Friday January 9th, 2009 - The perfect ending to a stressful week
I had a pretty stressful week at work last week. My duties included month-end, quarter-end, year-end and year-begin items. Thursday and Friday I had to make sure that all employees' open enrollment selections were put into the payroll system correctly. As usual, there were issues that had to be addressed and things to be clarified so I was getting a little crazy. I finalized the payroll at about 3pm on Friday afternoon, processed some journal entries and then headed home at about 4:30pm. I certainly had enough work to keep me there much later, but felt burnt out from the week and needed to cut my losses in order to come back fresh on Monday morning.
I had originally planned to run on Saturday morning and always prefer running in the morning, but I had many errands to run on Saturday and had to bake something for a party that I was supposed to attend that evening. I didn't want to cut my run short or be stressed out about getting everything done in time so I decided to run Friday night instead. I also needed a way to de-stress from my work week and figured that running right after work would be the perfect way to do so.
I headed out with a little flashing light clipped to the ipod strap on my arm and had some reflective strips on my hat, gloves and running pants. I was lucky to have a clear night with a moon that was almost full. However, many roads didn't have street lights and lights of the cars coming towards me threw off a glare that made it difficult to see. I almost tripped twice by not seeing obstacles on the side of the road until the last possible second. However, I managed my entire run without any incident. This run accomplished my two major goals and then some! Just being out on the road running helped me to feel much happier and took away my stress. I also managed to put in the miles that I needed to feel comfortable for my upcoming 15k race. I would usually have at least one 10-12 mile long run under my belt before a 15K race, but this year would be happy to get 7-8 miles due to my injury. I started out with a standard route that could be 4-5 miles, but with a simple turn here or there could be made a few miles longer. I had been to physical therapy on Thursday evening and Francesco had put some tape on my knee. I was amazed that with my knee taped I was not feeling the usual knee pain so when I got to the end of Nursery I opted for my longer route that goes into New Canaan and Darien. I headed up the big hill on Farm road and then down Route 124 past Waveny Park and still felt no knee pain. As I got to Stephen Mather I finally started to feel a little pain, but it wasn't too bad at all. The pain didn't get any worse and at one point moved a little from my inner knee to the outer knee. By the time I got back to my complex I was at about 9 and a half miles so I ran beyond my place to make it to an even 10!!! Yahoo!! My cool down walk is when my hip and knee usually start to hurt really badly so I was very happy to find out that there was no pain when I walked. I did some stretching on the steps outside my place and then went inside for some further stretching.
I am so amazed that I pulled off 10 miles. It's the first run over 6.2 miles since the NY marathon in the beginning of November. I do have some pain and tightness in my hip/knee and ITB since Friday's run, but nothing more than I have experienced over the past few months. I feel really good about this run and am now feeling much more confident about the upcoming race. I still keep hoping for a miracle cure that will allow my knee to get back to tracking correctly, but until then I will keep stretching my quads, hips and ITB and be happy that I can run at all.
As it turned out - my plans were cancelled for Saturday evening due to the snow storm, but I was happy to have already done my long run so that I could get my errands completed early in the day.