Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mid-week Update

Feeling better. A lot better.

SU: 13 (steady in 1:30)
M: 3
T: 2
W: 15 (9+6, ez)
TH: 14 (9+5, ez)

Snow again here. Temp in the teens. It was Spring last week, winter this week.

The morning run was delightful. I ran the same route as yesterday and felt significantly better and stronger (and yesterday I felt pretty good). I rediscovered my clean, low-profile, smooth and minimal impact pace. It felt great. I picked it up on the last mile or so just to see how my right knee would respond. No problems. Good stuff.

The afternoon run was a true delight. Yesterday, I called up one of the afterschooler's parents to see if it would be alright for him to stay a couple of hours after our early out today to hang out with me - go for a run, talk about life and sort out the problems of the day at school. The longest run he had ever been on was 4 miles, so I thought "hey, lets go 5". He is very fit for his age and thought him completely capable of 5, so we did. It was a beautiful afternoon, the snow melting under the afternoon sunshine. We maintained a great conversation for the entirety of the run and finished with some propel waters and granola bars. He is a great kid; very sharp, lots of energy, driven, and a leader. He just needs some direction at this critical point (6th grade) in his social development. Many more of these runs to come.

So I think I figured out the deal with my right knee. Thankfully, I took control before it hit critical mass. Last week, I ran the entire 135 miles with a knee brace on my right, already underpowered knee - an injury remedy I had used only sparringly previously. During that hard week of running last week, my right knee decided to take the week off and let the brace do the work... the result? A visible decrease in muscle mass and, consequently, strength. Ha, its true. Saturday evening, after another 20 mile day, I looked down at my legs, fully extended, sans knee brace, and saw two different legs - one strong and brawny, the other weak and atrophied. Needless to say, I quit using the knee brace immediately. Instead? This week has been one of a lot of pain, isolated squats, easy runs and strides to rework my alignment and tracking with my right knee. Things are coming around. 15 miles yesterday and 14 today and I feeling stronger by the run. I am going to be doing a lot more (that is some, as I did none before) strengthening exercises to make sure that this doesn't happen again. It was a good wake up call on many levels. Here is what I learned from this incident:

1) Braces should be used sparringly
2) Running isn't everything
3) I am capable of being a big wuss
4) I am capable of overcoming my big wussiness through strength and confidence and prayer
5) That it is possible
6) That I love running
7) That 10 min. pace is sometimes the best you can do
8) That my job is wonderful


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