Sunday, May 29, 2011

One Kick Ass Day in May... The Other 28 Days, Not So Much.

My last couple posts have been about my relative success on the racing front.  First, I kicked some bootay in a 2 miler scoring my first PR (12:22) in several years, and placing 1st in my AG.  The next weekend, I submitted my photo to Webster's Dictionary so they could place it next to the word "awesome" after I set a PR by over 6 minutes in our local half marathon (1:36:02).  That was May 1st, and that was the last time I was able to run without being injured or fatigued this month.
Setting my 2 mile PR.  I just got this pic from a friend, so I figured I'd share it, even though my race report was a month ago.

I thought I was being prudent enough taking a couple days off after the half mary, but I should've slept in a third day because less than one and a half miles into my recovery run (running 1 minute slower than marathon pace) I got a sharp pain in my right knee.  I am no stranger to knee problems.  I've never had a serious knee injury, but it seems if my body is going to break down, my knee is always the first to go.  The next time I ran was about 7 days later.  Although I had been going to the gym every day, even logging a 2 hour session on the elliptical machine, hitting the pavement again seemed a bit awkward.  I thought my knee was getting better at that point, but about 10 days later I aggravated it again.  All the while, my fastest runs only approached marathon pace.  It seemed the more I increased stride length aka speed, the more likely my knee was to complain.

I almost went to see the doc., but I knew whatever Latin term he would assign to it, the advice would be the same, it needs rest.  Well, I don't have time to rest, although I would if that was the only way to heal up.  Instead, I took one day off, then started wearing my knee strap on.

I don't know why I didn't think to start wearing it earlier, but I have slowly been seeing progress ever since.  This past Thursday, I ran a 7 mile progression run.  By the time I hit my last mile, I was up to my 5k race pace. My knee by no means felt 100%, but I think I might finally be on the mend.

While I'm on the topic of knee straps, let me mention that the first time I ever came down with runner's knee was several weeks before a marathon.  Another runner informed me about what knee straps are, and even loaned me his to try.  Cut to the marathon, my knee was still an issue, and I didn't think I would be able to finish, but I gave the race a try with the strap, and I was able to finish the 26.2 miler without making my knee much worse.  In my own personal opinion, these knee straps are miracle workers for runner's knee.  Infomercial done!

Another oddity about my month:  My cardiovascular system kept wanting me to push harder, but my endurance (usually my strong suit) wasn't having any of it.  In other words, my heart rate and perceived level of exertion are rockin' the house, but after 5 miles, depending on the day, my energy is depleted and asking for a rain check.  I've been able to counter this a little by consuming more calories during my runs.

I've got a 10k race coming up June 4th, and I am planning/hoping for another PR, so I hope my knee will cooperate.

Last but not least, I feel compelled to mention that I'm a closet fan of Oprah Winfrey.  As you might know, she pulled the plug on her talk show after her 25th season last week.  Some of her episodes weren't all that interesting to me, but others were very entertaining and/or informative.  Even though I almost never made it a point to catch her show, it happened to be on at a time when I tend to watch TV.  To name a few recurring topics of hers, I found the visits from Dr. Oz very informative and useful.  Also O's "Favorite Things" was always a wild affair.  "Favorite Things" involved her giving out expensive gifts to everyone in her audience and them going ape shit.

I did, make it a point to see her final 3 shows.  Maybe if I had seen more of her shows, I'd be more in touch with my emotions to explain why.  I won't go into any more detail, but now that she has moved on, I wanted to give her a shout out as someone who made a difference in my life.

Hope everyone has a good Memorial Day!


Christi said...

I hope your knee feels better real soon! Congrats on the PRs and have a great long weekend!

A Prelude To... said...

Sorry about the knee - take care of it! Love that picture of you coming across the finish line. You look so very fast!

misszippy said...

You were certainly rocking the times before the knee acted up! congrats. Sounds like you are getting it under control, though, which is great.

I liked Oprah, too. Didn't watch all that often, but there was lots of good stuff. My all-time favorite were the two interviews with James Frey at the end of the shows...I love his writing and I found it really intriguing TV between them.

Rene' said...

I liked Oprah too...i watched the last episode and actually started crying....
Take care of that knee. I don't have knee issues, but my friend wears a knee strap and loves it!

Jill said...

I am bummed I missed Oprah's final show, probably because I never watch it for it was never on at a convenient time for me, so I forgot it was on. I bet I can get it online somehow if I weren't too lazy to try.

Thought about you today as we were riding and Pikes Peak was glowing in the background in all her glory. Full of snow. Lots of snow. Hopefully it will melt by August. Ha.

So here's my advice for your knee: BEHAVE, knee!!!! I know, I rock at pep talks!

Chris K said...

I am still super stoked about your last two races. You rock those. That pic is awesome. Hell yeah, it deserve to go up after that time.

I have NEVER had knee pain so I will admit that I scrolled that part cuz I didn't want to think about it. I would not handle a bad knee well.

Really great job on the elliptical too. Seriously.

Nelly said...

That is a great race pic! That is one of the best race pics I've seen out there of anyone - shows you, the crowd and the clock. And that is the clock that you helped fix right?!?

Good to hear that your knee is starting to feel better, I might have to look into a knee strap, since I have runners knee right now. I'll ask my physical therapist about it tomorrow and see what they think about it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, awesome job on the half and so sorry about the knee, but sounds like you have a solution. I have never tried one (I have knee issues, but not runners knee), but I know quite a few people that swear by it. Did you run the 10k?