One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Things were definitely looking better after the traprock race 2 weeks ago.  I made it through the 10 mile loop, sore but in one piece, and thought for sure things were turning the corner and I could start running again.  If I made it through that course, surely I could do some easy running, right??   

I gave myself some more rest time, filled it with kayaking, biking, and a few walks.  All seemed well, no problems, so I figured it was time to test the leg out again.  Headed out for a short jog with the dog last Monday, made it 1/4 mile, and had to turn around and limp home defeated.  This is definitely getting old.

Stopping to admire some nature on a beautiful day… easy to do when you’re walking!

I promptly headed in for some physical therapy, hoping her combination of PT/manual therapy and magical re-aligning hands will help sort some of this out.  I put my body through a lot of abuse, and I know everything is not exactly as it should be, so maybe this will help get me over the hump and back out and moving.  Fingers and toes tightly crossed!

I’ve been trying very hard to maintain a positive attitude about the whole thing.  I mean, in the grand scheme of things, it is a strained knee.  It will get better, and I will move on.  Most definitely not the end of the world.  Things could be much, much, MUCH worse.  I’m no Mother Theresa though….If I said I wasn’t turning shades of fluorescent green with envy every time I see a runner go by or see someone’s race plans for the weekend, I would most definitely be lying through my teeth.

The thing I really didn’t realize (I’ve never taken this much forced time off before) is how much running impacts the rest of my life and how I define myself.  It is my mental therapy and escape from a stressful job.  It is how I challenge myself.  It is what I do with my friends.  I plan my weekends around the best place and time for a long run.  I drive around looking for new trails to try out.  This is what I do, and a large part of who I am.  I like to bike, hiking is fun, heading out in the kayak is a good time…. but I LOVE to run.  Even when it sucks, I love to run.  There are a lot of people who get that, and a lot who don’t.  So some of you will understand why, when common sense says “just stop until you’re better”, I just keep trying over and over. And some of you  will keep telling me I’m crazy (don’t worry, you can still be my friend 🙂 )  Rest might be good for my knee, but it is definitely not good for my mind, or soul.   

In the meantime, I’ll keep up the strength training, the cross-training, and the dog-walking. And stubbornly, I’ll  keep trying to run until my knee realizes that my mind is going to win this fight. Or the therapy, rest, and other stuff makes it better.  Whichever, I’ll take it.  Tomorrow will be a week since my last run attempt.  Take a wild guess what I’ll be trying in the morning.  If at first you don’t succeed….. 

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