Monday, April 6, 2009

One Step Forward, Four Steps Back

Last week I ran a decent 8K race following a pretty good training week. I ran my fastest Tuesday Morning Tempo of the year and a decent set of 800s Wednesday evening, despite warm temperatures, near Summer dewpoints, and a strong Gulf breeze. I followed Saturday's 8K race with a near-effortless 15-miler Sunday, averaging 7:16 pace with my heart rate at only 139 bpm. But during that run I hit a couple of fire ant mounds that stressed my left knee. About an hour later, my left leg was sore from the thigh to the calf and my knee was screaming with pain whenever I tried to straighten it or fully bend it.

The knee continued to hurt the next morning just walking. I took Monday off. The knee still hurt walking Tuesday. No run Tuesday. My left knee hurt when it was fully bent Wednesday; no run Wednesday. Thursday was better, but I didn't want to stress it.

I was able to run a very easy 7½ miler Friday on one of those days so beautiful you just have to run. Disregarding any common sense, I drove up to Bellaire Saturday morning to run the Trolley 5K. I figured my chances of finishing were about 50-50. I ran the first mile in 5:36; the knee held up but I didn't. I ended up slightly over 6 minute per mile pace. At least my knee didn't bother me during the race. But it did flair up a little during the cooldown.

Having to deal with this knee is incredibly frustrating. Over the years I've been told over again and over again by non-runners that I'm ruining my knees. But I'd always countered that I'd been running since 9th Grade and my knees are just as good now as they were in 1973. I can't say that anymore. I'm worried I might do something that will permanently sideline me. If I had a choice, I'd rather continue running another twenty years but never race again than run a sub-2:50 marathon and burn out. For running, I don't think it's better to burn out than to fade away.

The highlight at Bellaire was SabraH smashing the World Record for the Woman's 60-64 Age Group Road 5K She ran a 19:11.6. 

That's a 100.71% age graded result!

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