Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This is Getting Monotonous

This is jogging?

Monday I went for another run. With my left knee giving me a really bad time my runs have turned into more of a 'run' with the sarcastic single quotes around the word the way the media does when a conservative is being mentioned. I end up walking for a very long way until my knee finally says "OK, I guess I could try running now."

I can't even remember what a good run feels like

But on Monday I was impatient and not in the mood to walk forever, so after about a half mile I broke into a run anyway. It was sort of a "ready or not, let's get it on" sort of thing. I ran slooooow. I mean, it was what people mean when they say 'jogging' instead of "I went running." Does that make sense? My mind was a million miles away and I wasn't paying any attention to my pace. So my pace was slow. On the plus side, because I wasn't paying much attention, I ran much further than I have in at least a month by just zoning out and trotting along. There are a lot of hills out here and I hit them all. Well, up to a point. I could have run farther and hit many more, but I had a set course in mind. I've taken to walking down the steepest hill just as a precaution for my cranky knee.

Gravity running - it still counts

I jogged about 2 1/2 miles before I reached the top of the steepest hill, gasping from the pollen-clogged air which I had been sucking deep into my lungs as I tried to maintain good running form while climbing the hill. I sort of let gravity take me to the bottom on the other side and then trotted a little further. Then stopped and walked the rest of the way home. Somewhere I have a map where I wrote down the distances to various points along my route. I think I was about a half mile from the house when I started to walk.

My foot hurts

Later that night I noticed that my heel was bruised on my left foot. I have no idea how this happened. My running shoes are padded like little foot-shaped pillows under each heel. I've run with far, far less padding in a sole before. I can't imagine how my heel got bruised.

So, with a bruised heel, running on Tuesday seemed like a bad idea. Walking didn't seem much better, either. So out came the bike. I pumped up my tires, which clearly needed air the last time I rode as I could feel the rims of the wheels transferring bumps and ridges up through the bike frame into my butt. And then off I pedaled, into the wild green and asphalt yonder.

My bike is kind of old

It was a decent ride, not fast, but with endless hills I couldn't avoid. By the time I arrived back home again my legs and lower back definitely felt satisfied that they had endured a workout.

Today I woke up and decided to try running again. My heel seemed better and my race is coming up fast. So I went outside, walked even less than I did on Monday, and started jogging. I felt agonizingly slow, which I was, but my goal was to keep going the entire way and cut out more of the walking, so that I started running maybe a quarter mile from home and then planned to stop running the same distance from the house. That would still leave me plenty of distance for a proper cool down.

My knee doesn't feel right

Somewhere around 2 miles my left knee suddenly started complaining. And I do mean suddenly. Everything was fine and then suddenly it wasn't. Ouch! I briefly considered trying to continue on, running through the pain in the hopes that it would go away by itself. But it's less than a month until the race and I remember what happened last year when I tried to run through the pain in my calf. It wrecked my calf and I wasted a race just limping along the entire course afraid to accelerate for fear that I'd reinjure my calf. By the time the main race for the year came along I was still unsure of my calf, although it did ultimately hold up.  So, lesson learned, I stopped and walked.

It even hurt to walk on it. So I walked more carefully. I came to the bottom of the steepest hill and began trying to jog up it. I thought "I'll just stride up this, working on my form, and then stop running again. My knee won't mind that." But it did and I stopped and went back to walking pretty quickly.

My new best friend

I made it home just fine. My knee isn't screaming or swollen or anything. I think I'm going to become addicted to Chrondroitin or however you spell it. I should have taken some before I ran instead of just after, but I didn't. Next time I won't forget.

Back to biking

Anyway, looks like tomorrow its back to the bike. And Friday I have an appointment so I don't know if I'll get to run or bike before breakfast or have to do it after, with food in my stomach. Part of my goal with these terrible runs is to run first thing when I wake up so that my body has no fuel. The theory is that this forces your body to use fat for fuel, which doesn't feel very good, but it helps you lighten up before a race. Of course, if my thyroid is still sabotaging me then all I'm burning is muscle. I need to make an appointment to be retested so the doctor can see if the very weak thyroid medicine they gave me is accomplishing anything.

If you'll throw this ball for me I'll stop chasing you
So, that's my exciting update of my adventures in jogging. No snakes this time, but a big yellow Lab did run out of the yard as if he was going to eat me, only to get right in front of me and wag his tail at me until I reached down and scratched his ears and chest for a bit.  Oh, and a friend sent me a link to a Sprint Triathlon coming up this month. After yesterday's bike ride I don't think I'm up to it. The bike ride in this triathlon is only listed as being 8 miles, but all I'm biking is maybe 3 or 4 and that seems to do a number on me. Apparently I'm still too pathetic to swim, bike 8 miles, and then run 3.1 miles. I still have a lot more work to do just for a tiny little Sprint Tri, which is the shortest triathlon there is.



  1. That truly sucks, not being able to go for regular runs if that's what you're accustomed to. I've been lucky so far as not being too hurt, just too lazy to keep the running up as I used to. I hope you feel better soon, summer's around the corner and in my opinion there's not that much beating running those early mornings when the sun climbs up and warms the dew away...

    1. Annika, I've been slack about it and now I'm trying to do it 5 times a week, first thing in the morning. The last really great run I had somehow aggravated my knee and it hasn't recovered since. I don't know what happened. It felt great while I was running along at the time. Anyway, every year I have this one race where I try to run a good time at a good pace, or good for the condition I'm in lately. And that race is at the end of this month, so I'm running out of time to train. Things were going so well up until my knee began having trouble. Since then, though, I've been slow and irregular with my runs.

  2. Feel for you. I tried a "boot camp" but it really made my knee twinge so its back to dancing which funnily enough seems to be okay...

    1. AboutLastWeekend, I've seen a few boot camps going at various gyms I've been to, but never participated in one. It looks like a great way to deal with workout boredom, but whenever my knee starts giving me trouble I have to focus on being careful with that above all else. Its funny that dancing doesn't bother your knee. Any time I try to dance I feel as if my knee is being demolished and all the cartilage is being scraped away.