My last post was on the 11th of January, and it was after I had hurt my knee. More accurately, I had hurt my quadrilateral muscles at the place where they attached to my knee. This was after I had run 12 miles for the first time.
Since then, I’ve been going to a physical therapist, It’s been really helpful to have some guidance on the types and amounts of stretches and strengthening exercises. I started them the Tuesday after the 12 miler where I aggravated them in the first place, and skipped all my runs for the remainder of the week, and we pushed our Saturday big run until Sunday..but I still missed it come Sunday. My leg still just wasn’t up to snuff. I tried to run again on Monday, and only got a half an hour out when I knew I had to stop, or else.
I had thoughts of dashing the marathon.
I really didn’t want to give up though. Twice a day since then, I’ve been doing my exercises, and have seen the Physical Therapist 4 other times (with two more scheduled). On the 19th, I went out with Chris to run, having the blessing of my PT and the feeling like I could go and do it…and I DID! I ran 14 miles on January 19th, which surpasses the 13.1 mark for a 1/2 marathon! My knee felt really good, and I was happy to have made it out.
I thought with my stretches that I’d be able to run my regular monday/wednesday/thursday/saturday schedule the following week. This was not to be however. My knee strikes again! after the 14, I couldn’t muster the will to run through the pain (and I didn’t want to really damage an already achy knee). Additionally, come Wednesday, it snowed heavily here. The paths were icy and slick, and we decided to not run and risk injury (especially in the dark wee hours of the morning). It persisted even on Saturday, but I needed to get back out there.
I ended up going to Claude Moore Park, where they have an indoor running track, full gym, and pool. My PT had mentioned that running in a pool could keep me training when I couldn’t handle the impact with my knee, so to Claude Moore Park I went on Saturday the 26th. I thought to eschew the pool until I needed to, so I went to the elevated indoor track, stretched for a good half hour before hand, and began. I had intended to run 16 miles, but ended with 13.3 miles in, having run for about 2 hours. Boredom had done me in, in the end – the Fellowship of the Ring was completed, and I had neglected to bring the Two Towers to continue the quest. Music was ok for a while, but every lap I saw the clock on the wall, not moving. It was pretty demotivating. After the 2 hours of running, I gave up the goose and did another 20mins of stretching. I had a banana, and a blueberry protein shake (which both felt amazing).
This morning Chris and I ran 8 miles. The backs of my legs and knees felt pretty tight, but it wasn’t unbearable and I was able to keep running for the finish. My goal this weekend, in keeping in line with my schedule, is to run 18 miles this weekend. That’s a fair clip farther than the 14 we ran, and we never ran the 16 we were supposed to hit. I think it’s worth doing though, especially as we wind down towards the marathon. Those long training runs are going to be essential training for our mental state of being. We need to know we can run that far before we get to the marathon. They say its a mental game, and I’m starting to believe that it will be, but that’s only if the physical game allows us to get there.