releases, but I know it’s worth it.
Do you have any words of wisdom or training tips for anyone thinking about doing their first marathon? Strength train early! My biggest frustration throughout the training process was knowing that if I had put in the time to work on strength training before I increased my mileage, I most likely could have avoided some injuries. I thought I could get by with just running a few days a week with an occasional yoga class, but that was not the case for me. Core work and glute work were key in my training plan so that my legs could handle the high mileage days. Also, my foam roller became my best friend while training. I traveled with it all summer!