My last report was a very happy one that came about from completing a 10 mile training run with very little pain on Friday January 9th.
Monday night is Westport volleyball night for me and I'm usually one of the first ones to arrive at the field house. In order to kill some time I generally spend a significant amount of time stretching my knee, quads and ITB. However, on Monday the 12th I got to there a little later than usual and started to warm up with my team right away. I found that my knee wasn't feeling so good every time I had to run and then stop short so I stepped away from my team and did some stretches. The stretching didn't help at this point, but I'm not sure if it was due to me stretching too late or because my knee was wasn't up for feeling good that day no matter how I went about stretching it. I played with entire game with some pain and discomfort.
My knee continued to feel pretty tender throughout the day on Tuesday just with walking around the office and the few times I had to go up and down stairs. I got up on Wednesday morning to go for my short run, but barely made it beyond a 1/4 of a mile before I gave it up. My knee was really sore and it felt as if something was going to tear if I continued to run. Since I'd done a warm up walk before my run I now had to walk over half a mile in the cold in order to get home and I was dressed for running, not walking. I tried to pick up my walking pace to get home quicker, but this just made my knee hurt more and made me limp. On Wednesday night I played volleyball with my knee still hurting me.
I had PT on Thursday evening and was hoping that this would fix everything. I received some massage around my knee and ITB and did some stretching, and had stim and an ice pack. Francesco also taped my knee again. However, when I left there I could still feel the same pain. I was starting to wonder if I was now back to where I was in December and would have to stop running again.
I went to work on Friday still feeling the discomfort, but I knew that I needed to run a little if I was going to be able to run the 15k on Sunday. After much thought I deliberation I finally decided to give it a shot at lunch time. I started out running on the snow on a trail behind my office. I was running very slowly due to the conditions and so that I could take it easy on my knee. It started out hurting a little through the first 1/2 mile or so, but the pain wasn't bad and nothing felt like it would snap. After that the pain started to ease up and I could feel that my leg was loosening up. I ended up running two small loops that was 3.5 miles. I was thrilled.
The 15k was postponed on Sunday so I opted to try for a long run in the snow. I knew that there was a good chance that I couldn't do the distance, but figured it was worth a shot. I would have planned to run more than 10 miles since I ran 10 last time, but the roads were pretty slick with the snow so I knew that it would be a great workout even if I didn't put in the distance. Sure enough, I found that it was a much more significant effort to run, especially uphill, in those conditions. I could feel my muscles working hard in order to move forward on the slippery surface. At one point my calves felt really tired and I wondered if I could even make it 5 miles, but they soon got used to it and things started to feel really good. Luckily, the huge hill on Farm Rd in New Canaan had a sidewalk with almost no snow on it so that piece wasn't as difficult as I had expected. I ended up running 10 miles in 1:44 on the same route that took me 1:34 when I ran it the previous week. So even though I didn't increase the miles I did increase the effort by running for longer and having to work harder with each stride. I was still tempted to run an extra mile or two at the end, but my hips were starting to hurt and that could then lead to knee pain so I opted to stop at that point.
Shortly after I got home I made arrangements to meet Tom part way from his house to mine and walk back with him. I ended up putting on a pair of trail shoes that I'd bought about a year ago and never had a chance to try out. I ran in them for a mile to meet up with Tom and then walked back home with him from there. So, I managed to run 11 miles for the day - even though I got to take a break before the last mile.
On Monday I went to the gym and did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, went to spin class and then hit a weight machine for my quads and glutes. My knee did ache a little, but feels really good today.
Let's see how things go in volleyball tonight and with my next run.
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