One Step Forward…Two Steps Back
Hello everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. I wanted to update everyone on my injury to my knees.
I have been struggling with knee pain since after my 9 mile run on November 14th. The pain has intensified and backed off, but it has been a nagging pain since that run. Despite better judgement, I kept running that week, and even tackled 6 days later. 6 miles into the run, my knees were killing me, but I pushed through the pain to finish. That week I ran over 30 miles.
This week, I could barely run 6. I took the week off from running outdoors and used the elliptical and stationary bike to keep my legs moving. My knees felt great on Thursday for my 10K, but at around the 4 mile marker, the pain came back. I finished the race, but I was left emotionally and physically exhausted.
That night I researched the web for help. I knew that it was related to my IT band and looked for ways to get through the pain. All the websites told me the same thing, REST. However, since I’m so stubborn, I didn’t want to hear this.
Yesterday I went to the gym with my mom, determined to do the bike and elliptical. I lasted around 22 minutes on the bike for over 6 miles and then tried the elliptical. I couldn’t even last 2 minutes. My knees felt like they were going to snap off. I left the gym to sit in my car until my mom was done with her workout.
In my car, I cried. I cried a lot. I’ll admit it. For the first time in a long time I just allowed myself to take everything in and let it out. So many feelings started rushing in. Anxiety, disgust, worry, panic, let down, etc.
Yesterday I realized how important running this half marathon is. For one of the first times in my life I am working towards a goal and I am doing it alone. No one is pushing me. No one is forcing me to get up early on a Saturday morning to complete my long runs. No one is telling me that I have to do this. This is self-motivation in its purest form.
I am proud of myself for making it this far, and I want to complete my goal. I will complete my goal.
In order to do this, I have to REST. This is difficult for me. Very difficult. I have always been an active person and stopping is not in my vocabulary. This week and possibly until the end of next week too, I will be cutting way back.
I am 41 days away from my half-marathon. I am scared to cut back, but I have to if I am ever going to have a chance of completing. I know that I can run 10 miles with minimal breaks, I only have 3 miles to go. I know that on race day, I will be able to finish, but I have to re-evaluate my goal. My original goal was to just complete the race. However, as I started training, I realized that I will finish, so I set a time goal for myself (under 2 hours). For now, I am going back to my original goal of just finishing.
As for the next week or two, my mileage is down to essentially nothing. I will not run until I am pain free. I will be doing exercise that does not put a lot of strain on the knee. I am hoping to start water running on Monday. I can keep up my cardio shape while not straining the knee. Once I am pain free, I will start SLOWLY increasing my mileage. If all goes well, I hope to have another long run of 10 or 11 miles a week or two before the race. But we will see. I need to be pain free.
Running is my passion, and I want to be able to do my passion in the years to come.
I know that I will overcome this, but I need to be patient.
In the meantime, I hope that you will still keep reading. I can not thank you all enough for all of the support I have received. Thank you! 🙂
(Stay tuned for a regular post later this evening!)