I'm not running. It's my right knee, which has been an issue since September 21st of last year. Work had kept me from getting my long runs in, and I had the FlatRock 50K and Arkansas Traveller staring me in the face--so I ran 33 miles mostly on the Creek Turnpike trail. It was a good run. I felt good, ran a good pace, and proved to myself that I still had enough within me to finish another rocky hilly 50K, and that would work as a training run for the 100 the next week. Good plans. Or was it? The last 4-5 miles of my 33 mile training run, I noticed a slight twinge on the inside of my right knee, but I attributed it to the phenomena of mysterious ghost pains that crop up just before a big goal race.
I nervously ran FlatRock with no issues--other than a muddy course. Arkansas Traveller the next week seemed like a sure finish, but my pace was a little slower than I wanted, and we had a couple of very heavy rain showers which made an otherwise firm running surface a bit squishy, and I was in danger of missing the time cutoffs. But somehow I found my mojo and ran a spirited pace from miles 48-56 and actually got back in the game. Then around a half mile out from the turnaround running down a hill and stretching it out, I kicked a rock with my right foot, and took a few lunges trying to keep from falling. My second or third footfall I twisted the bum knee and it hurt like a mofo. If was a very muddy and uphill half mile, and I trudged that half mile in 16 minutes, giving back some of the time cushion I had earned. The writing was on the wall. I just KNEW I did not have 43 miles left in me, and my knee hurt. and despite being disgusted at the proposition of quitting, I took a ride out.
Since that time, I have become an on-again-off-again friend with Ibuprofen. I had my longest non-running streak in well--forever--or at least since I started running. I eased back into running but instead of averaging 40 miles per week, it has been more like 12-15 miles. My longest run has been 13 miles, and I have had an 18 mile day, but it has been a struggle. I LOVE the idea of running--running all day (and all night)-- but I am not able to do it. It has seemed like my knee pain has very slowly getting better, but it is not well. Last Saturday--by my own choosing, I ran 6.5 miles with my RW buddies, and then 10 miles on the trailz at Turkey--all with a careful gait and at a cautious pace. Saturday night, there was hell to pay. It actually felt like I had broke something. I have a friend who fractured her tibial plateau and I feared that was where my problem was. but maybe it's an inflamed tendon. So--the guy who was never injured and who hates going to the doctor is seeing the doc next Thursday. I suppose he'll refer me out and a MRI is most likely in my future. (Pics to follow.)
It is tough for me to just NOT RUN. I crave it. I like being outside going from here to there via dirt. I lead the TOTs slow group, and the RW Black Toenail Society ultra training group. Last Sunday, I led them to Post Oak, and sent them off and did not run. Last Tuesday, I met my group (well--just Jason) at Mohawk, and walked around while he ran. Yesterday, I walked part of the Snake Trail measuring for a course change for the race--and I mixed a little shuffling in. You knew I would. Maybe the doc will give me a magic Cortisone shot, or do a nifty outpatient cleanup of whatever needs fixed. I hope and pray. I have a 100 miler to run in March.
So now--I still am thinking about how to get my miles. When I get up out of a chair, I can barely take the first couple of steps. Then, my steps are short--it seems like I take a short step and a real shirt step. It takes me longer to walk from point A to point B, but hey--that's more time on your feet, right? read about friends running and read race reports or race strategies for Rocky Raccoon and plans to run Sake, Post Oak, Western States. How many miles of read race reports equals a mile of running? Can I line the text up in a lineal line and measure it in inches and convert that measurement to feet and then miles? My finger scrolls on the mouse as I read. One scroll of the finger is about an inch, so if I scroll 63,360 times, can I log a mile for my finger? Right now, I'd love to have the feel of a bad blister or a black toenail. Give me a reason to tie a bandanna on my head, or eat a chunk of potato rolled in salt. I need to be well and now would be good.