October 30, 2009
Monday and Wednesday I ran the same 5.8 mile route, at about the same speed. The route, our on-street winter loop, has more hills than the paths we take in summer. Still, I felt fine after Monday’s run and went into Wednesday’s brimming with confidence. Wouldn’t you know it? My knee hurt after the run, a low-level tightness that lingered through most of Thursday. Bleah. Looks like I won’t be increasing my mileage this week.
October 23, 2009
Good news #1: I ran six miles on the Jackson Junior High track yesterday, at a nearly steady 7:11/mile pace, with… no knee pain!
Good news #2: In my virtual cross-country run, I have made it 3572.6 miles and have just entered the last state on the route, which is coincidentally also my home state, Oregon! I crossed the Snake river about five miles ago and I’m currently headed north along it on the Oregon side:
Where I am on my virtual run: far, far Eastern Oregon. I live in the little western portion of Oregon that has things like trees and grass, not this part.
October 22, 2009
A 3.8 mile run around my neighborhood on Tuesday went pretty well, with my sciatica giving me more trouble than my knee did, which is fine, since I have a lot of experience with my sciatica and know it will get better, whereas this knee thing is anybody’s guess. The fact that this was just one day after a five mile run gives me room to hope for the best. I’m somewhere past hoping for a speedy recovery, but I’m still angling for a steady one. (Phase three of grief: bargaining.) Steady enough to start hitting the trails in the next few weeks, ideally. The Hagg Lake mud run is only four months away! I’ve done the 50K two years running and I have no plans not to make it three. The Wildwood trail is calling to me for training, and I’d like to be able to answer.
October 20, 2009
On Saturday, I went out for what I hoped would be an eight to ten mile run. The weather forecast called for rain, but it was sunny and mild when I got started, heading north from the Sellwood Bridge along the Willamette. The first few miles, my knee felt fine but I found myself struggling to breathe. It was just one of those days where I felt out of shape.
As I neared downtown after three miles or so, the storm clouds rolled in. I crossed the Hawthorne bridge as the downpour began. The rain would last for the rest of the run. Around the same time, I started feeling the tightness in my knee. I decided to throw in walk breaks to try to keep it from getting too bad. So: it’s pouring down rain, I’m four miles from my car, and I’m walking. I’ve had more fun.
I did eventually make it back, for an 8.3 mile total “run”, one with quite a few walk breaks in the second half. I shouldn’t have tried to go farther than six miles, I think now. Still, my knee felt OK that day and the next. I did get a Sciatica attack in the other leg starting Sunday. I’ve had these things since 1995 or so, long before I ever started running or doing any other form of exercise, and I’ve found that running through it can actually help. So, Monday night, even though I couldn’t walk without a swaying limp, I went out to the group run. The first mile was pretty agonizing, but after that it got better. I went for five miles and only felt my knee complaining for the last half mile or so.
October 16, 2009
I ran five miles Wednesday evening, with some knee tightness most of the way. I’ve been happy with the knee’s recovery since then. I feel it sometimes, especially when I’ve been sitting at my desk too long, and double-especially when I cross my good leg over my bad knee, something I’ve been trying my best to avoid. For the most part, though, I feel like my knee is slowly but surely healing up. Except of course for those moments when I feel like it’s never going to get better. Injuries are always like this for me.
I’ve been doing leg-strengthening exercises to try to firm up all the muscle groups supporting the knee. This sort of thing never helps with recovery or prevention, it’s just the sort of totemistic thing that runners do when they are hurt. It passes the time and lets you pretend to yourself that you are doing something useful. So I’m always lifting my leg or doing squats or walking on tiptoes or balancing on one foot or writing the alphabet with my toes. I’m the life of the party.
October 14, 2009
It’s clear my knee rehabilitation is going to be at least a medium-term project, if not a long one. Monday night I again ran only two miles before deciding I was experiencing too much tightness and discomfort. I’ll try again tonight, and again be ready to stop early.
October 11, 2009
I ran today for the first time in a week. That’s a very long gap of time for me; first, I was incredibly sore from the marathon, then, I came down with a cold. I can’t say I was surprised to get the cold — it seems like a pretty common pattern for me to come down with something once the “big event” is over. Anyway, if I’m going to get a cold, the week after a marathon is just about the ideal time to get one, training-wise.
So, a two mile run today, straight up and down Taylor’s Ferry Road. I could feel there was still a little healing left to go in my quads. And my knee got a tiny bit sore. Well, what do I expect?