Saturday, March 19, 2011

21 Days

In an effort to let my knee "re-generate" I've restricted my mind and body from all things running for the past 3 weeks. It's pretty tough to know that I'm missing out on my training but I do have a pretty developed ability to ignore things I don't like to think about. I would describe this as me observing something out of the corner of my eye, or knowing something exists but not giving it my full attention. Homework, or my list of chores for example. This is a beneficial skill that I use mainly for procrastinating.

This ignoring gets tricky now that I've started my new job at a local gym. I literally spend hours folding towels, which I do facing a row of a dozen or so treadmills with people running at varying speeds. In case that doesn't hold my attention, there's also a track circling the fitness floor. Often there will be an elite athlete checking off laps at lightening speed. Leading up to this exercise taking place in front of me is a set of stairs, so that I can observe people's muscles bulging out of their legs as they bound upwards. Meanwhile, I imagine mine wasting away. Thankfully, I don't fold towels the entire time.

The good news is that these past few days I've noticed that I can sit with my knee bent without much pain. Next week I may try a half mile and see how it goes. Since I'm starting at such low mileage I might even attempt this run in my Vibrams. Yes, the weird shoes that have toes. This minimalist approach has been nagging at me since I tried it last summer and now I'm almost ready to bring it out into the road.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Two Steps Back

Last Thursday I graduated from physical therapy because I had been running (taped) pain-free up to 5 miles.  That night I headed downtown for a 3 miler with my friend Sara. I felt a slightly different pain on the same knee during the run which felt like the tape might be a bit tight and pulling, so I didn't worry about it very much. Unfortunately, I had the dreaded knee pain that night and following day.
Naturally, on Saturday I didn't rest. My knee felt better and honestly, I was so annoyed about the injury returning that I figured I might as well get my scheduled 7 miles in and just deal with the pain to follow. The pain ended up being far worse than before and there was quite a bit more swelling despite ice and ibuprofen. Today is Wednesday, 4 days later and it still isn't right. I realize it was foolish running 7 miles on Saturday but hey, what's done is done. I saw that looming training schedule and that pressure plus frustration lead me to cave in and risk it.
Now I'm taking more time off from running while continuing my stretching and strength training in hopes that I might still be able to do Bayshore half at the end of May. If I don't come back in time I'll enjoy being a cheerleader for my friends and family running that race. Then I'll work up slowly for a late summer or early fall half.