Saturday, February 21, 2009


I ran this morning for the first time in almost a week. For 200 meters my knee/IT band felt fantastic. Normal. I thought, "Maybe it's cured!" Nope. I had not even run a quarter of a mile before I felt it start to tighten and grow painful. Were the tears then streaming from the corners of my eyes from the cold wind in my face or sheer frustration? I was unable to run even a mile without pain; how could I manage a marathon? Stupid old body!

I decided that I would give it two miles and reassess. Today's run was supposed to be a seven-mile pace run. My target pace for Cleveland is 8:30/mile, and I hit mile 1 in 8:31, which was perfect. Apart from my knee, everything else felt really good. (Curious what six days of no running can do for you!) Mile 1 would be the only mile for which I would know my precise pace, however, since Garmy's battery pooped out by the time I reached the stop light less than a quarter-mile later. I reached for the stop button as I came to the intersection and discovered that Garmy had kindly stopped itself for me. There's nothing quite like looking down at Garmy, expecting to see the familiar display full of precious information, and seeing nothing but a blank gray square instead. Super. My first run in six days, I felt great, and NOW I was supposed to do the rest of it...running blind?! Well, there was nothing to do but press onward, and I did. (Viper, aren't you proud? I didn't start crying and cursing the heavens, I just ran without digital aid, and it was strangely freeing. Of course I could have been really geeky and used my iPhone as a timer but I didn't.) Fortunately for me, I have been pounding the pavement in my town for so long I know where the mile markers are on my routes without needing Garmy. I knew exactly where I had to go to get my 7 miles. I kept up what felt like the same 8:30-ish pace and peeled off four more miles, all the while training about half of my brain on every sensation emanating from my right knee. (The other half was listening to what else but Animal Collective.) As I ran farther, the gnawing pain receded until it was barely a whisper. My spirits bolstered by this, I ran even faster. I felt amazing! My running mojo was back with a vengeance. This was what running was supposed to feel like! EXHILARATING! Yes, I was riding the runner's high at 8:30 in the morning. Nothing like starting the day with a bang!

Yeah...well, as I headed down the driveway out of the cemetery around mile 5.5, something happened, and it all came to a screeching halt. I don't know what changed from one stride to the next but instantly it felt like my knee exploded and I started limping along, furious and gnashing my teeth. By the time I reached the stone gates at the other end of the drive I knew my seven-mile run was about to become six, and it was all I could do to hobble the rest of the way, dejected. Even so, when I arrived home and deduced that I had completed over six miles in about 53 minutes, which is exactly what I intended to do.

I left early this morning, just after 8:00, because I wanted to do this run before the latest installment of Winter 2009 hit us:

Oh noes! It's a giant blue blob!

I did, in fact, make it home before the snow started. Now I have no reason to leave the house at all for the rest of the day. It's snowing like a mofo now but I'm warm and dry.

Then it was time for stretches and strengthening exercises! I had some help this morning:

Feline Personal Trainer Corps member Darwin, who is doing a good job keeping my quads warm but is making my straight leg raises much more difficult. Actually I think he was cold and just wanted a warm place to sit. Because I'm so hottttt, yo!

Yes, I held the iPhone aloft to take this picture so that is the top of my very messy post-run head. (NO 'fro jokes, please, Certain People.) I have now had both breakfast (Fiber One) and coffee (Ethiopian) so all is well with the world. Tomorrow my New York Times subscription starts so I will have the Sunday crossword to keep me company. Now it's shower time!


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Okay, okay, no 'fro jokes! Because from that angle, that could be my hair, there. And I mean that in ... some sense, but I won't specify exactly which one.

Man, how would I ever keep up with Michigan weather if I didn't stop by here every once in awhile?

It's like 60 here in Joisey right now, but Teh 'Bride claims we're in for some snow either tonight or tomorrow night.

Nothing like what you're getting, though.

You should head over to MCM Mama's blog today if you want something to drool at.

So, um ... Viper is Viper but I'm "Certain People"? Man. I knew I ranked low in these parts, but I wasn't aware it was that low.

Sun Runner said...

Viper and I, by virtue of being native Clevelanders (OK, in the case of Viper, Akroner) are automatically more awesome than just about anybody.

joyRuN said...

Your hair has nothing on GP. They make Bondi Bands for dudes, right. Oh, & combs.

Sorry to hear about the knee. Nothing like pain to ruin the high :(

Spike said...

Sorry the knee acted up, expecially so far into your run. But it was some improvement, and that is positive.

chia said...

Exhilarating? Yes, that's a good thing ;-). May it not be proceeded with so much "suck" prior to achieving greatness next time!!!

Kirsten said...

Knees suck. I tried running today without my Superfeet, thinking they were the cause of some mild peroneal tendonitis (I now think the cause is cold weather making my shoes stiffer, since I seem to only have this issue crop up in the Winter), but now my right knee is majorly POd, again.

I hope our knees stop acting up. But it sure is nice to come home to our feline support crew.