Thursday, September 13, 2012

Running: an update

So.  I'm training for a marathon.  Except, over the last two weeks I've hardly run.  It's been almost three weeks since I started feeling pain on the outside of my left knee when running.  After my last incident, I waited six days to run.  That Thursday night I took a slooooow four and a half mile jog up to the Reservoir, around it, and home.  My knee held up well, only felt some mild discomfort, nothing bad.  It was so nice to run the Reservoir.  I never really run it because it's an easy, flat, short run, and I just haven't incorporated it with any other runs, so it was a treat.  I took the below photos that night and of course, as always, fell further in love with my city.  The moon was huge that night.  I wish photos could do it justice.  The photo on the bottom is the view from the north side of the Reservoir.  Every angle is my favorite view, but this one is special.  I always look over and see the water, and the trees of the park (too dark to see in that photo) and then the city and am overwhelmed with gratitude that I can have such a happy life in this city I'm so madly in love with.  (For anyone worried that it was too dark for me to be running, it was a gorgeous night this night, and there were a TON of people out, not to mention a race was happening in the park, so I was fine.)

Two days later I was excited to try a long run again.  Twelve miles were scheduled, and I was hoping to run parts of the marathon course, but after talking to Em decided to take it easy, run the flat West Side Highway, and shoot for ten.  It's a good thing I went that route because after running four the pain set in, and I had to hobble the rest.  I ended up going 9.3 miles in 2:01.  Keep in mind two weeks prior I'd run 14 miles in 2:03.  Pathetic.

The following week I went to a physical therapist who confirmed my suspicions that is in an issue with my IT band.  I have runner's knee.  Basically good news, because it's common, treatable, not too serious, and I still have about two months until the marathon.  I left the PT office feeling good after learning some exercises and stretches, motivated to strengthen my leg muscles so my knees wouldn't have problems.

A few days later I decided to to try the easy four and a half mile jog to, around, and home from the Reservoir before work.  The good news is, the sunrise was incredible.  The below photos weren't altered in any way, just snapped on my iPhone.  This seemed like a particularly gorgeous morning, but I have to say, I've never run the Reservoir early and not had a beautiful sunrise.  It's crazy to think this beauty is out there every morning and most of us just snooze right through it.

The bad news is, the pain set into my knee about a mile into the jog.  A mile!  Shouldn't it be getting better??  I have to admit, this has been incredibly frustrating.  I'm supposed to be running an 18 mile (hilly) race a week from this weekend.  There's no way that's happening.  I have gotten so incredibly frustrated to the point of crying over this.  A few times.  Sobbed, actually.  I've found myself quite surprised.  The only thing that can make me cry like that is getting into a really bad argument with a boyfriend.  If I'm not in a relationship, I don't really cry, ever (aside from a sad movie.)  (Sidenote, clearly my past relationships haven't brought out the best in me......single for a reason I guess.)  Anyway, like I said, this has been very frustrating.   It's so hard to think about how I could go run, any distance, and feel just fine.  Maybe tired or something, but running was a choice that came down to discipline.  I won't take that for granted again.  I just want to be able to go run ten miles and not think about my knee.

The more people I talk to, the more I've come to realize I really do need to rest, so in addition to not running  this week, I didn't attempt a long run last weekend.  It  felt very strange.  I haven't had a weekend of no running in........six months?  It was weird.  And I was in the gorgeous Berkshires and would have loved to have run, but I had fun regardless.

This week I made appointments to start going to physical therapy once week, I started my gym membership again so I can do low impact cross training (I will admit, I never really cross trained for my half so I didn't worry about it up until now,)  I'm still icing every day and rolling out my legs on the foam roller, started taking anti inflammatories, and will see if I can run this weekend.  I'm really nervous.  I just want to run.  I keep thinking about when Dina was diagnosed and was told she couldn't run.  I don't know how she did it.  Running was her life.  I have felt lost without running and I wouldn't even consider myself a real runner.  It sounds crazy, but I feel a loss of purpose.  People talk about the post-marathon blues when you're not in training anymore, and I can understand what they mean.  I really don't know how Dina dealt, and it just makes me even more sad to think about her having to go through that nasty chemo without her outlet of running.

On a happier note, Aimee convinced me to get a running skirt, and I'm so in love with it I haven't run in anything else since (all three times I've tried to run.)  I feel like I'm in a cheer skirt again.


Sean and Becky said...

Love the running skirt, so cute! I hope your knee feels better soon, that is lame. :( I love when you post pics of places that you've taken me. I remember you saying the Reservoir was your fav. Miss your face!

Kambria said...

You just keep at it chica! So proud of you. Physical therapy is so not easy and you will do amazing :)

laura said...

Oh, honey, I feel you. My knee troubles gave me a MUCH greater appreciation for being able to run and do the physical things I want to do. I know how frustrating it is (I definitely shed some tears too), but rest assured you have plenty of time before the marathon and you will be just fine. Rest up, ease back in, and good luck!

maggie said...

I sometimes have that knee problem too. I take glucosomine off and on, and roll/ice it if needed, I used kt tape for a bit too. I got "the stick" at the expo of the DL Half, and I love it more than my foam roller. You will be fine. I didn't train for my half very well and I got through it (I know it is not a full, but you get the idea) better than I expected. Maybe trying alternating long run weekends, so that you are "long" every other. I didn't do much cross training at all through out my running years so far, something I am not good about. Just take it easy, and do what you can and rest completely at least once a week. You'll get through! I LOVE your photos, so amazing. And love the skirt, I have seen quite a few of those lately, I may need one too! :)

jysika said...

I was never much of a runner until this summer, and then I realized I actually enjoyed running. I dislocated my kneecap playing ultimate frisbee with friends in July. Everyday I miss running- and this surprises me. I never thought I'd miss it this much, but I really do. I cried when the physiotherapist said I can't run for 6 months. I'm frustrated at having to start all over again to build up my endurance.

Good luck with your knee!