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The Plan

August 19, 2009

Went out for four miles on Sunday morning, just to test the knee.

It felt good at the outset. When I stopped for water at mile 1–it was hot, and this is where the water fountain is on my route–I felt it when I set back out. It was iffy–like it wasn’t tracking right as I landed. Weird. It took me a few strides to get it back in gear. I was definitely glad I’d gotten up late and was only putting in four miles.

As I was running, I was thinking about the first time I went to see the orthopedist with knee pain. It was just after my first half marathon, a race I finished in so much pain I didn’t think I could run another mile, ever. He x-rayed both knees, telling me I’d developed a case of patellar tendinitis due to building up my mileage too quickly. It wasn’t terminal–I could keep running, in fact–but I had to stop doing speedwork, run no hills, and take an extra day’s rest until the pain subsided.

I followed his advice for a few months, until it was time to start training for my next half marathon, in fact. I had no knee pain to speak of (well, until I started ramping up my mileage for the marathon–apparently, my knees don’t deal well with sudden high mileage).

So, I think I’ll take the same prescription for my knee pain this time around. It’s nowhere near where the pain was last time–that time, March 2007, it was  at about a 10, this time about a 3. But I don’t want to keep running on it and make it get to a 10 in October, a month before the race. So, for now, I’m going to stop doing speedwork, and I’m definitely laying off the bridge I use for hillwork. I’m also–and this is the part that really hurts–taking an extra day’s rest, until I can run pain-free.

Went out for my run with Little G yesterday. Since it was the first day of school, she was expecting more traffic on her way to work, and I had to put my firstborn child, the Lamb, on the school bus for her first day of kindergarten*. So we cut our run short by a mile. In deference both to my iffy knee and the insanely unfriendly conditions (82 degrees, 80% humidity–at four-thirty in the morning, two hours before sunrise), we ran our seven miles  about thirty seconds per mile slower than we usually do. It was still a good training run.

Today, a day off–hating every minute of the hour I should have been running, which I spent lying still in bed and trying not to wake the Boss. Tomorrow, out for five or six miles, at whatever pace my knee will bear up. Friday, off; Saturday, the long run length the knee will bear up under. All these runs with a tight neoprene brace, which seem to support the knee, and which the doctor agreed will help, at least temporarily.

*Yes, Palm Beach County–well, all of southeastern Florida, I think–starts school very early. We also end early, on June 1 this year, in fact. The Lamb reports that kindergarten was “a lot of fun,” but that she “thought about home” a little bit.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    August 19, 2009 10:00 am

    I had to laugh about your body not agreeing with “sudden high milage”. HAHAHAHA You love to push it. Just remember that the most important thing ever for running is to be able to do it forever and have a life long relationship with it. Great job and good plan

  2. August 20, 2009 5:03 pm

    how quickly and how much are you building the mileage? what base are you starting out with? (just curious.) i don’t see you building un-safely/beyond the standard 10% rule so i am just wondering how it’s too much-too soon.

    hope the knee feels better and that you can figure out how to adapt your running so it doesn’t flare up! days off are rarely fun, but much needed.

  3. the Ringmaster permalink*
    August 20, 2009 8:52 pm

    I’m trying to figure the same thing out Lindsay, since as I said a few weeks ago I’ve actually been varying quite a bit in my mileage this summer–from 25 to 40 miles on the week but trying to hot 30 consistently. It’s why the sudden flare- up is so frustrating; both times it happened before I really had ramped up my mileage to try a new distance for the first time. I’m not sure what I’m doing differently this time around, though as I said I’m starting to question the stability shoes. Knee actually felt good today– I’ll come back to tell you more about that tomorrow.

    Though I do love to push it, I’d still love to push it to the tune of a 1:48 finish on race day . . .

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